Removing Rust Stains from Carpets

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There is nothing more annoying than having beautiful carpets that are slowly getting stained through wear and tear. As you stand looking at your carpet and can begin to see shapes forming from the stains you know its time to tackle the task of de-staining the rug. A word to the wise is if you are trying to remove organic stains you need to be pretty careful how you do it or you risk making things much worse and more permanent.

It may seem odd to discuss how to remove rust from a carpet, but it is a common and stubborn stain that can result from leaky windows, wet toys, furniture and other sources throughout the house. To remove it properly you must have patience and a bit of know how in order to be effective.

The first line of defense if you are dealing with a rust stain on the rug is to allow it to dry completely. Once the surface area of the carpet is dry you can begin to use a dull butter knife or other scraping tool to remove any excess rust that will flake off. The more you can pry off before you start cleaning the better chances you will have at getting rid of it for good. This must be done carefully avoiding pulling the threads or snagging the carpet fibers. If you have Berber carpet an incidental pry could inadvertently lead to a long unravel throughout the entire room, so use patience and be careful. Once that is complete you will have a better idea of how large an area you have to deal with.

The second step can be done several ways. To decide which way is the most desirable for your carpet it is best to try out the cleansing agents in conspicuous area like behind the TV or under the couch in case they cause unintentional staining or bleeding.

The first solution you may try is mixing a mild detergent that contains no alkalis with cool water. Cool water should always be used on carpet stains to avoid setting them in. Hot water will simply set in the stains making them even more stubborn. You do not want to use anti-bacterial versions of detergent and if you can find one that is not colored too deeply your rate of success will be higher. With a clean cloth, blot –don’t rub the stain until it seems to be lifting up. You may have to rinse out the sponge several times and should do so often to keep the water clean. If this doesn’t work then you should allow the stain to re-dry and continue with the next remedy.

Lemon juice is always a popular stain remover. If you mix lemon juice with just a tad of salt it will form a mild abrasive cleaner. For rust stains, it is recommended to put it in a spray bottle and lightly saturate the stained area. Then the blotting procedure from above should be continued.

Another at home remedy for removing rust is to create a paste with water and cream of tartar. When complete, it should be roughly close to the consistency of toothpaste. This mixture can be spread onto the stain, allowed to sit for a while and then blotted away with cool damp water.

Vinegar is also another useful product to use on rust stains. It can be liberally poured directly on the stain itself and let to dry or set in. In a few hours you will be able to ascertain whether or not it worked. The area can then be blotted with a cool, damp cloth to see if anymore of the rust lifts. If the smell is pungent a light lemon mixture will help to absolve it.

If none of these seem to be working well, then chances are you either need a professional or should pay a visit to a large home improvement store that will stock products especially designed for rust and metal stains. These products will probably not be labeled for carpet cleaning, however; chatting with the salesman will give you a good idea of whether or not it will be effective.

Rust is a difficult stain to remove because it is caused by a chemical reaction in nature. Normally in an outside environment rust is a result of the oxidation of metal through humidity. When these stains hit your carpet they can be stubborn and ugly. If none of the household remedies seem to work adequately then you may want to call a professional. There are cleaning companies that specialize in rust removal and carpet stain removal whereas others may not perform anything more than standard steam cleaning. It would be smart to ask them how they handle rust before they pay you a visit.

Probably one of the biggest factors with carpet staining, especially rust is trying to put stain removal into action fairly quickly. The longer it is left to sit on the carpet the more difficult it will be to remove. Always keep in mind that any product, even organic household ones can stain, bleach or damage delicate carpet fibers. Cleaners you find in the store specifically intended for carpets are not a sure thing either and should be tested first. One good idea when you have carpet installed is to keep several pieces of the remnants in the cleaning closet to use for just this reason. This way you never risk further destroying your carpet when you are trying to remove a rust stain.

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