Do you have concrete driveway or walkway that has gotten some stains after years? Or maybe your BBQ spot on the patio has gotten some stains from other things than making delicious meals?
After 10 or 20 years of being on the ground, concrete is bound to end up stained. Whether it’s weathered, stained, or even if there is rust or tar on your concrete, there are some steadfast ways to cure all of these problems and get your concrete looking new again. Without replacing the entire slab, I’m going to show how to remove those stains from concrete.
Rust stains might happen when something that rusts is left on the concrete for a long enough time. It is not always so obvious to notice, as it might not show straight away. It might be car rims, chains, bike stand, or something else that we don’t expect to rust straight away as it still looks good on the outside
Other than rust, a tar might be left behind by an asphalt job nearby or some other things like roofing tar for example. Tar removal is probably most difficult when it comes to removing stains in concrete but even this isn’t impossible when you are armed with information and the right tools for the job.
Removing Tar Stains from Concrete
Tar removal requires an agent that will actually release the sticky tar from the concrete. Some people give advice that gas will remove tar from concrete but gas also tends to leave behind a stain so you will work double duty if you use gas to clean up the mess. You will first have to get the tar off of the concrete and then you’ll have to try to get the gas stain off too. This is a little bit counterproductive so we can try another way.
WD-40 is the best thing I have found when it comes to tar removal. Not only will this remove tar from your car, but it will also remove it from concrete and skin. Although we shouldn’t be elbow deep bathing in WD-40 to get some tar off, it can be used on small areas such as your hands if you get some tar on them while doing a minor roof repair or something similar.
To get the tar off of the concrete, begin by spraying the tar with WD-40 to soak the entire area. Allow this to set on the concrete for about 5 minutes so that it has time to break the tar up a bit.
Using a wire brush (or scrub brush), scrub the tar and use a hose to rinse the area. If this doesn’t break the tar up and clean the concrete, apply some more WD-40 and allow it to sit again for at least 5 minutes. Scrub with water and a wire brush once again.
Once you have removed the majority of the tar you can usually use a pressure washer to clean the remaining tar off of the concrete. The WD-40 won’t stain the concrete either so you won’t be doing double duty trying to clean up two messes.
A small amount of dish soap and water can also be used to break up any remaining debris and tar that may have been left behind. Scrub some soapy water around the area of concrete that has the tar on it and then use a hose with a high-pressure sprayer or preferably a pressure washer to remove the remaining stain from the concrete.
Tar removal is just a process of continuing to break it up little by little until the entire stain has been removed from the concrete.
How to Get Rust Stains Off Concrete
To remove a rust stain, you have to use an acid-based liquid on the concrete surface to pull the stain out. Lemon juice and salt/baking soda or white vinegar will do the trick.
How to use lemon for rust removal
For the lemon juice and salt method, spread some salt on the rust stain. After that simply pour a lot of lemon juice all over the rusty salt spots and leave it there until it soaks in. Depending on the intensity of the stain it could be minutes or hours.
Another way is to make a paste with baking soda and lemon and spread it on the rust spots. Let it sit for the same amount of time as the salt and lemon method. Depending on the stain, it needs to be tested out how effective it is.
Next scrub at the rust stain with either a scrub brush or a large swishy broom with rough bristles. Scrub in a circle to help break up the rust stain, adding a cup of water so you can kinda froth the stain up. It will look (and smell) a lot like drying blood. It should mean that you’re getting somewhere.
Let the frothy, bloody-smelling mess sit for another 10 minutes or so, allowing the lemon juice to take effect. Then rinse the concrete off with a hose. If you have a power washer, then you can almost forget about cleaning the stain and just blast the rust out of the concrete. Otherwise, you’ll have to put your thumb over the water stream to create pressure and blast the rust stain away.
How to use vinegar rust removal
Vinegar is more effective, but it has a strong odor. It’s also good for old tools, rusty nails, and pretty much anything else that is rusty. It could take somewhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the stain again.
Like with lemon juice, you can use salt with it. Add the salt in the white vinegar, 1 cup of salt to 1 gallon of vinegar should do the trick. It will make the potency of the acid higher so it should be more effective.
If the stain is still slightly there then pour more white vinegar salt mix on the rust stain. Then repeat the same process again to get rid of the stain. Wear gloves when pouring vinegar or lemon juice, as the acidic liquid can really burn your cuts.
After you’re done with scrubbing the rust stain, wash the concrete well with water and hopefully the smell will disappear soon.
Rust and tar might be the most common stains on our driveways. The main cause is our vehicles. The good thing is, those stains can be taken care of quite easily if you know what you’re doing.
If we take care of these problems as fast as possible, they won’t cause much aesthetic harm. Left unattended for too long, these can take some time to clean.