Dear Home Ec 101,
I recently moved some furniture only to discover rust rings on my carpet. Can you help me figure out how to safely remove the rust stains from my carpeting?
Rusty in Rucksburg
Whatever you do, do not get chlorine bleach anywhere near the rust stains. Bleach sets rust stains, this goes for all of them, whether on clothing or bathroom fixtures. (In cases where the rust is on a solid surface the chlorine bleach can only interact with the topmost layer, so it may be removal despite contact, just know it’s not going to make your life any better).
Acids are usually quite useful in removing rust stains. You can try using lemon juice or a paste of cream of tartar on the rust stain. Follow with a rinse of plain water and blot dry.
Another option for rust removal from carpet is a product called Whink which is specifically for rust removal and mentions carpeting in its use cases. I have not personally tried this product but it does have a lot of testimonials.
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