How to Remove Sulfur Stains

Brown and yellow stains on your clothes, bathroom or kitchen tile or plastic liners are more than likely caused by hard water that contains sulfur and iron. Wiping down showers, tubs, sinks and other areas that get splashed with hard water can cut down on sulfur stains. However, if you have a buildup of sulfur stains, there are a few tricks to remove them from your clothes and other household items.

Baking Soda
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How to Remove Sulfur Stains

How to Get Sulfur Out of Clothing

To remove sulfur stains or smells from clothing, run cold water over the clothes. Cover the clothing in a layer of baking soda, sprinkling it all over so that it saturates the piece front and back. Soak the clothing in a bucket or tub of cold water overnight. Rinse out the baking soda and soak the clothing items in a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 4 parts cold water. Let them sit for at least an hour. Finally, give the clothes a spin in a washing machine, again in cold water. Heat is the enemy here, both in water and the dryer. It will seal the stain and trap the smell in the clothing, so avoid using hot water or putting the clothes in the dryer until the stains and odor are removed.

Stubborn Car Sulfur Stains

A mix of vinegar and baking soda may remove small stains that have recently appeared, but for stubborn stains, you need to go to the big guns. You can remove well water stains from a car by using one of the many proven commercial cleaners, such as CLR. You should look for a sulfur stain remover that won't affect the paint job or any sealants you have on the car's finish.

Food Stain Fixes

Aside from sulfur issues, food can be a pain when it lands on your favorite blouse or pair of pants. One household food leaves a surprising stain that's stubborn in its stickiness. To remove banana stains from clothes, scrape any of the mushy fruit from the fibers. Run cold, not hot, water over the stain to flush out any remaining banana. Wash the item of clothing in warm water in your machine, unless the fabric instructs otherwise. A laundry-safe bleach detergent or a stint in the sunlight will remove any leftover marks from the banana smudge.

Remove Rust From Plastic

To remove rust from plastic, use a paste of baking soda and vinegar. Rub it into the plastic in small circles with a soft sponge so you don't run the risk of scratching or further damaging the plastic. Let it sit for at least five minutes, longer for more penetrating rust stains. Scrub away the paste and rinse it thoroughly. A small smudge of rust may still be visible, but it shouldn't be as prevalent as before your cleaning attempts.

Kimberley McGee

Kimberley McGee

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at