How to remove rust from concrete floors

A rust stain in the middle of your patio, driveway or garage floor can be bothersome as it corrupts the appearance of your beautiful concrete. It’s hard to get rust out of many things, and although it can be difficult to remove rust from concrete floors, it is possible. As your preferred concrete floor contractor in the Midwest, Custom Concrete Creations wants to share with you the best ways to remove minor and major rust stains.

Causes of rust stains on concrete

It’s important to first know what’s causing the rust stain on your concrete so that you can keep it clean long after the stain is treated. Outdoor furniture with metal bottoms, metal garden tools, metal fence posts and iron railings are the most common causes. When these materials get wet, rust forms and it can then transfer to the concrete surface. Other things that can cause the rust stains on your concrete are corroding bar supports in the concrete itself and leaks from rusted and worn gutter systems.

Once you identify the culprit, you can decide if it’s a minor or major issue and go about cleaning your concrete accordingly. If you’re unsure, we suggest beginning with the minor cleaning solutions, and then moving on to the major options if that doesn’t work. There are both home remedies and chemical cleaning solutions. The longer the stain has been there, the longer it's going to take to remove.

For minor rust stains

It’s important to know if your concrete floor is polished or has an epoxy coating. If it does, you’ll want to dilute the solution with one equal part water to make sure you don’t strip away the top coat; you’ll also want to use a softer brush for scrubbing. For minor rust stains, you’ll attack it using this home remedy method.

Begin by cleaning the surface with soap and water to wash away any surface level dirt and grime, this way the cleaning solution will be able to get directly to the rust stain. You can use something as simple as dish soap. Apply lemon juice to the stain and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Use a wire brush (or a nylon brush if polished concrete or epoxy) and scrub the stain. Rinse the spot and let it dry. You might need to repeat the process again with lemon juice, and if it does not go fully away this time, try using white vinegar.

For major rust stains

If the above process does not work, you’ll want to try a commercial rust cleaner. When looking for a solution, find one that contains oxalic acid. Other chemicals such as trisodium phosphate and hydrochloric acid can work, but they aren’t as effective. Be careful when cleaning with acid, as you don’t want to harm any part of your skin or eyes.

Once you have the solution, you’ll apply it the same way as the lemon juice. Clean the surface first, apply the solution, let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, scrub the surface, and then rinse the stain away. If the stain is still there, try using a pressure washer to rinse it off at the end of the process.

Trust us with all your concrete floor needs

To ensure your concrete is protected from rust stains, know what’s causing it and take the cause away once you clean it. We hope that you’re able to get rid of the rust stain on your concrete floors. If you’d like to learn more about Custom Concrete Creations, contact us today!