Iron in water can be present in either a dissolved (ferrous) or solid (ferric) form, or both. Water that normally runs clear but turns rusty colored when in contact with air, heat or bleach is caused by ferrous iron. Dissolved iron will cause a rust colored stain in laundry, toilets, showers, and tubs. Solid, or precipitated (ferric) iron leaves a sediment that can usually be wiped or brushed off of appliances, but may cause blotchy staining in laundry. Ferric iron can also cause plugging of pipes, spray.