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How to Remove Rust Stains From Car Carpet

How to Remove Rust Stains from Car Carpet

How to Remove Rust Stains From Car Carpet

If you need to know how to remove rust stains from car carpet, follow our step-by-step guide. We recommend green car interior detailing where possible. For instance, simple home remedy hacks using vinegar or lemon juice can get rid of stains without harmful chemicals. Also, steam cleaning is highly effective and uses minimal water.

If you’re interested in earth-friendly auto detailing, download our Eco Wash Benefit Guide:

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How to Get Rust Stains out of Car Carpet

If water finds its way into your car through leaks from doors, windows etc., it can cause problems. For example, those reddish or brown stains are signs that tools, coins, or other metal items on wet carpets have left their mark. And it’s expensive to replace car carpets. So, if you want to remove rust stains from car carpet, do the following:

Gather What You Need

Here’s what you’ll need to remove rust stains from car carpet:

  • Butter knife or plastic scraper
  • Car vacuum cleaner
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Sponge
  • Car wash brush
  • Clean towel

You may need additional cleaning products or equipment for more stubborn rust stains. For example, a steam cleaner for cars is brilliant for stain removal. But start with the basics first, then assess the damage.

Clear the Carpet Area

First, identify the source of the rust stain and get it out of your car. Also, remove the floor mats to avoid missing any hidden rust spots.

Scrape off Rust

Next, use the blunt edge of your knife to scrape away any excess rust from the stained area. This will loosen the rust stain ingrained in the carpet fibers to help get the worst off.

Vacuum to Remove Rust Stains From Car Carpet

Afterward, vacuum the car carpets to remove the loosened rust and dirt. Make sure there are no leftover rust particles otherwise they will spread once you apply your cleaning solution.

Use your crevice tool to get into awkward areas in the footwell and other places to clean the inside of your car that people often overlook.

Blot Rust Stain With Soap-Based Cleaning Solution

You can make or buy a car carpet stain remover. However, homemade remedies are the most cost-saving way to address the problem. Do as follows:

  • Mix 1 tablespoon dish soap with 2 cups warm water in a small bowl.
  • Dip the sponge into the soapy water and blot the rust stain.
  • Let the solution sit for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse with warm water.

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Dry Carpet With Towel

Use a clean, dry towel to repeatedly blot the rust stain. This will gradually transfer the rust stain from the car carpet onto the towel.

Keep using dry sections of the towel or another clean towel until the carpet is stain-free. Dry the carpets thoroughly otherwise mold can develop. If this happens, knowing how to remove mold from car interior will get rid of any musty smells from the interior of your car.

Repeat the Process for Stubborn Rust Stains

It might take a couple of goes before you successfully remove the stains. But if soap and water don’t do the trick, try a vinegar-based cleaning solution. The steps are:

  • Mix vinegar and baking soda to create a paste.
  • Apply to stain and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
  • Gently scrub stain with a suitable car wash brush or an old toothbrush.
  • Then rinse thoroughly and blot dry with a towel as in the previous steps.

Vinegar can also come in handy if you are wondering how to remove stains from car seats. But if you don’t like the smell of vinegar in your car, use lemon juice and salt as follows.

  • Mix lemon juice with an equal amount of salt to create a paste.
  • Apply the paste to the rust stain.
  • Let it sit for a few hours.
  • Scrub the area with a soft brush.
  • Wipe away the residue with a clean, damp cloth.

As with any homemade solution, do a spot test first on a hidden area to ensure you don’t discolor your carpets or upholstery.

Final Vacuum to Freshen up

Once you have successfully removed the rust stain, give the carpet another once over with the vacuum cleaner to leave it in pristine condition.

Finally, return vacuumed car mats to the car once you are sure the interior car carpet is completely dry. If you notice stains elsewhere on your car seats or headliner, try out trusted tips:

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Steam Cleaning (Optional)

Alternatively, you can steam clean car interior for a deeper clean. The high temperature and pressure of steam helps break down and lift the rust particles.

Moreover, steam cleaning will not only remove rust stains from car carpet, but also has the added benefit of disinfecting surfaces. The high temperature kills bacteria and germs, leaving your car interior clean and sanitized.

Also, we recommend this method if you want to know how to get bad smell out of car. Rust can sometimes give off a distinct odor, especially when associated with moisture or damp conditions. Knowing how to remove rust stains from car carpet can help prevent any unpleasant odors before they become a problem.

However, if you don’t have a steam cleaner, or you’d rather leave the job to the professionals, get in touch with a car interior detailing service.


Knowing how to get rust stains out of car carpet will instantly make your car look more loved. Also, looking after your carpets is more cost-effective than replacing them. Furthermore, regular car care may enhance your vehicle’s resale value.

To sum up, you can use simple store cupboard ingredients to remove rust stains from car carpets successfully. Alternatively, DIY steam cleaning is fast and effective. However, for deep-set rust stains, professional detailing is advisable. Our friendly team is here to help.

To find out more about our greener clean, download our Eco Car Wash Benefit Guide:

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