Rust stains on concrete can dramatically reduce property value. They can also just be an eye sore. As an alternative to demolition or concrete overlaying, you can try removing rust stains using some common materials and supplies. Whether a parking lot, sidewalk, patio, porch, or driveway, rust-free concrete is simply more valuable, and most certainly worth the effort. Keep in mind, the sooner you treat rusted concrete, the better your outcome will be.
Continue reading to review a quick guide to cleaning rust from concrete surfaces.
What You Will Need
Acid reacts with rust and ultimately, dissolves it until it is gone. So essentially, any product with high acidity may work. However, there are some materials that are more effective than others. The most common are vinegar and lemon juice. Once you choose your acid ingredient, you can continue gathering your supplies. You will need clean water, a large bucket, mild dish soap, a scrub brush, face mask, protective eye wear, and thick rubber gloves. Avoid metal-bristled scrub brushes.
Note: Although muriatic acid can be used, it a highly reactive liquid acid, and one of the most dangerous chemicals you can buy. See our blog “Critical Safety Tips for Using Muriatic Acid” to learn more.
⚒ Begin by sweeping up and leaf blowing all surface debris. Get rid of leaves, loose dirt, pebbles, litter, and more. You must start with a clean slate.
⚒ Next, clean the concrete with soap and water. Allow the surface to dry completely.
⚒ Don your protective gear so that your hands, eyes, throat, and nose are not irritated by your acidic product.
⚒ Now you are ready to pour your acid directly onto the stained area. Saturate the area generously, and then let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
⚒ After 10 or 15 minutes, use your hard-bristled brush to scrub the stain away.
⚒ When you are finished, immediately rinse the area with clean water. Do not scrub all stains and then wait to rinse them all at once at the very end; this can cause the stain to soak back into the concrete.
⚒ You may need to repeat these steps more than once to achieve the results you want.