How to Get Rust Out of a Carpet

Want to know how to get rust out of a carpet?

Rust can be a pesky thing to deal with. Any metallic item that sits on your carpet has the potential to create a rusty stain after a while.

The good news is that you don’t have to chuck out your carpet and give up. You can rescue your carpet by following some easy steps. 

You also don’t need advanced knowledge or a big budget. Many rust stains can easily be dealt with using the right home remedy or product.

This article is a comprehensive guide to dealing with how to remove the toughest carpet stains caused by rust. Whether you are dealing with a light, nylon, or outdoor rug, we have got you covered.

What this article covers:

How to Get Rust Stains Out of a Carpet

how to get a rust stain out of carpet

Step 1: Remove the Source

Before getting started with cleaning, you need to ensure that the source of the rust is off the carpet.

Look at the stain and what caused the rust residue. A metal side table or plant stand will probably be the source of the rust stain.

This is because rust is the result of an oxidation process when certain metals, such as iron or steel, come into contact with oxygen and moisture for a long period of time.

Remove the item from the carpet and put it on one side. You may want to consider moving it off the carpet permanently to avoid future stains.

Alternatively, move it to a darker carpet to avoid obvious rust stains in the future.

Step 2: Scrape the Rust Off

Next, you want to scrape the rust off using a blunt object, such as a butter knife. Be gentle as you scrape the rust residue off the carpet.

You should notice rust particles flaking off the carpet. 

Take care to not rip or damage your carpet during this process. If you have a rug made from a softer material, you can consider using a plastic object to avoid damage while scraping.

You can clean up the rust flakes using a vacuum. You will know this step is done if you notice that the stain has become lighter in color.

Step 3: Test Your Cleaning Solution

Your best bet for removing rust from a carpet is to use professional carpet cleaning chemicals.

For this purpose, a targeted product designed to deal with oxidation and eliminate rust stains, such as Rust Out, will be most effective.

how to get rust stains out of carpet

But before applying the product, you should test it on an inconspicuous part of your carpet first. 

Apply a small drop of the product and see how it reacts with the carpet.

Give the product some time to fully develop (10-15 minutes) to see if any unwanted reactions occur.

If it doesn’t bleach the carpet or damage the fibers, you can move on to the next step.

If the product had an adverse effect on the carpet, try one of the home remedies listed below.

Step 4: Clean Rust Stain

Use a cotton swab and apply the product directly onto the stain.

At this point, you should see the stain starting to disappear. Once this happens, take water and rinse the affected area to dilute the product.

Take a clean white cloth and blot the affected area. If some remnants of rust remain, you can repeat this process.

Repeat as many times as necessary to get rid of the stain.

How to Get Rust Stains Out of a Light Carpet

how to get rust stain out of carpet

Step 1: Remove the Source of the Rust

Rust stains are an eyesore but even more so when they appear on a light carpet and stick out like a sore thumb.

Before getting your light carpet back to its original color, remove any furniture or ornaments that caused the rust stain to appear in the first place.

Step 2: Scrape Off

The next step is to gently scrape off the rust as much as possible.

Use a dull knife or a spoon and gently scrape off as much of the rust residue as possible. You can vacuum up some of the rust flakes before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Apply Cleaning Solution

Now, before you decide on a cleaning solution, let’s talk about what won’t work for getting a rust stain out of a light carpet.

When trying to lighten and brighten any stain on a light carpet, many people will turn to their household bleach.

After all, bleach is considered an effective solution for how to remove pen ink from carpets.

But bleach is not effective for removing rust stains.

In fact, bleach will worsen the rust stain and cause further discoloration to occur.

So, if you can’t clean the carpet with bleach, what should you use?

One option is to mix a tablespoon of ammonia with 2 cups of warm water and pour it directly onto the rust stain.

remove rust from carpet

Ammonia has incredible cleaning properties and is safe for use on a variety of carpets, which is why it is also recommended for people who want to know how to get bonding glue out of a carpet.

You can also use white vinegar or lemon juice and saturate the stain with that.

Whatever cleaning solution you choose, let it sit for a few minutes.

Step 4: Blot

After waiting for the cleaning solution to act, take a clean white cloth or a paper towel and blot the stained area. You should see the rust transferring from the carpet onto the cloth.

Repeat the blotting process until the stain has completely disappeared.

If one of the above remedies was not effective in removing the stain, consider opting for a professional cleaning solution or repeat Steps 3 and 4 until the desired result is achieved.

If you choose a professional cleaning solution, use a targeted spot or stain remover, such as Pig Out (the remedy for how to get grease out of a carpet).

