How to Remove Rust Stains from Concrete: Pressure Washer Tips and Tricks

Rust stains can be a real eyesore on concrete surfaces. Not only are they an unsightly, ugly orange stain, but they can also be challenging to remove. In this article, we will discuss how to remove rust stains from concrete with a pressure washer. We will cover how to prevent rust stains, how to clean them with a pressure washer, and how to remove stubborn rust stains. Let’s get started!

What Causes Rust Stains on Concrete?

There are a few different things that can cause rust stains on concrete. Here we’ll discuss the most common reasons rust stains happen.

Iron Oxide

This is the most common cause of rust stains on concrete. When iron oxide comes into contact with water, it creates a chemical reaction that causes rust.

Iron oxide is found in a few different places. It can be in the soil, on tools or equipment, or in the concrete itself.

Dissolved Minerals

Sometimes minerals in the water can react with concrete and create rust stains.

Some rust-causing minerals include:

  • Sulfates
  • Chlorides
  • Magnesium

These are found in well water, saltwater, and deicing salts.

Acidic Materials

Acidic materials like battery acid or road salt can also cause rust stains on concrete.

Snow and Ice

When snow and ice melt on concrete, they can leave behind minerals that cause rust.

Other Rusted Objects

Sometimes other objects like rusty patio furniture or a rusty grill can leave rust stains on concrete by transferring the rust to the concrete surface.

How to Remove Rust Stains from Concrete

Now that we know what causes rust stains, let’s talk about rust stain removal.

First Steps

The first step is to clean the surface with soap and water. This will help to remove any dirt or debris that may be on the surface.

Once the surface is clean, you will need to rinse it off. You can do this with a garden hose or a pressure washer.

Once the surface is clean and dry, you can begin to remove the rust stains.

There are a few different methods you can use to remove rust stains.

Lemon Juice or White Vinegar

You can create a DIY rust removal solution by mixing lemon juice or white vinegar with water.

To use this method, you will need to soak a cloth in the solution and then apply it to the rust stain.

Let the solution sit on the stain for 15 minutes before rinsing it off with a pressure washer.

Commercial Rust Remover

If the DIY method does not work, you can try using a commercial concrete rust remover and pressure washing to remove tough rust stains. Commercial rust removers contain a powerful acid such as oxalic acid, hydrochloric acid, or trisodium phosphate.

To use this method, you will need to follow the instructions on the product label.

Most rust removers will need to be applied to the surface and then left to soak for 15 minutes.

Once the rust remover has had time to work, you can rinse it off with a pressure washer.


We’ve covered how to remove rust stains from concrete, but you may still have some questions. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about rust stains.

What is the best way to prevent rust stains?

The best way to prevent rust stains is to remove any sources of iron oxide, dissolved minerals, or acidic materials.

Will a pressure washer damage my concrete surface?

No, a pressure washer will not damage your concrete surface.

Can I use bleach to remove rust stains?

No, you should not use bleach to remove rust stains. Bleach can damage your concrete.

What should I do if the rust stain persists after the above steps?

There are many professional companies that offer pressure washing services. They will be able to remove the rust stains for you.

Why do I need a power washer, can’t I just scrub the rust with the stain remover?

Scrubbing the concrete with stain remover won’t completely remove the rust, you need to get into the pores of the concrete and the best way to do this is power washing.


Rust stains can be unsightly and difficult to remove. However, you can easily remove rust stains from your concrete with the proper knowledge and tools. In this article, we have covered how to pressure wash to remove rust stains from concrete and explained how to prevent rust stains from occurring. Hopefully, this has been helpful, and your concrete is now rust-free! Thanks for reading!