Removing Rust Stains and a Busy Weekend

Have you ever wondered about removing rust stains from plastic?

I never thought about it until I found these rusty purple chandelier crystal chains that I shared in this thrifted finds post. I almost passed them by, but they were such pretty purples I decided I couldn’t leave them behind just because of that.


Removing rust stains from plastic

I figured I could find a way to clean them.


Removing rust stains from plastic

How hard could it be?


Removing rust stains from plastic

I removed all the rusted split rings and tossed them… and wouldn’t you know it a few days later I was thinking I could use them for another project. I kid you not.

And make no mistake about it… if the garbage was still here I would have been hunting through it looking for them, but it was too late.

Oh well… such is a repurposer’s life sometimes. I can’t hang onto everything… right? 🙂 It’s all good.

Anyway, on to the cleaning.


Removing rust stains from plastic

Since I tend to do most things on the spur of the moment these days the day I decided to clean the crystals the only natural acidic stuff that I had on hand was pure lemon juice… so I decided to go ahead and try it.

If it didn’t work the worst that would happen is they’d smell nice. That’s a fail I can live with.

I grabbed a plastic container, made a 50/50 concoction of lemon juice and water.  I think vinegar might work too because of its acidity, but lemon juice smells better… to me anyway.


Removing rust stains from plastic

I dropped all the crystals into the container and put it aside to let my lemon brew do its thing. I checked them after a day and nothing had changed so I added a little more lemon juice and put it aside again.


purple beads 91

Then I started painting the wooden hallway floor that I showed in my hallway makeover post. Here’s the floor with two coats of primer. I’ll show the whole process when the floor is completely done.


purple beads 92a

While the floor was drying after each coat I joined John outside to stack firewood. This year we ordered ten cords of slab wood (cutoffs from a lumber mill), and a few cords of regular firewood.


purple beads 93

We still have quite a bit to go. It’s a a lot of work, but it’s so worth it. There’s nothing like having the two wood stoves going on a cold and snowy winter day. Between the two of them they pretty much heat the whole house.

(I stashed away a few pretty pieces for a project. Shhh! That’ll be our little secret. lol. )

Meanwhile, between the floor and the firewood I had completely forgotten about the chandy crystals and that turned out to be the best thing.

When I finally checked on them they were sparkly clean.  It seems the lemon juice just needed some time to work its magic.


Removing rust stains from plastic

I rinsed them in a strainer and let them dry.


Removing rust stains from plastic

Here’s what they looked like when I removed them from the split rings.


Removing rust stains from plastic

And here they are now in all their purple gorgeousness. What a difference!

So it turns out that removing rust stains from plastic is pretty easy. At least it was with these chandy crystals.  All it took was some lemon juice and a little forgetfulness. lol.

If you have any tips for removing rust stains I’d love to hear them.

Thanks so much for reading, and until next time…

keep on keepin’ on!


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  1. Ooooooohhhhhhh, puuuurrrrrppppllllleeeee!!!! Those turned out perfectly! Can NOT wait to see what you make…….and buy it!!! And I am SO glad to hear you saved a few pieces of that wood, because as I was looking at the pics I kept thinking…project, project…..I’m thinking you’ll pretty much keep me entertained for the rest of my life!!! Dona

    1. I kept finding pretty pieces of the firewood so I had to stash a few of them away. Thankfully there are still a few left for burning. lol. Luckily I have a great hubby who humours me.

  2. Great tip thank you! I’ll remember to try lemon juice because I think I’d prefer to smell lemons than vinegar too :o]


    1. I’ve always been a lemon juice girl. I clean some things with it too.

  3. Can’t wait to see what you make with them. We had a choice between a pellet stove or a wood burning stove inserts into our fireplace. We chose the pellet stove – wrong choice. Wish we could go back but it is too late. Enjoy your stove and the warmth.

    1. I’ve heard that pellet stoves are very efficient, but I do love the heat of wood. There’s just something about it that I can’t even really explain. It’s worth all the stacking and chopping. Makes me almost look forward to winter. Almost. lol.

    1. Thanks Kris! They are really pretty purples.

  4. Wow! Those crystals are gorgeous….they could pass for glass. So what are you going to make with them, hmmm? I am excited to see your floor post because I am seriously thinking of painting my front hall and stairs! It may be THE winter project….besides of course the bathroom linen area that has paint chips hanging off the door since this Spring!

    1. I hope to get to the next step on the floor this coming weekend. I’m so excited to see what it’s going to look like. I’ve never done anything like this before so hopefully it turns out. I’ll post it regardless of whether I like it or not. It will be a learning experience. I can so relate to your linen area. It seems these days something has to really bug me so I get motivated to put it at the top of the list… and finally get it done.

  5. They came out so sparkly!! Good job. Love your stacks of wood but mostly I will love what your do with your secret stash…lol

  6. Thanks for the tip, they really cleaned up well. Patience is the key, I see (I need practice with that). Having wood stove envy, by the way 🙂

  7. Thanks so much for he info on how to clean the jewels, I have some that I’m going to try (I was ready to throw them out) so glad I came across your sight! From one Canadian to another (I live in Toronto) thanks again!

    1. You’re so welcome Liz. I hope it works for you too so your jewels can be saved. So happy to meet a fellow Ontarion (is that a real work, lol). I’m about 2 1/2 hours northwest of Toronto. Thanks so much for stopping by,

  8. Gail Helms says:

    Maybe my real crystals are being stubborn. Mine did not come clean. It’s a DIY chandelier already had rust from previously owned crystal from an estate sale. I didn’t think it would matter since the chandelier is going outside. It looked awful. Having said all that…….do you know of something else I could use??

    1. Hi Gail. I have heard of vinegar and baking soda being used to clean rust on glass surfaces, but I’ve never tried it myself. Google that and see what you find out.

  9. I’ve spent a couple of hours tonight looking at so many of your projects. I loved everyone of them, especially the armoire makeover. I have one that belonged to my mother and I wanted to put some shelves in it for craft supplies but my husband didn’t think that was a good idea. I think he just didn’t want to do it. I’m 73 years old and not able to do things like that anymore or I would have done it myself. I’m so glad that you were able to do it. It turned out great and sure you are enjoying it. Keep up the good work and keep on keeping on.❤️????

    1. Thanks so much Peggy! I’m so glad you’re enjoying my projects. I hope I can inspire you. 🙂