How to Get Rust stains Out of Plastic:

This blog post will answer the question, “remove rust stains from plastic” and covers topics like how to get rust out of plastic and frequently asked questions.

Remove rust stains from plastic?

Rust stains from the plastic can be removed by following the steps given below:

  • To eliminate persistent rust spots, use a 50-50 mixture of vinegar or lime juice and water. 
  • Fill a sprayer halfway with the solution and generously spray the rusty area. 
  • Allow the solution to operate for five to ten minutes before wiping it away. If required, repeat the process.

How to Get Rust Out of Plastic?

If you have rust spots on a plastic object, they aren’t there because the plastic is corroding. It’s possible that the plastic came into touch with rotting metal, such as the underside of a chair with rotting metal legs or a plastic pail with rusted nails. Furthermore, iron in rainfall may leave rust stains on PVC plastic fences; the iron oxidizes and corrodes the plastic. 

You don’t need to bother about reducing the rust; you can just scrape it away or dissolve it in acid. Don’t be concerned if the use of acid seems severe. You can consume the acids you’ll need for the task since they’re so harmless — and you likely do.

Rust Treatment using Household Acids:

Rust is iron oxide, and any acidic liquid, no matter how weak, will remove it. Both vinegar and lime juice are sour, with acetic acid in vinegar and citric acid in lime juice. You may also use any sour soft drink to remove the corrosion; the tangy flavor comes from the existence of phosphoric acid in the liquid. Soft drinks, on the other hand, aren’t the perfect cleansers since they create a sticky sugary residue.

The steps of cleaning are described below:

  • Wash with water and soap
  • Scrub the area with a scrubber if required.
  • Use a mild acid to dissolve the rust.
  • Make the acid solution stronger.
  • Increase the amount of time that the corrosion is subjected to the acid.

I will elaborate on the guidance given above. 


Wash with water and soap

Wet a cloth with water and aggressively massage the rusty area. If the discoloration persists, dab the fabric with a little dish soap.

Scrub the area with a scrubber if required

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Replace the rag with extremely fine steel wool to increase scrubbing strength. 
  • If you’re concerned about the plastic’s finish being dulled, try a dish scrubber instead.
  • Scrape with steel wool or a scrubber that has been dampened with a little dish soap.

Use a mild acid to dissolve the rust

Steps of dissolving rust:

  • To remove persistent rust spots, use a 50-50 mixture of vinegar or lime juice and water. 
  • Fill a sprayer halfway with the solution and generously spray the rusty area. 
  • Allow the solution to operate for five to ten minutes before wiping it away. If required, repeat the process.

Make the acid solution stronger

Steps of removing rust with strong vinegar solution:

  • To eliminate persistent rust stains, use full-strength vinegar or lime juice. 
  • Spray it on, let it sit for 10 minutes, and then wipe it away, repeating as needed. 
  • Remove rust from outside plastic, such as PVC fence, vinyl siding, or PVC decking, using this procedure.

Increase the amount of time that the corrosion is subjected to the acid

To get rid of very tough stains, use a paste. Combine full-strength vinegar or lime juice with borax, then apply the paste to the spot overnight. In the morning, scrape the paste and rust off using a cleaning pad.

Materials Needed
Mild Acid
Scrubbing brush
Cleaning cloth

Different ways to remove rust stains from plastic coolers:

One of the best things about plastic coolers is that they don’t rust, yet this doesn’t imply that rust spots can’t appear. An empty container cap, bottle opener, or other metal object left in your cooler may rust, leaving rust marks on the interior of your cooler. Rust spots on the exterior of your cooler may be caused by leaving rusty items on top of it. So, what’s the best way to get rust stains out of a plastic cooler? It isn’t all that tough.

Use a Magic Eraser with soapy water to remove rust spots off a cooler, or immerse the rust spots in vinegar or lime juice and scrape with a gritty cloth. These should keep your cooler looking brand new and clear of spots. There isn’t just one way to get rid of rust spots; there are a variety of options. What approach you employ will depend on the severity of your rust spot and how much work you want to put into eliminating it.

Different methods of removing rust from plastic are listed below:

  • Soap and gritty cleaning cloth (For Minor Stains)
  • Magic Eraser 
  • Baking Soda with Vinegar
  • Lemon Juice
  • Lubricating Oil
  • Coca-Cola

I will now elaborate on the guidance given above.

Soap and gritty cleaning cloth (For Minor Stains)

For very minor rust stains, a simple clean with a gritty cloth may be all that is required to remove the rust spots. Simply use lukewarm soapy water, a scratchy sponge or towel, and some manual grease, concentrating on the rust spots.

Materials NeededTools Needed
GreaseScarchy sponge
Soapy waterGritty cloth

Magic Eraser 

Because Magic Erasers are constructed of a micro rough foam, they polish away rust spots. Personally, I’ve used them to remove rust spots from my Coleman Extreme cooler.

