How to Remove Rust Stains from Vinyl Flooring

Although vinyl flooring is resistant to most spills and stains there are a few things that will leave a lasting mark, and rust is one of them. Learning to remove rust stains from your vinyl flooring yourself will save you money and help maintain the look of your floor for years to come. There are a few different options that you can try ranging from home remedies to store bought cleaners. Before you tackle any stain it is important to understand that you don’t want to worsen the stain by fading the area with cleaning products. Make sure that you avoid anything that is a high bleach concentration and run any product you aren’t sure of past the manufacturer before using it.

Homemade Remedy

The average household will have these everyday products, but if not they are also relatively inexpensive to pick up at your local grocery store. Start by getting vinegar, baking soda, a bowl of water, and rags ready and head to the rust stained area. Spread a layer of baking soda over the rust stain and wet your rag with the vinegar. Gently massage the rust-stained area for a few minutes and then rinse the floor with water. You will likely need to repeat this process a few times until the rust stain has lifted. The concept behind this is that the baking soda will oxidize the stain and the vinegar will help to loosen it leaving you with a floor that looks like new. If the baking soda doesn’t seem to be enough you can also try wiping the area with rubbing alcohol after rinsing it with water and before applying more baking soda.

Store Bought Cleaner

Most home improvement and grocery stores will carry products that you can use to remove rust stains from your vinyl floor. Look for an oxalic acid solution powder but keep in mind that this powder is toxic so you’re going to want to wear gloves and maybe even a mask while you’re using it. Follow the instructions on the container and as always it’s recommended to test the cleaner first (if you saved any scraps from the installation it would be a good idea to test the cleaner on a scrap piece of vinyl first). As mentioned above, it is important to avoid products that have a high concentration of bleach. These products can cause even bigger issues like leaving white splotches that cannot be removed. You are also going to want to avoid chlorinated floor cleansers, for the same reason.

The key is to prevent rust stains from occurring in the first place. A few good ways to help ensure you don’t encounter rust stains are by avoiding using nails to install your vinyl flooring, not splashing large amounts of water onto the floor, and using a shoe rack to avoid puddles and water accumulation during wet seasons. The team at The Floor Shop has lots of experience removing stains from a variety of flooring. If you are having trouble give our office a call and our educated team would be more than happy to give you some advice.

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