How to Remove Rust from Concrete

How to Remove Rust from Concrete

No one likes seeing rust stains on their driveway or sidewalk, and it can be a mystery to some people how these stains came to be there. Rust stains can easily form on any surfaces, including concrete. 

When metal gets wet, it goes under chemical processes and creates rust, and it can leave rust stains onto your concrete surfaces. Whatever cause it may come from, rusts can tarnish your home’s appearance.

It is important to keep in mind that rust stains that have been on the concrete may take a longer time before it can be cleaned. With that being said, we will break this tutorial into two parts: removing minor rust stains and removing major rust stains. If you do not know how long the stain has been on your concrete, you can start treating it using processes from removing minor stains. If it does not work, you can move on to treatment using processes from removing major stains. Let’s get started.

Minor Rust Stains

  1. Start by cleaning the concrete using soap and water. This process will wash away surface-level grease or dirt that may prevent the acid from removing rust. Simple dish soap should do the trick.
  2. After cleaning the surface, you may start adding pure lemon juice. Don’t use a diluted one, as the stronger the acid, the better it can remove stains. Once you’ve soaked the stain with lemon juice, leave it that way and let it sit.
  3. Once you’ve let the lemon juice sit, you may now start brushing the stain away. If you are worried that you might strip off your paint, you can always use a nylon brush or any delicate brush. If your wall is extremely delicate, you can use a sponge; however, it might not be as effective.
  4. After doing all of these, rinse the spot with water and let it dry. If it still has some stain residue, go at it again using the same process, but now adding some stronger acids, like white vinegar.

Major Rust Stains

If the lemon and vinegar process just won’t cut it, try a commercial rust cleaner instead.

When looking for a rust remover, look for a product that contains oxalic acid, as this ingredient will get the job done. Another acid to look for is the trisodium phosphate. However, when this acid was left sitting on the concrete for too long, it might turn the concrete blue.

When working with acids, make sure that you are wearing the right gears and equipment, as acids can harm our skin.

By process, it is most likely just the same with the minor stain processes, however, you will now use powerful rust cleaners instead of lemon juice and vinegar. 

  1. Clean the surface using soap and water.
  2. After cleaning the surface, this is when you will put the rust remover. Apply thoroughly and generously. Let it sit for a while and let the stain fully absorb it.
  3. After letting it sit, this is where you can start scrubbing the stain away. The brush that you need to use will depend on how sensitive your paint is.
  4. After doing these, if there are still stubborn stain marks, just use a pressure washer. If it still can’t remove it fully, repeat the process all over.