I Removed Rust Stains on Concrete

sewhappy_2007June 22, 2009

When I purchased my home two years ago, the front porch had two large rust stains where metal flower pots had been on each side of the front door. I had tried bleach, CLR and other rust removers with no luck. I recently had my driveway and sidewalks power washed and asked if they had any way to remove these stains - they said they would use their special rust removing chemicals but the stains were still there when they left.

I have finally TOTALLY removed the rust stains. I'm sure this is not a recommended use of the product, but 'The Works' toilet bowl cleaner, poured full strenght onto the stain worked like magic. I know, I know, the bottle warns to ONLY use on toilets - but it worked like a charm. This is hydrochloric acid, so you have to be very careful with it. I hosed it down liberally and made sure that nothing else would get damaged by any of the solution. My only problem now is that the area that used to be stained is so much brighter and whiter than the rest of the porch - a problem I'm happy to live with.

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Thanks for telling us what worked for you. I was afraid to read your post, it looked like Spam for some unknown product.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 8:05AM
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Neat! ...But how does that stuff do with toilets? (:

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 11:16AM
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Also Barkeepers Friend will remove rust.....and straight clorox will clean up the rest of thedriveway.
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 11:35AM
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'The Works' is the best I've found for toilets. Also very cheap - $1 at Big Lots or The Dollar Store.

I had tried clorox, and Barkeeper's Friend didn't work either. I had just about decided I would have to paint before coming up with this solution.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 12:51PM
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How about muriatic acid for cleaning pools?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 4:12PM
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Muriatic and hydrochloric acids are the same stuff.
Pour regular muriatic acid on concrete & its reactions might scare you - the fumes probably ruin your nose and lungs,,, maybe eyes too.

Phosphoric acid for rust may be a much safer and better choice, but its not a totally safe thing either.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 6:21PM
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I used to use The Works in my toilets, but can't seem to find it anymore and have started using Easy Off Bam for the toilets. It works great for toilets and other grody jobs. Never thought about using toilet cleaner on outside rust. Thanks for the tip.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 7:46PM
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OMG! It worked very well. I have every rust stain remover that is available in my stores. I was skeptical but will try anything because I have such a big problem with my well water staining my concrete. Last night about 9pm after reading this about this solution, I searched in my cabinets hoping I had some Works. I did and put a 2' X 2' patch on my walkway; I woke up this morning to a pristine patch of concrete.

Thank you Sewhappy! I'm off to Dollar General to stock up. I'm thinking I will empty the bottles in one of my many gallon jugs of less than effective rust remover.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 8:59AM
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Mustangs - PLEASE be very careful using this in a large area. I used a very small amount for a concentrated stain. It is hydrochloric acid and can be very dangerous.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 10:21AM
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Thanks for the warning!!! I'm not real cautious when it comes to using cleaners.

I'm in the experimental stage. I purchased 4 bottles, protected myself, emptied them all into my pump sprayer, sprayed (down wind) the sidewalk and driveway. It works better in the shade rather than hot sun. I didn't rinse it, just let it dry over night.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 11:32AM
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Turns out that the newer "The Works" isn't nearly as effective as the older product. I used what I had on hand and it was amazing. Then I went to Dollar General, bought "The Works" in the new packaging and it was so-so.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 9:42PM
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holleygarden Zone 8, East Texas

Glad to get this tip. I have rust stains on some concrete that I hadn't started trying to get up yet, but when I finally do, I'll know now what to use!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 1:27PM
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Don't have a product name, but some guy w a local weekend talk show re home remodeling and repair, recommended a product for this recently - and it is something that is (according to him) available at the HW store and works very well, since that is its only purpose. So sorry, but I can't remember the name of it (though "rust remover" may have been in the title). I seem to recall that it's a powder and he instructed the caller to pour boiling hot H2O over the stain, then cover area w powder; let it sit for 30 minutes, then scrub w a brush and rinse off.

