Rust stains can cause a number of problems for home and business owners because of their destructive tendencies. Rust stains are often a shade of reddish brown or dark red. Inside pipes, rust can create rusty water stains wherever water flows. While rust stains can be bothersome, they can be removed with a little hard work and the help of a rust remover. There are a number of rust remover products available on the market, but several common household items can also be used to battle rust stains. These household items can be used individually or combined to create effective, safe rust remover products.
Cream of tartar, hydrogen peroxide 3%, and borax can be combined to create a homemade rust remover paste. To make this rust remover, a teaspoon of cream of tarter and a quarter cup of borax should be mixed with enough hydrogen peroxide to make a thick paste. The paste should be rubbed onto the rust spot and allowed to stand for 30 minutes. Then, the rust stain should be wiped away with a damp sponge. If the stain remains, the entire process should be repeated.
Another homemade rust remover solution is a cup of borax mixed with the juice from one lemon. This mixture makes a rust remover paste that can be applied directly to the stain. It should sit for twenty to thirty minutes and then be scrubbed clean. It might take a couple applications for this rust remover to be successful, but this concoction is safe for many surfaces, as well as safe for pets and children.
Oxalic acid is often recommended as a good product for removing rust stains. Oxalic acid is mildly toxic but not as abrasive as other commercial products. Before you try a harsher chemical, try removing rust stains with oxalic acid. Be sure to wear gloves and safety glasses when using this method.
What you will need
- Dishwashing liquid
- Soft or medium-bristled brush
- Oxalic acid
- Pour 1/2 cup dishwashing liquid into a bucket. Fill the remainder of the bucket with cool water.
- Wash the rust-stained area with the dishwashing liquid. Use a soft- to medium-bristled scrub brush (depending on surface type) to thoroughly clean the area. Rinse the dishwashing liquid thoroughly with cool water.
- Pour one pound of oxalic acid into a gallon bucket. Fill the remainder of the bucket with cool water.
- Apply the oxalic acid to the rust stain. If the rust stain is on concrete, use a mop. If the rust stain is on another surface, use a sponge to apply the oxalic acid to the stain.
- Scrub the stain with a soft- to medium-bristled brush (depending on surface type) to lift the stain. Rinse the area thoroughly with cool water.