4 Ways To Remove Rust Stains From A Carpet

Alex Mcil author
Alex Mcil

Rust stains are some of the most difficult stains to remove from a carpet, as using conventional means such as normal washing or chlorine bleach will often not work to remove them. In some instances, like with using chlorine bleach, the rust stain may end up being permanent and you wouldn’t be able to remove them at all!

Thankfully, there are some ways to get the job done yourself and have those rust stains lifted off your carpet. The best part is that you wouldn’t have to spend too much money to do it, either! Most rust stains can be removed by using items that are likely already in your home: salt, lemon, cream of tartar, vinegar, and of course normal dish soap. 

Before you begin trying to remove the stain off your carpet, it is important to be extra sure that the stain on the carpet is actually a rust stain and not a rust-colored stain, like some wine stains. 

Remove the source of rust

Before we even treat the carpet for rust removal, it is important to identify where the rust was even coming from in the first place. Check and see if there are any water leaks that are coming from areas near the carpet, or if there is a piece of furniture that is rusting and flaking onto the carpet. Once you’ve identified the source of the rust, it is important to remove or block off the source of the rust before you begin cleaning, you can also use a vacuum cleaner to remove loose particles. We don’t want you to waste your effort in cleaning up the rust stain, only to have it reappear, after all!

The salt and Lemon Juice method

This is the safest option to use on your carpet! If you’re unsure of the material of your carpet and don’t know how delicate your carpet is, this method is the best option for you. The best part is that despite how safe it is to use, it is still quite effective at removing rust stains! We do highly recommend that you test the lemon juice on a small piece of the carpet before using it to remove stains so as to ensure that the dyes of your carpet are unaffected. Scrap away any large pieces of rust before proceeding. This can be done with a butter knife or fork, and you can gently pry it off the carpet.

First, you will want to put some salt over the stain, making sure to lightly dust it over. There is no need to coat or smother the stain — just a light layer will do the job. Next, squeeze a lemon over the area and get the lemon juice over the area and work the liquid into the stain, allowing the salt to dissolve faster. For better results, we highly recommend leaving the carpet out in the sun if possible, as the ultraviolet rays from the sun will hasten the entire process faster. If you are unable to move the carpet into the sun or the carpet dyes are sensitive to sunlight, don’t fret! You can just allow it to dry on its own, though do note you will have to wait for a prolonged period of time. 

The vinegar method

The vinegar method is very similar to the lemon and salt method but only requires that you use vinegar. Vinegar is slightly stronger than lemon, so it’s even more important that you test the vinegar on a small portion of the carpet to see if it stains or removes the dyes of the carpet before using it to clean.

Soak the stained part of the carpet in vinegar and allow it to saturate into the carpet for five minutes. Then, use water (either on a damp cloth or washing it through soaking) to remove the vinegar from the area. You can repeat this until the rust stain is gone.

The dish soap and water method

Dishwashing soap is also great for not just removing stains from your plates, but from your carpets too! Before attempting to use dish soap to clean your carpet, test the dish soap on a small bit of the carpet before applying.

Use a mixture of two tablespoons of dish soap to one tablespoon of household ammonia, and combine that with two cups of water that is warm. Using a clean, white cloth (white is important, as colored cloths may stain the carpet), soak in the solution and place the damp cloth over the affected spot on your carpet. You will have to leave the cloth on for about five minutes to ensure that the carpet saturates fully. After that, use another dry, clean cloth to dab it dry. Repeat this process until the rust is lifted off the carpet completely, making sure not to use a stained part of the cloth each time. Once it’s been cleaned, use a cloth soaked in warm water to remove the soap residue and let it dry. 

Using the Laundry to Get Rid of Rust Stains

If your carpet is small enough to chuck into the washing machine, do check what settings can be used for the carpet. This information can normally be found on the care label that may be on your carpet. 

Use a strong laundry detergent when trying to machine wash your carpet, and check that the stain has been removed once the washing has been completed. If you find the stain reappears after air drying, you can always repeat this process until it is removed.


These methods are some of the safer methods to use when cleaning your carpet of rust stains. It is important to always check if your carpet is safe to clean using these methods. Materials that are more delicate like wool or silk should not be cleaned with vinegar as this might lead to fiber damage and discoloration. There are also some good options for machines that clean floors and carpets.

If you do find a piece of furniture or appliance that is rusting, you can use WD-40 to not only remove the rust from the object but also coat it in a thin layer of protective oils that will prevent further oxidization and flaking. This way, you can prevent any further instances of rust stains forming on your carpets in the future. 

1. What are rust stains?

Rust stains are brown or reddish-brown stains that are caused by iron oxide. They can occur on clothing, carpet, upholstery, and other fabrics. Rust stains can be difficult to remove, and may require special cleaners or treatments.

2. How do rust stains get on carpets?

Rust stains on carpets are usually the result of something being left on the carpet that has rust on it. This could be a piece of furniture, a pot or pan, or even a person’s shoes. Rust can also transfer to carpeting from other materials like clothing or towels.

3. What are the consequences of leaving rust on carpets?

If you leave rust stains on carpets, they will eventually cause the carpet to rot. The rust will also spread to other parts of the house, causing further damage.

4. What are some home remedies for rust stains?

There are a few home remedies that can be used to remove rust stains from carpets. One is to mix together equal parts of vinegar and water and apply it to the stain with a cloth. Another is to make a paste out of baking soda and water and apply it to the stain. There are also a few commercial rust removal products that can be used.

5. What are some commercial products for rust stains?

There are many commercial products available for rust stains on carpets. Some of these products are specifically designed for rust stains, while others may be general purpose cleaners that can be used for a variety of stains like OxiClean, Sunny & Honey, Goof Off, Krud Kutter.

6. How effective are home remedies and commercial products for stains?

There are a number of home remedies and commercial products available for rust stains on carpets. However, it is important to note that the effectiveness of these products can vary depending on the severity of the stain and the type of carpet. For example, some home remedies may work well on light rust stains, while more severe stains may require a commercial product.

Some home remedies for rust stains on carpets include using vinegar, lemon juice, or baking soda.

7. What are some tips for preventing stains on carpets?

There are a few things you can do to help prevent rust stains on your carpets. First, if you have any iron or steel furniture, make sure to place it on top of a rug or mat to avoid contact with the carpet. Second, keep your carpet clean and free of dirt and debris that can cause rust stains. Third, if you do get a rust stain on your carpet, act quickly to remove it.

8. How do you remove rust stains from carpets?

There are a few ways that you can remove rust stains from carpets, and which method you use will depend on the severity of the stain and the type of carpet you have. If the rust stain is fresh and relatively small, you can try using a rust removal product that is designed for use on carpets. These products can be found at most hardware or home improvement stores.

9. What are some tips for cleaning rust stains from carpets?

If you have rust stains on your carpet, there are a few things you can do to try to remove them. First, you can try using a rust removal product. These can be found at most hardware stores. Follow the directions on the product and be sure to test it on an inconspicuous area of the carpet first to make sure it doesn’t damage the carpet or cause any other problems.

10. How do you prevent rust from returning to carpets?

The best way to prevent rust stains from returning to your carpets is to remove them as soon as they occur. You can do this by blotting the stain with a clean, dry cloth to absorb as much of the rust as possible. Then, treat the area with a rust removal product according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the rust is gone, rinse the area with clean water and blot it dry.