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How to Remove Rust Stains


The following instructions on removing rust stains from carpet are not meant to replace professional help - unless, of course, you want to replace it--good carpet cleaners can be expensive! But seriously, the rust stain removers you'll use can damage carpet, so you are warned. Try this at your own risk.

The solutions that best remove rust stains are acidic, so you can start with simple lemon juice. Use a spray bottle if there is a larger area that has been stained, or for smaller spots apply it more carefully to the stained fibers using a finger or a cotton swab. Let the juice remain there for about five minutes, then blot it up with a clean cloth or white paper towels (don't use ones that have colors).

Rinse the spot with a solution of Dawn or Joy dish detergent (four or five drops) mixed in a cup of warm water. Rinse and blot up the excess several times. Then use tap water to rinse out the detergent, with the same apllication-and-blotting-up technique. Dry the area with clean white cotton or paper towels that are white. Place a fan nearby to blow on the spot for faster drying.

The video here shows another basic method for getting rust stains out of carpet:

If some stain remains, there are commercial products that can remove rust stains from carpet. Be aware that they can also alter the dye in the carpet fibers, though, so use them carefully. Apply them according to directions, trying to limit the application to the stained fibers as much as possible.

If you can't get all of the rust stain out, consult with a professional carpet cleaner or see the following page for more options:

Permanent Stains

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