5 Ways To Remove Rust From Car Carpets

5 Ways To Remove Rust From Car Carpets


Nobody adores your car as you do. 

You show it some love by washing it regularly, making sure high-quality mitts and towels are used to avoid scratches and marks. You wax the paintwork to get it an extra shine. 

You immediately clean up spills on seats to keep it from getting stains... even polishing the vinyl dashboard and consoles to always make it look spick and span.

But one day you look down and feel like you neglected one spot… 

The carpet has portions where an orangey-brown spot is developing.

Just one look and you know it’s rust. 

Can you still remove it? Will it damage the carpet fibers? Will your carpet go back to the way it looked when you first bought it?

If you answered yes to any of the questions, you’re in the right place. Today we're going to talk about 5 effective methods to remove rust from your carpets to make them look new again. 

Let’s get right to it. 

Why Did Your Carpet Rust?

The first question that may have come to your mind when you realized the presence of rust on your carpet is how the rust got there. And there may be a few answers to that. 

It could be that you’ve left rusty tools like chains, jumper cables, screwdrivers, and car jacks lying for too long there.

It could be from leaking windows that got the carpet area soaked, causing the metal underneath to corrode.

It can even be from wet toys of the kids and pet drools.

The most common culprit of all: drink spills and wet footwear (especially during winter where road salt is most common). 

No matter what the reason is, one thing is for sure: rust makes your car carpet look awful and old.

So how do you fix that unsightly spot?

Recommended Reading: Spot Car Carpet Cleaning (The Right Way To Do It)

Removing Carpet Rust Only Takes A Few Steps

Step 1: Remove Trash, Loose Dirt, Car Mats, And The Source Of Rust

You don’t want anything to get in the way when cleaning off the rust, so take the dirty and muddy car mat out and give it a good wash too.

And since you’re already at it, clean up loose dirt using a vacuum and take the trash out of the car.

Lastly, there’s no point fixing the rusted carpet if the culprit is still lying around. Take that out for now too. But if you really have to bring it around, give it its own container or put a plastic sheet between it and the carpet in the case of tools like carjacks. 

Step 2: Scrape Off The Rust

Using any straight edge metal, say a blunt edge of a knife, scrape the rust off the stained surface. Doing this will pre-loosen the deeply ingrained rust under it - the one harder to take off.

Step 3: Vacuum Off The Loosened Rust 

Rust particles will spread once the cleaning solution is applied. To avoid this from happening, vacuum the loose rust off so you’ll only be dealing with the deeply ingrained rust layer. 

Pass the vacuum on the rusted area as well as the surrounding spaces including the footwell to suck up even the tiniest rust particle that might have flown off when you were scraping the top rust layer. 

Step 4: Soak The Spot With The Cleaning Solution

Before applying any of the 4 cleaning solutions, do a spot test in an inconspicuous part of the carpet first. Doing this will help you check if there are unwanted effects like fading or discoloration. 

If there are none, you can proceed and apply the cleaning solution.

Method 1: Lemon

Yes, lemon is an effective remedy for rust. You might have it lying around in the kitchen, so you’d be saving yourself from spending on store-bought carpet cleaners. 

lemon to remove carpet rust


First, squeeze the lemon juice generously on the contaminated spot. Then iron through with a clean white cloth.

Next, wipe the area with another piece of lemon. This agitates the rust and adds more cleaning solution to penetrate deeper into the carpet fibers. 

Lastly, rinse it off with warm water using a car cleaning gun and dry it off with the air-only function of the jet cleaning tool. 

Method 2: Lemon Acid

If using lemon alone doesn’t do the trick, then lemon acid will probably do it. 

First, heat one teaspoon of lemon acid powder dissolved in one glass of water.

Next, pour the hot acid lemon on the rust spot then wait for the stain to disappear. 

Lastly, rinse it off using the car cleaning gun with warm water in it. 

Recommended Reading: Car Carpet Cleaning Tool Every Car Owner Should Have

Method 3: Baking Soda And Hydrogen Peroxide

Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with half a glass of hydrogen peroxide inside the car cleaning gun container. 

hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to remove carpet rust


Spray the solution on the stained area of the carpet. After 5 minutes of letting it sit, blot off the excess moisture using a clean microfiber towel. 

Replace the solution with pure water in the car cleaning gun and use it to rinse off the solution. 

Repeat the process until no trace of rust is left on the carpet spot.

Next, sprinkle baking soda on the stained portion and vacuum it off after letting it sit for at least 10 minutes. 

Lastly, use the air function of the car cleaning gun to blow off excess moisture to expedite drying the carpet surface. 

Method 4: Acetic Acid 

First, prepare a glass of water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar essence. 

Next, using enameled dishes, heat the solution to 80-90°C and soak the stained spot with it for 5 minutes. 

Use the car cleaning gun to rinse off the solution, adding half a tablespoon of ammonia per 1 liter of water. 

As the last step, blow off the excess moisture using the car cleaning gun air function to dry the surface faster and remove the putrid smell of the acids used. 

Method 5: Oxalic Acid

Dissolve a few potassium oxalate crystals in one teaspoon of warm water then apply the solution on the carpet stain using a cotton swab or a clean microfiber towel. 

Watch the stain as it disappears. As it does, rinse off the solution using the car cleaning gun and dry it off using the air function of the tool. 


The first few methods should be enough to remove rust stains on your carpet. However, if the stain went unnoticed for years on the carpet, especially for less visible portions like the area under the seats, using more aggressive solutions like the acetic or the oxalic acid might be necessary. 

Whatever works, always use protective equipment, gloves at the least to protect your skin from any harmful effects of the acids used. 

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