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How to Remove Rust Stains From Laminate Flooring

Updated February 21, 2017

Laminate flooring is an alternative to more expensive hardwood and it has a reputation for being particularly durable and stain-resistant. Laminate floors can receive rust stains if an item is stored for a long time and the floor isn't regularly cleaned. Fortunately removing the rust stain requires little effort or cost, provided you have the right materials to do the job efficiently without damaging the floor surface.

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  1. Prepare your floor for scrubbing. Dampen a soft sponge with warm water and rub the stained floor in gentle, circular motions to remove any surface dust or dirt.

  2. Pour 1/4 cup of cream of tartar powder into a large plastic container. Add 2 tbsp of fresh or bottled lemon juice. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until you have a paste. If the paste is too dry, add additional lemon juice; if the paste is too watery, add additional cream of tartar until you have a spreadable consistency.

  3. Use a spoon or sponge to apply a layer of the paste into the rust stain on the floor. The paste should completely cover the stain and be thick enough so that you can barely see the rust through the paste. Let the paste soak into the stain for 30 minutes.

  4. Apply the abrasive scrubbing sponge to the paste and scrub the floor in gentle, circular motions to work the paste into the rust and lift the rust off the floor. Stop scrubbing once you remove the rust.

  5. Dampen a clean washcloth with warm water and wipe away both the paste and the rust with the cloth. Dry the floor with a towel or paper towel.

  6. Tip

    If the rust stain does not lift after 30 minutes, prepare a second paste and let it sit for 30 more minutes.


    Do not attempt to clean a laminate floor with abrasive chemical cleaners, soap detergents, scouring brushes, steel wool, wire brushes or steam cleaners; all of these items strip laminate floors of their protective coating and increase the likelihood of stains.

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Things You'll Need

  • Soft sponge
  • Warm water
  • Large plastic container
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup cream of tartar powder
  • Wooden spoon
  • Abrasive sponge
  • Wash cloth

About the Author

Hannah Wahlig began writing and editing professionally in 2001. Her experience includes copy for newspapers, journals and magazines, as well as book editing. She is also a certified lactation counselor. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mount Holyoke College, and Master's degrees in education and community psychology from the University of Massachusetts.

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