This is because many mainstream carpet cleaning pre-sprays have bleaching properties that may carry the risk of worsening the rust stain.

how to remove rust stains from carpet

How To Get Rust Out of An Outdoor Rug

Step 1: Scrape Rust Off

Outdoor rugs can be rust magnets. This is because outdoor furniture is often made from the very materials (iron or steel) that cause rust.

This, coupled with the moisture and elements outdoor rugs are exposed to means they can easily get rust stains. Far easier, and quicker, than indoor rugs.

If you want to remove rust stains from your outdoor rug, you want to remove any objects that may contribute to rust from the rug. 

Try cleaning your rust outdoors to make the process slightly easier. After all, you don’t want rust and dirt to reach the interior of your house.

Then, start scraping off as much of the rust as you can. 

For this, any dull know or a scraping tool (such as a Gum Getter) will work.

how to remove rust stain from carpet

Scrape gently until the rust starts flaking off. Use a dustpan and brush to collect the flaky remnants of rust. You should see the stain lightening in color.

Step 2: Apply Lemon Juice and Salt

Many outdoor rugs are made from natural fibers or nylon so you want to use a non-abrasive cleaning solution.

If you have a nylon outdoor rug, scroll down to find out how to clean that type of rug.

If your carpet is made from natural fibers, you will need a lemon (or artificial lemon juice) and salt. 

Apply the lemon juice directly onto the stain. Then, sprinkle the area with salt. You can use normal table salt or sea salt.

You can also opt to mix the lemon juice and salt beforehand before applying them to the stain. 

This combination functions as a mild cleaner that won’t damage the natural fibers of your outdoor rug.

Step 3: Add Hot Water

Next, you want to add two cups of hot water to the stained (and now treated) area. This will dissolve the cleaning solution and the stain should start to clear.

Use a towel to absorb the excess liquid and allow the area to dry completely before moving the furniture back.

how to remove rust from carpet

For a more prominent stain or one that remains after conducting the above process, you will need a more potent mixture.

In such cases, you can mix a cup of white vinegar with 30ml lemon juice and a tablespoon of salt.

Apply this mixture directly onto the stain and let it sit for 2 hours.

Then, blot the area dry with a towel until the stain has cleared.

How To Remove Rust Stains from A Nylon Carpet

Step 1: Mix Dish Detergent and Water

Nylon carpets are all the rage right now. And why not? They are durable, they hide stains and they can be used indoors or outdoors.

But there are some drawbacks to these types of carpets, specifically that they can also fall victim to rust stains.

Another drawback of this type of carpet is that you have to be careful what you clean it with because many cleaning agents, and even home remedies, may cause the design or color of your nylon carpet to fade.

Luckily, we have got just the trick to remove rust from your nylon carpet.

Before doing anything, remove all furniture and objects from the carpet and start scraping as much of the rust off as possible. Any blunt or plastic knife will do.

Then, mix a cleaning solution comprising 2 cups of warm water and a tablespoon of dish detergent.

Dish detergent is often recommended as the best solution for dealing with rust stains, which is why people use it to clean ovens or when they need to remove old oil stains from carpets.

Do not use a dark-colored dish detergent as this may affect the color of your carpet, especially if it is light in color.

If you are worried about this, test some of the dish detergents on a small inconspicuous part of the carpet to see how it reacts.

Step 2: Blot

remove rust stains from carpet

Use a sponge and gently blot some of the detergent mixtures onto the rust stain. Do not rub as this will cause the stain to worsen.

After repeatedly blotting the stain and ensuring that the detergent has penetrated the carpet, let the detergent mixture soak in for a few minutes.

During this phase, the soap will ensure that the rust stain starts loosening up.

Step 3: Dry

Grab a clean white cloth and start soaking up the excess soapy mixture. You should now see the rust being transferred from the carpet onto the cloth.

Use a new, clean part of the cloth each time you soak up more of the soapy mixture.

Continue this process until the stain stops being transferred onto the cloth. When done, allow the stained area to dry and air out completely before returning the furniture onto the carpet.


After reading this, you should be well-equipped to handle any rust stains that may ruin the appearance of your carpet.

Cleaning rust stains with a little help from professional carpet cleaning products that deal specifically with rust is probably the easiest way to get rid of them.

But, there are also some remedies that can be very effective, especially if your carpet is made from nylon or natural fibers.

So, why not tackle those rust stains before they get any worse? You may be surprised at how quickly you get your carpet back to its stain-free appearance.

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