Do you struggle with rust stains on your concrete driveway, porch or walkway?
Rust stains can be unsightly, and distract you from the beauty of your front or backyard.
These stains can occur for many different reasons, but one common cause is unsealed wrought iron patio furniture.
Regardless of the ultimate cause, it can seem daunting to try to remove rust from concrete by yourself.
Read on to learn how to handle minor and major rust stains on concrete, as well as when you should leave it to the experts.
The Best Ways to Remove Rust From Concrete
The prevalence of rust stains will depend greatly on the iron levels in your water, or the type of furniture you have outside.
Firstly, you will have to determine the extent of the staining before choosing the best method of action.
Minor stains are lighter in color, and often do not cover a very large surface area on the concrete.
Major stains, on the other hand, tend to cover a large surface area and appear very dark.
Follow these steps to improve the look of your concrete, without sacrificing too much time.
Removing Minor Stains
The first step in removing minor stains is to clean the area with soap and water. Dirt and debris will make it more difficult to remove the rust.
Next, pour pure lemon juice, vinegar, or another acidic compound onto the surface of the stain, and let it sit for at least ten minutes.
Follow up by scrubbing it for at least five minutes with a stiff brush. Avoid using metal brushes as these can damage the concrete surface. For delicate areas, a sponge may be a better option.
Lastly, rinse the area with clean water to reveal diminished rust stains. You may also want to dry it slightly if it is on a painted surface.
Removing Major Stains
Major stains will often require a similar process to minor ones, but you will likely need to use heavy-duty rust removers.
It is still important to try using less harsh solutions first, such as lemon juice or vinegar, especially in indoor areas.
But, if this does not work, use chemical cleaners in a well-ventilated area. Wear eye and skin protection to avoid any contact.
Products with oxalic acid often work the best when trying to remove rust from concrete, as these literally lift rust from the surface without scratching it.
Trisodium Phosphate is another chemical that may work well for removal, but precaution should always be taken when using these chemicals.
Using a dense, heavy-duty nylon brush is usually the best way to get stains out, but be careful in more delicate areas.
The use of a pressure washer or pressure washing company can also be great for difficult or hard to reach stains.
Consider Hiring an Expert
At the end of the day, it can be incredibly difficult to remove rust from concrete by yourself.
Moreover, while it is possible to greatly diminish the appearance of rust stains, industrial tools may be needed to get rid of them completely.
The chemicals that are sometimes needed to remove the stains are also dangerous and may be better handled by a professional.
Learn more about rust stain removal and prevention in our post of areas of the home that are most likely to acquire them.