Apply a little amount of water and detergent on the magic eraser, then massage vigorously. This approach works, however, it takes a long time and hurts my hands after a while since you have to use so much power to remove the rust.

However, for spots that aren’t too huge or too powerful, it’s a simple procedure that doesn’t involve the use of any chemicals. Magic Erasers are also reasonably priced. On Amazon, you can get a variety of inexpensive magic erasers.

If you have more serious rust stains or want a more reliable method that takes less elbow grease, an acidic solution will help you eliminate the rust quickly.

Materials Needed
Magic Eraser

Baking Soda with Vinegar

I strongly advise using vinegar to remove rust spots from your plastic coolers, or any plastic for that kind. It’s not only one of the most efficient means of eliminating rust, but it’s also dirt inexpensive and can be used in a variety of ways to repair your home.

Steps of removing rust with baking soda:

  • I prefer to prepare a paste using white vinegar and bicarbonate powder, which should form a fairly thick paste when correctly mixed.
  • This effervescent mixture is a great way to get rid of rust spots. Allow the paste to soak into the corroded areas.
  • If you have particularly troublesome rust blemishes, wrap the vinegar/baking soda combination in plastic cling wrap so that it can immerse the stain without the vinegar dissipating.
  • After soaking it, give it a thorough scrape with a gritty sponge to remove any remaining rust.
  • You may also use bicarbonate of soda to remove rust stains before spraying the area with vinegar. Rust spots may also be removed with the assistance of the fizzy chemical reaction.
  • If you wish to utilize this approach, turn your cooler on its side and paint the walls one at a time.
Materials Needed
Baking soda

Lemon Juice

Lime juice, which is naturally acidic, comes in second to vinegar.

Steps of removing rust with lemon:

  • You may either massage the lime juice over the rust spot or squeeze the lemon and create a pool over the rust spot to soak up the liquid.
  • Allow it to soak for 20-30 minutes or longer, then scrape the corrosion away with an abrasive sponge.
  • It will remove most rust spots while also leaving your cooler smelling citrus fresh.
  • You may also buy lime juice in a bottle, which is likely to be less expensive than purchasing and utilizing fresh lemons.
  • For an even stronger impact, mix lime juice with baking soda.
Materials Needed
Lemon Juice
Baking soda

Lubricating Oil

Lubricating Oil is another one of those odd items that work wonders when it comes to eliminating rust spots off plastic. Spritz some lubricating oil on the rust spots, wait a minute, and then clean them with a somewhat rough sponge. The rust will begin to break down almost immediately. When you’re through, rinse your cooler to make it rust-free and as good as new.


Coca-cola is acidic and includes phosphoric acid, which chips away at corrosion and makes it easier to clean off. The issue I have with using coke to wipe corrosion off a cooler is that it’s one of the less efficient techniques for eliminating rust in the first place, and the corrosion really has to soak in the coca-cola for it to work.

If the rust is at the bottom of your cooler, pouring a big bottle of coke into it and letting it soak may help. However, if the corrosion is on the inside surfaces of your cooler or on the outside where you can’t soak it, I wouldn’t suggest coke and instead, prefer one of the other techniques listed above or using ketchup as described below.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs), “Remove rust stains from plastic?”

Does WD-40 remove rust stains?

Without breaking, scratching, or scouring, WD-40 Specialist® Rust Removal Soak removes corrosion and recovers instruments, equipment, and areas to bare metal. Removes rust off tools, metals, cast iron, chrome components, and more without damaging paint, seals, trim, or other nearby parts.

How do you remove dried rust stains?

Wring out a cloth that has been soaked in white vinegar. Apply a layer of salt to the rust spot, then cover it with a vinegar-soaked towel. Allow 30 minutes to pass before inspecting the discoloration. Repeat the procedure with a clean cloth until the stain is gone.

Does vinegar remove rust?

White vinegar may be used to effectively remove rust. Rust interacts with vinegar and eventually disappears. To eliminate rust from a rusted metal item, immerse it in white vinegar for a few hours and then wipe it clean. Instead, you may clean the item with a towel moistened with white vinegar.

Can toothpaste get rid of rust?

Did you know toothpaste may help you get rid of rust stains? Apply to the cloth with a moist cloth and massage in, then rinse before washing. Alternatively, apply toothpaste to rust spots on silverware or equipment, wait 10 minutes, then rinse away. The white, non-gel type is the most effective.

How do you remove rust from vinyl window frames?

Rust on the external vinyl may be safely cleaned with light soap, water, and a cloth or soft brush. Gentle Scrub® cleaning may be used if a gentle detergent isn’t available. We suggest that you take excellent care of your hinges to avoid corrosion spots in the future.

How do you remove rust from PVC decking?

To remove rust from PVC decking, follow the steps given below:

  • To begin, combine 50 percent water and 50 percent vinegar or lime juice in a mixing bowl. 
  • Apply the rust stain using a spray gun. 
  • Allow sitting for ten min before wiping clean. 
  • Rep till the rust stain on the decking is gone.


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