How to remove rust from the washer drum?

You can either use a commercial rust remover or white vinegar/lemon juice to remove rust from your washing machine drum. Commercial rust removers are the most effective option, but they can be expensive.

If you are using a commercial rust remover, follow the instructions on the package.

If you are using white vinegar or lemon juice, mix equal parts of the acid with water in a bowl. Then, using a clean cloth, apply the mixture to the rusted areas of the drum.

Let the mixture sit on the rust for at least 30 minutes before scrubbing with a nylon brush.

Key Takeaways

  • Rusting can occur on any metal part of the washing machine and the most common parts are the surface of the inner drum.
  • Poor maintenance, normal wear and tear, leakage, and the environment are the main causes of rust.
  • You can use a commercial rust remover, white vinegar, or lemon juice to remove rust from your washing machine.

What are the causes of rust in a washing machine?

A washing machine has multiple parts made of metal, and it deals with water in every wash.

There are several reasons that rust can form in your washing machine.

Poor Maintenance

If a machine is not properly maintained, rust can form on the inside of the tub, which is one of the most common factors.

Leaks and Spills

Leaks and water spills can cause the bottom surface to rust if left unattended.

Furthermore, if you don’t use your washing machine very often, water can condense on the metal surfaces and cause rusting.


If you live in an area with high humidity, moisture can seep into the machine and cause rust.

Hard Water

Hard water and minerals in the water can deposit on metal surfaces and cause rust.

Other Causes

Other causes can be using water that contains high levels of iron, leaving wet clothes in the machine for extended periods of time, or aging.

How to remove rust spots from your washing machine?

If you see rust spots on your washing machine, don’t worry; it’s a common issue and it’s easy to remove with the right supplies in most cases.

You will need an abrasive cleaner or a commercial rust-cleaning solution in order to get rid of the rust.

If you’re using an abrasive cleaner, such as Bon Ami or Bar Keepers’ Friend, simply make a paste with water.

You can also use home remedies such as white vinegar or lemon juice.

Just make sure to have the following items handy in order to remove rust from your washer.

  • A soft cloth
  • Abrasive cleaner
  • White vinegar or rust-removing solution
  • Water
  • A clean rag

Instructions to remove rust from washing machine

To remove rust from the washer, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Find the areas with rust that you want to remove

  • Start by unplugging your washing machine and removing any clothing or laundry from the inside.
  • Now locate all the spots inside the washtub where rust has caused damage.
  • Determine the intensity of rust, take a look at the rust spots and decide how much cleaning power you’ll need.
  • For minor or small spots, a soft cloth dipped in vinegar solution should do the trick. However, for bigger areas of rust, you may need to use an abrasive cleaner.
  • If you have a small amount of rust on your washing machine, you can remove it with a gentle scrubbing brush and some elbow grease. If the rust is more widespread, you may need to use a stronger cleaning agent.

Alternatively, you can try using oxalic acid, which can be found at hardware stores. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package carefully, as oxalic acid can be dangerous if used improperly.

Start cleaning the surface

Once you’ve decided on the cleaning method, mix together a solution of half part water and white vinegar as a first step.

Apply the solution to the rusty spots and scrub them for about two minutes with a soft cloth or brush.

Then, put some more solution on the affected area and wait about 30 minutes for the solution to settle.

Now, rinse the area with clean water and dry it off with a clean rag.

Repeat the above steps if the rust spots are still visible.

If the rust is strong or adamant, then do not repeat the above steps. Instead, opt for a commercial abrasive cleaner.

Simply apply the solution over the affected surface using a toothbrush and give it a gentle scrub.

Leave it to settle for about 20 minutes, and then start scrubbing for another five minutes.

Lastly, wipe the surface using a sponge or a damp cloth.

Run an Empty cycle

Plug in your washing machine and run an empty cycle by adding a cup of vinegar to make sure it has been cleaned thoroughly.

Once the cycle is complete, wipe the inner drum with a dry cloth.

Finally, leave the washing machine’s door open until it dries evenly.

Final Thoughts

Make sure to remove the rust carefully without damaging the surroundings of the drum surface.

Once you’ve removed the rust, be sure to protect your washing machine from future rusting by regularly cleaning it and keeping it dry.

You can also apply a coat of car wax or furniture polish to the outside of the machine to create a barrier against moisture.

Keep the washer door open for some time after completing the washing cycle to let the machine air dry. This will prevent rusting on the surface due to damp conditions.

Lastly, do not make the mistake of leaving your damp garments inside the drum for longer after the wash cycle completes.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)