Removing Rust Stains from Vinyl Flooring

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What You'll Need
Baking soda
Clean cloth
Bucket and mop

Even though vinyl is quite durable, removing rust stains as quickly as possible is necessary to prevent permanent staining. Vinyl floors are reasonably cheap and easy to install and are frequently used in kitchens and laundry rooms. The high likelihood of water spills in these areas increases the chance that a rust stain will form on the vinyl. Thankfully, removing rust stains from vinyl flooring is a simple task that can be completed in minutes.

Step 1 - Clear Area

Move any items in the room that may hinder your access to the rust stain. This will be especially recommended in utility rooms where dishwashers or washing machines have spilt water onto the floor. Take care when moving any appliances so that you do not scrape the vinyl flooring. One precaution that you can use is to lay a plywood panel on the floor then move the appliance over it. Always use two people when moving heavy objects to help prevent floor damage.

Step 2 - Add Sprinkle Abrasive

Cover the stained area with baking soda. The baking soda will provide an abrasive surface to help remove the stain. Don't make the layer of powder too thick. In most cases, a light covering will be more than sufficient.

Step 3 - Scrub with Vinegar

Dip a clean cloth into vinegar and use it to scrub the area covered in baking soda. This will form a light paste on the floor that will help to penetrate the rust stain. You will need to continue dipping the cloth into the vinegar to help remove the stain. If it is a particularly large or tough stain, you may also need to apply extra baking soda. Continue to reapply and scrub the area until the stain has been removed.

Step 4 - Rinse

When you have successfully removed the stain, rinse the area liberally with water and a little detergent before drying the cleaned area thoroughly. If you have trouble removing the stain completely, you may want to try using a 5% Oxalic acid solution or a commercial product such as Barkeeper's Friend. If you use Oxalic acid, you must wear protective gloves and goggles and ensure that children and pets are kept away from the area because it is a very poisonous substance. Suitable respiratory equipment is also recommended when using Oxalic acid.

Step 5 - Prevent Recurrence

In order to prevent rust from recurring on your vinyl floor, you need to take care not to spill water and make sure that any spills are dried thoroughly and quickly. Ensure that taps are turned off completely when not in use and try to minimize the frequency of exposure to wet coats and shoes if possible. Additionally, consider turning off water supplies if water-bearing household good are not going to be used for an extended period of time.