‘Surprisingly effective’ method to remove rust marks from patios

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Over the summer months, patios and paving can become stained with rust from barbecues and metal garden furniture. Rust stains can look unsightly and can be especially tricky to remove as they often penetrate into the pores of the concrete.

However, removing rust from paving slabs can be a quick and easy fix if you know what to use. While it may be tempting to grab chemicals, there are actually plenty of natural and household hacks that can be used to remove rust patches from paving slabs.

Paving specialist and founding director of Infinite Paving, Rowan Cripps, has shared his top tips on how to remove rust stains from patio areas using several household products.

Remove loose dirt and debris

The first thing homeowners need to do is remove any furniture, barbecues and planters from the areas as well as any visible loose dirt, debris and leaves.

Check the area for any damage and make repairs before beginning the cleaning process.

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Lemon juice

Rowan said this is a “surprisingly effective” option for small rust stains.

He explained: “For the best results, try gently soaking the surface for up to 15 minutes in lemon juice, before cleaning with a brush in a circular motion.

“This allows the lemon juice to dissolve much of the staining before you go for the scrub brush. Complete this by rinsing away the acidic residue with water.”

Lemons are also affordable and can be bought for as little as 13p each at ASDA.

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Vinegar

Vinegar can be used for cleaning a plethora of items around the home as well as outdoor tiles and patios. 

Spray vinegar onto the rust mark and allow it to sit for just under an hour. Once it has penetrated the stain, scrub the surface using a brush.

If the concrete has been made to look like stone, brush in the direction of the original surface to avoid scratches. Once clean, rinse the area with water.

Washing up liquid

Another affordable and everyday cleaning item, washing up liquid can be used to clean multiple items both indoors and outdoors. The versatile cleaning product can be used to clean oily and grimy concrete when mixed with warm water.

Apply it to the surface and allow it to sit for a while until the dirt becomes loose and easy to remove. Mop the area and then rinse with fresh water. Repeat if it needs further cleaning.

Pressure washing

Pressure washers can “effectively” clean concrete patios but they can also be damaging so you need to be careful.

Rowan said: “If you are unsure which setting is required, try testing the power washer on a low setting and only focus on a small area first to see the effects.”

Fizzy drinks

Fizzy drinks are actually great for removing rust stains from concrete patios thanks to their high acidic content.

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Pour the fizzy drinks onto the stain and wait for it to soak for around 15 minutes. Scrub the area with a brush and rinse with water.

WD40

WD40 can penetrate surfaces so is perfect for removing rust stains. Using WD40 to oust rust stains is as simple as spraying it on the affected area and then using a wire scrubber to penetrate deeply into the paving.

Rowan added: “WD 40 tends to work on pretty much everything straight away, meaning there’s no need for you to wait for more than a few minutes.”

Detergent

For small to medium rust stains, grab a paintbrush and fill a spray bottle with water. Then, mix detergent with baking soda and cold water to make a paste.

Brush the mixture onto the stain until it’s completely covered. Rub this into the stain and leave it for around an hour. When the time’s passed, scrub it hard and rinse.

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