Sound familiar - anybody?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 3:32PM
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I was curious about the comment from one of the posters that Muratic Acid and Hydrochloric Acid are the same. Sure enough, that's the case. Here is a link that has lots of safety warning about using this stuff and alternate solutions for rust stains on concrete. I sure hope I didn't start something here that will end up hurting someone.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cleaning Concrete with Muratic Acid (Hydrochloric Acid)

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 9:18AM
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Try Krud Kutter. Spray it on, wait a few, hose off. Stubborn stains may need a little scrub with a stiff brush. Works for me to get iron stains off brick posts caused by sprinklers. You can buy it at HD.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 9:31AM
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There are 2 products that are good for rust. One is Whink. It comes in a small brown squirt bottle. Be careful not to use it on a surface such as your washer, dryer sinks and such. Be sure to read the lable. Great for clothing, too. The other one is Iron Out. It is a powder. My hubby had left some steel lying on the cement and it rained. What a mess of rust. I had him mix some up with water and pour it on. It was gone. I run it through my washer, dishwasher, hot water heater and water softner. Really helps keep it free of rust. I also use it on my whites from time to time.

I use The Works, too. It is great stuff. I stock up when our grocery has it buy one get one free. Dollar stores carry it, too.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 12:31PM
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I just posted about my experience removing rust from concrete using lemonade kool ade sprinkled on and wet down. Let it sit for about an hour and scrub it off. It worked for me.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 6:13PM
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I try the works toilet bowl cleaner it did remove some of the rust but it did spot the walk way so i decide to go other way i do not need a spotted drive way or side walk

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 1:21PM
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The Works (old formula in green bottle) worked perfectly on the rust stained driveway and side walk. The Works (new formula) was spotty. I immediately went to several Big Lots looking for any leftovers of the old formula.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 7:25PM
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I am moving from a rental house and the landlord insists I get it back to "original" condition but there are shrubs around the area. Will it kill those plants when I rinse the area I treated? What do I do?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 1:26PM
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After reading these posts, I went to the dollar store. They didn't have The Works, but I got something called Totally Awesome Lime, Rust and Calcium remover. It worked miracles on the side of my house!! I have tried so many things and spent so much money, I was thrilled that it got rid of the rust for a $1 and some elbow grease.

However, it didn't work on the columns in front of my house, that must be a different type of concrete, maybe plaster? They are more porus. I tried toilet bowl cleaner, which seemed to help a little but also started to ruin the pavers below, so I stopped. Does anyone have any ideas for the columns?

Thank you so much!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 8:33PM
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I have stains from washing off golf cart batteries one time in the driveway - they are orange and run all the way down to the street.

I found The Works at Walmart and Home Depot in a white bottle and just tested it on a 2' square section - it cleared most of it right off!
I poured directly onto the stain - no sprayer or diluting.
There is still some difference and the treated area is lighter/yellow than the rest now - it's not perfect but better than it was. I may try diluting some in a sprayer and treating the whole driveway and letting it sit longer next to even things out - or hire someone to acid wash (pool acid) the whole thing and power wash afterwards.

It was freaky because it bubbled up and was green - I let it sit 5-10 minutes but that was all I wanted to risk... no way I was going to let it dry.

I didn't scrub or even get near it - just bathe the spot in the stuff and rinse. YMMV. This post is 4 years after the original post.

This post was edited by karyn on Wed, Jun 12, 13 at 7:18

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 12:56PM
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I used toilet bowl cleaner to remove some rust spots that I had on my driveway. The problem now is that I have dark marks leftover from where I used the toilet bowl cleaner.
Any suggestions on how to get rid of them. Normal soap and water didn't help.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 3:11PM
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All you need is muriatic acid. It takes less than 5 seconds and the stains that have been on our concrete for years are gone ! I have 3 photos to show how great it works !! We are having it all powerwashed tomorrow AM so it will look much better . I am surprised that no one that cleans concrete knew this :( I have asked and asked..then had a Duh moment and looked on GW !! Where else to find the answer to all questions :) c




DH is going to retreat and use a brush to finish off some of the worst but it is AMAZING how much better it looks. You will definitely have to power wash after though. c

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 8:43PM
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