If pure CLR cleaner does not remove rust stains from a china dish, then what can I use to do the job?
By Mianne from Pittsburgh
A product in a shaker can called Zud.
I have had good luck with Barkeepers Friend powder. This is pretty much the same product as Zud recommended by takelababy. The active ingredient in both is oxalic acid.
Barkeepers friend is used to clean glassware, among other uses, but glass is not porous and china can be depending on the type and age. (Look up oxalic acid to see what it is generally used for.) I personally would try making a baking soda paste to try to remove the rust and if that doesn't work just live with the rust stains with a smile because chemicals can leach in to china (and pots and pans) and hence leach into the food that is placed in/on them.
I used to have a can of Zud around for years. My recollection is it works great, but I never had much need to use it. Have moved a couple times since and don't even know if it exists in my belongings any more! However...
Just yesterday my friend came in from her backyard with a large bowl, soup tureen I think it's called [looks like a very large sugar bowl, except she hadn't found the lid to it]. Anyway, it'd been out in her yard for maybe 6 months [sun, rain, snow]--and who knows where before that and I don't know what other item it was sitting in, but there was rust all around it and on the bottom. It had a good glaze on it, no cracks. I rinsed the dirt & leaves out of it with hot water, sprinkled Comet cleanser liberally all around, and started scrubbing with one of those cheapy yellow-sponge-one-side-[not-so]scratchy-green-other-side scrubbers. Didn't take long and the rust rings an' spots were gone. A part of the underside of the foot did not have a glaze on it (they seldom do), but just a small faint amount of rust coloring remained. Marcia was amazed I got anything off.
If there are cracks in the glaze, test gently! And it's just possible the rust (or discoloration from rust) may become a permanent tint in the cracks. If perchance it is extremely fine china, approach carefully and gently. It sounds, tho', as if you've already tried CLR, an' that is potent stuff! (Doesn't mean it works, just very strong an' needs careful handling of the CLR, not so much what you're cleaning!)
CLR is an acid. I am not familiar with Barkeepers Friend, but apparently it is also an acid. If these haven't worked, perhaps you should go the other way, and try a base, like ammonia. The baking soda paste that Deelie suggests is a mild base. A product like Comet has an abrasive in it, and that is why it will clean things that other products don't touch. it scrapes them off so you have to be sure you don't have a surface that will scratch. Usually any glazed surface is okay with this type of product.
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