Rust stains on your concrete? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Rust is one of the worst enemies of a lovely concrete driveway, walkway or patio. Rust penetrates porous concrete and leaves an unsightly orange stain that can be difficult to remove. It’s a particularly common issue for those who use well water because it can contain significant quantities of iron.
When you eventually realise that your fine grey driveway has an orange tinge, the stain has usually been months or years in development and can be tough to remove as a result.
When faced with rust, one’s initial reaction may be to grab the popular cleaning remedies, like bleach or a power washer, but these treatments are ineffective against rust.
To remove rust stains from concrete, use an acid-based cleaner to dissolve the rust and restore the appearance of your patio or driveway. Rust cleansers can be as simple as lemon juice, vinegar, a bottle of Coke or as powerful as hydrochloric acid and trisodium phosphate.
Worry not because we’ll look at how to remove rust stains from concrete and how to prevent rust from staining your concrete in the future.
Ways To Get rid of Rust Stains.
There are numerous methods for eliminating rust stains from concrete. Some of them employ common household products like vinegar, lemon juice, lemonade, baking soda, laundry detergent and even Coca-Cola.
While these common household goods will handle minor rust stains, but if it is present for a long timeand is dark orwidespread,it will require a more industrial remedy. Chemicals like oxalic acid, trisodium phosphate, hydrochloric acid and muriatic acid are used in this process.
When working with industrial-strength chemicals, it’s critical to follow all safety precautions. Thick waterproof gloves for the hands, clothing that covers any exposed skin, safety goggles and in rare instances, a respirator are all recommended.
Also, before applying any treatment to a visible section of your concrete, make sure to spot-test it. Specific procedures will discolour certain types of concrete, potentially exacerbating an existing problem.
Apply a little amount of cleaner to the least visible corner of the concrete, let it sit for a few minutes, and then clean it off to ensure there is no stain.
1. Lemon and Vinegar
Vinegar and lemon juice provides a surprisingly easy and effective technique to remove stains. You’ll need lemon juice or vinegar as well as a wire scrub brush or a nylon brush if you want a gentler approach. Rather than squeezing lemons yourself, acquire a huge bottle of lemon juice to make things easy.
Begin by soaking the stain in lemon juice for 10 to 15 minutes. After that, use the brush to get to work. The goal is for the acid in the lemon juice or vinegar to react with the rust and dissolve it. Vinegar, which is more acidic and hence better capable of removing rust stains, is used for tougher rust stains.
To eliminate the rust and the lemon juice or vinegar, rinse the concrete with a hose after scrubbing. While this procedure works well for minor rust spots, it is inconvenient for older and widespread stains.
2. Laundry Detergent and Baking Soda
Begin by combining equal parts of laundry detergent and baking soda in enough cold water to make a paste. Spread the paste evenly over the rust stains with the paintbrush, thoroughly covering the stain. Allow an hour for the paste to seep into the stain. Spray the paste with water every now and then to keep it from drying out before you remove it. After an hour, scrub and rinse with a hose.
Baking soda provides an alkaline solution, which dissolves rust. The dissolved rust is captured by the washing detergent, allowing you to rinse it away. Instead of deep orange stains, this approach is also ideal for minor stains.
3. Oxalic Acid
One of the time-honoured ways for eliminating rust stains from concrete is oxalic acid, although it can be tough to obtain. Oxalic acid is available in powdered form at several big-box stores as well as speciality paint stores.
This procedure will require a bucket, mop, and scrub brush. Mix half a cup of powdered oxalic acid with a gallon of warm water. Only mix in an acid-resistant glass or plastic container just as you would with other acids.
Using a mop, apply the solution to the stains. Allow 5 to 10 minutes for the solution to work into the stain, making sure not to let the area dry. After that, scrub the stain using a brush. It’s important to remember that this is an acid, thus following the precautions outlined above is crucial to utilising this product properly. Rinse with water after scrubbing. If the stain persists, repeat the treatment.
4. Trisodium Phosphate (TSP)
This chemical is widely available at home improvement stores; it will dissolve rust, allowing you to rinse it away.
Using TSP requires protective equipment because it will burn skin and eyes on contact, as well as a scrub brush and a bucket for mixing. To begin, combine half a cup of TSP and half a gallon of hot water. Allow approximately 20 minutes for the mixture to rest on the rust stains. Scrub the stains in a circular motion with a nylon brush. This ensures that the TSP is in contact with all rust particles. After that, give it a good rinse. Reapply if the stain isn’t totally gone.
5. Hydrochloric Acid
Few procedures can match the strength of hydrochloric acid when it comes to eliminating stubborn rust stains. Because this chemical is so acidic, it effectively disintegrates rust. Just remember that rust isn’t the only thing that will disintegrate. It’s one of the most toxic chemicals for removing rust, thus it should only be used as a last resort and with extreme caution. Gloves, goggles and clothing that covers exposed skin are mandatory.
To begin, combine two parts of hydrochloric acid and one part of water in a mixing bowl. Allow the mixture to sit for up to 10 minutes on the stain. Do not allow more than 10 minutes for the acid to sit on the concrete as the concrete may turn blue, resulting in a new form of stain to deal with. Scrub the rust away with a brush and then rinse the surface.
Ways To Prevent Rust Stains on Concrete:
The easiest method to fix a rust stain on a concrete patio, driveway or garage floor is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Following are some ways to keep your concrete rust-free:
1. Concrete Sealer
For the best protection against rust stains, seal your concrete. Concrete sealer is applied to the concrete in the same way that stain is applied to wood, and it soaks into the pores of the concrete to protect it from stains. It’s available at any home improvement store. Reapply the sealer every 2-3 years for the optimum effects. Make sure to know the difference between sealed and polished concrete.
2. Do not Place Metal Furniture on Concrete
Metal-bottomed furniture should not be placed directly on concrete. If you must, attempt to take it down during rainstorms. Rust stains are most commonly caused by wet outdoor metal furniture, but this can be easily avoided with a little planning.
3. Non-Corroding Bar Support
When laying your concrete, make sure you use non-corroding bar supports. Water gets to the metal support bars in the concrete, causing rust spots. The easiest way to avoid this is to take precautions, such as paying for and installing non-corroding foundation bars.
4. Check Your Home for Leaks
Rust is caused by moisture, so if you notice stains on your internal concrete, have it inspected for leaks. The sooner you stop the leak, the better because moisture may inflict a lot more harm than just a few stains that can be readily removed.
If you have the funds, the easiest way to remove stains from concrete is to use a cleaner made specifically for that purpose. Use a strong acid, such as hydrochloric acid or muriatic acid, to remove stubborn stains. Home remedies such as lemon juice vinegar, baking soda and even a can of Coca-Cola can be used to remove lighter stains.
Regardless of the solution you pick, when cleaning rust from concrete, apply the appropriate safety precautions, such as gloves, eye protection and skin coverings.