How to Get Rust Out of Carpet in 6 Ways
Author: Rick Worst | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
Discovering a rust stain on your carpet can leave you worried. You may think that this spells the end for your carpet. But don't discard or replace it just yet, as there are plenty of solutions to this problem. Let's look at how to get rust out of carpet with the least effort.
At first, you'd have to remove the source of rust. Then, scrape the visible rust flakes with a blunt object. However, your carpet will still be stained after scraping the rust. But there are a wide variety of cleaning products you can use to remove the discoloration.
Dish soap, white vinegar, a combination of salt and lemon juice, and hydrogen peroxide are all effective options for treating the stain. You can use a carpet stain remover if they don't produce satisfactory results. Keep on reading to find out how you can use these products in detail.
First Steps to Getting Rust Out of Carpet
Maybe you tracked rust in on the bottom of your shoes, or laid some types of tools down on your carpet that happened to have rust on them. Getting rust out of your carpet can be tricky. That's because you'd want to use products that can remove rust, but you can't use something that is too strong as they can damage your carpet and discolor it, too.
Nonetheless, the annoying brown stains on your carpet can be removed if you follow the right steps. Here's how you can get started:
Eliminate the Source of Rust
The most common reason behind the formation of rust in carpets is when a piece of furniture sits on them for a long period. If you discover this type of rust when moving your furniture around, know that these are the most difficult to remove as they're deeply embedded into the carpet fibers by now.
Leaky windows, rusty walls, and wet toys can also cause rust. Even if you drag rusty items across your carpet, you can end up with a stain. So, you need to remove the source of rust if possible. You can take the furniture away and relocate it somewhere else if it's causing the issue.
But what can you do if windows or walls are causing the issue? Well, you can add an anti-rust solution to these rusty surfaces so that they don't leave a stain on your carpet.
Scrape the Rust & Vacuum
Remove as much of the rust as you can by simply scraping it off. The more rust you can get out at this stage, the better the chances of you removing the entire stain. You can use a blunt object like a butter knife or a credit card. Be gentle while doing it, and make sure you don't push the rust further into the carpet.
You'd loosen some of the rust embedded into the carpet fibers while scraping it. That'll prevent the stain from spreading, and it'll be easier to remove it later on. When you get the rust flakes out of the carpet, you can place them in a paper towel and get rid of them. Vacuum the area once done. Getting rust out of carpet is simple, but perhaps tedious.
How to Get a Rust Stain Out of Carpet
Now that you've got the majority of rust out of the carpet, it's time to deal with the stains. There's a wide range of natural and DIY products you can use to remove it, the same ones you'd use to remove rust from tools. Here are the most commonly used ones:
Dish soap is available in every house and does a great job of removing rust stains. That's why it takes the first spot on our list. Take a clean bowl and mix one tablespoon of liquid dish soap with two cups of water in it. Stir the mixture well before applying it to remove the stain.
It's good to avoid dish soaps that are colored as the dyes in them may stain the carpet. Now, use a sponge and dip it in the bowl. Blot the stained area with this dish soap solution using the sponge until it becomes saturated.
Refill the sponge as many times as needed to cover the entire stain. You need to blot the stain gently here instead of rubbing it, as it'll only make the thing worse. Let the solution sit for a few minutes so that it can loosen the rust particles in the carpet.
You can leave it longer if the stain is a big one. But you don't want the mixture to get dried up because it'll set the rust into the carpet once again. Next, use a paper towel and soak the excess solution from the stained area.
The rust stain should transfer from the carpet to the towel at this stage. Only press dry portions of the towel to the stain. Keep doing it until you remove the entire stain and it no longer moves from the carpet to the cloth. Blotting is the key for how to get rust out of carpet as well as any other stain.
It's a powerful substance that you can use to loosen rust particles in the carpet. White vinegar also does a great job of lightening stains. Start by mixing equal parts white vinegar and water and put the solution in a spray bottle.
Cover the stained area by applying the solution. Once the solution sits for a few minutes, and the rust becomes loose, blot the area with a dry paper towel. You'd lift the stain from the carpet to the towel. Repeat these steps and change the paper towels as necessary until the stain disappears.
Salt & Lemon Juice
If you want to use natural ingredients to remove rust stains from your carpet, you can't go wrong with the deadly combination of salt and lemon juice. Start by drizzling the lemon juice first. Both freshly squeezed and bottled lemon juice will do the job. Next, add some sea salt to the stained area.
You can use regular table salt if you don't have sea salt. Let this mixture soak the stain for at least five minutes so that it can break the rust composition. Next, you can blot the stained area with a piece of cloth as usual until you remove the stain.
To take a more hands-on approach to treat the stain, you can mix lemon juice and salt in a bowl. Then, use a sponge to blot and saturate the stained area like before. Wait for a few minutes and use a paper towel to soak up the stain. Keep doing it until you get rid of the entire stain.
Hydrogen peroxide is a strong bleaching agent you can use to remove rust stains from your carpet. But as it's such a strong substance, it can cause discoloration in your carpet, especially if you have a dark carpet. It's only suitable for use in white or other light carpets.
You can test it on a non-visible area of your carpet first and see if it causes any damage or discoloration. Once you confirm that it's safe to use, combine one tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide with three tablespoons of water. Put the solution in a spray bottle and apply it to the stained area.
Allow the solution to sit for at least half an hour so that it can work its magic. It'll do a great job at breaking and lifting the stain. Blot the stained area with a dry paper towel and soak the solution. The stain will come off along with it. Reapply the solution multiple times if needed to remove the stain entirely.
Carpet Stain Remover
If the methods mentioned above fail to do the job, you'd have to use stronger products to get the rust out of the carpet. And there are many brands of carpet stain removers available on the market to do just that.
Choose the carpet stain remover that matches the specifications of your carpet. Follow the instruction manual thoroughly and use it on the stained area to remove the stain. If the stain doesn't still come off, your only option is to send it to a professional carpet cleaner. They know how to get a rust stain out of carpet, especially with their specialized tools and chemicals.
What to Do After Removing the Rust Stain
If the cleaning products remain on your carpet after you've removed the stain, they can damage your carpet. Saturate the treated area with cold water and blot it with a dry paper towel until no traces of the cleaning products remain on the carpet.
Leaving the carpet damp will promote the growth of mold. So, dry it as fast as you can. Desk fans or hair dryers are great options for doing this job. Once the carpet is dry, vacuum the treated area to lift the carpet fibers and restore its original look. We have more ways to make your carpet fluffy again if you want to go the extra mile.
That’s How to Get Rust Out of Carpet!
Rust is what happens when iron has a chemical reaction with water and oxygen, creating red iron oxides. It's these red iron oxides coming off of ferrous metals that stain your carpet, clothes, and even hands. Luckily we know how to deal with those stains.
Choose the method that is most convenient for you, knowing you can try other methods as well. Make sure you rinse the treated area with cold water and dry it to also rinse out the cleaning chemicals.
Rust stains don't normally occur in carpets, but when they do, it can be a tedious task to remove them. But now your job has become much easier as you know how to get rust out of carpet with some commonly available ingredients.