How to Clean Rust Stains out of Your Carpet in 4 Simple Steps

Whether they're caused by toys, leaks, furniture, or radiators, rust stains are challenging to remove. However, you shouldn't assume those stains won't come out of your carpet. With a little bit of patience and some know-how you can easily remove those rust stains and get on with your day.

Gathering Your Materials

Before you start working on the stain, you need to make sure that it's completely dry. If you work on it while it's still wet, you'll just spread the stain around and make it bigger. While you're waiting for it to dry, you can start gathering everything you need to remove the stain.

In order to remove the rust stain, you will need:

  • A plastic knife, spatula, or spoon
  • A vacuum
  • 80 millilitres of white vinegar
  • 80 millilitres of lemon juice
  • 125 millilitres of rock salt
  • A medium-sized bowl
  • A soft brush or a toothbrush
  • White cloths or paper towels
  • Warm water
  • Dish soap
  • A wet/dry vacuum

Always use white cloths when removing stains from a carpet because the dyes from coloured cloths can transfer. If you don't have white cloths or towels, use paper towels instead.

Step 1: Scrape The Rust Stain

If there are larger chunks of rust on the surface of the stain, scrape them away using a spatula, spoon or a plastic butter knife. You need to remove the solid pieces first because otherwise they would become wet during the next steps and make the stain bigger.

Scrape very gently so that you don't accidentally rip or tear at your carpet fibres. After you've removed all of the larger pieces of rust, vacuum them up.

Step 2: Scrub The Rust Stain

Mix your vinegar, lemon juice and rock salt together in a medium-sized bowl. Then pour the mixture over the stain to thoroughly saturate it. The citric acid in the lemon juice and the vinegar will work together to help penetrate the stain and lift it away.

Use a soft brush or a toothbrush to start scrubbing the stain using circular motions, working from the outside edge of the stain inwards. When you're scrubbing a carpet, you should always work from the outside edge in, or you could make the stain grow larger.

The rock salt gives your cleaning solution traction and helps the scrubbing process so that the lemon juice and vinegar can penetrate deeper into the carpet fibres and eat away at the entire stain. When you're done scrubbing, let your carpet sit for approximately 30 minutes.

Step 3: Wash The Rust Away  

Rinse out your bowl, and fill it with warm water and a generous amount of dish soap. Put a cloth in the bowl, wring it out, and start blotting the stain. As you blot the stain, the rust will transfer to the cloth.

Keep wetting your cloth and blotting until you've picked up the entire stain. Then fill your bowl with plain warm water, and pour it over the area to thoroughly rinse it. Blot up as much of the water as possible using dry cloths.

Step 4: Restore The Plush

To restore your carpets original plush, run your wet/dry vacuum over it and let it sit overnight so that it can dry thoroughly. In the morning, vacuum your entire carpet. The area will blend right in with the rest of your carpet and look as good as it did before you had the stain.

Don't get yourself in a panic when you see rust on your living room carpet. Following these tips will help you get rid of those dreaded rust stains in a hurry. If the rust stains persist, call in a professional carpet cleaner to remove them for you, like Freedom Carpet Cleaning.