Here is a study that talks about this problem. I didn't get my info from it, but did Google before posting for somewhere to direct you to verify what I said.
And don't use bleach to clean rust stains from surfaces. This could set the stain and make it harder to remove it. Use an oxalic acid solution.
A quote from one last source:
Stain: Rust or iron stains
Product: Commercial iron remover
Method: Treat rust or iron stains with a commercial iron remover, according to package directions. Do not use chlorine bleach to try to remove iron stains, since bleach will set them permanently.
I hope this helps.
By Brenda from MI
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Good tip. We learned this the hard way (but with a happy ending) when we moved to our current town that has lots of iron in the tap water. My husband is very particular about his white clothes and had been used to washing with bleach. The first load he did with bleach turned all his nice clothes white. He was going to throw them all away when I told him to walk away from the laundry very slowly and I would figure something out. I got a product called "Iron Out" followed the directions for laundry, and rewashed the clothes with the stuff. The laundry came out white again and a major crisis was averted!
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