Rust stains are notoriously difficult to remove, especially from granite paving, which is one of our best-sellers for driveways and patios; two areas that rust stains are most likely to occur. However, with some hard work and a little patience, there are ways you can remove rust from granite slabs.
What Causes Rust Stains?
Most frequently, rust stains occur when water runs over metal fixtures and fittings and trickles down to your paving, depositing iron particles from oxidation (rusting) into your paving.
Rust stains are common on driveways due to cars and other vehicles, but more so on patios and pathways that are home to garden furniture, as well as barbecues, chimeneas, fire pits, and similar garden decorations.
What most people don’t know is that weed killer can also cause rust stains.
Many weed killers and similar products contain ferric sulphate which can cause rust stains when it encounters the iron-rich compounds in the paving’s aggregate. These types of stains will appear as blotches rather than defined lines, which often means they’re fainter and difficult to spot.
How to Remove Rust from Granite
To remove rust from granite paving, before using a heavy-duty granite cleaner, try the following:
Step One: Clean the stained area with soap and water, and rinse.
Step Two: Mix a rust removal compound with flour to create a thick paste. The larger the stain, the more paste you will need.
Step Three: Apply a generous layer of the paste to and around the stained area.
Step Four: Cover the area with plastic wrap and tape it down at the edges to stop moisture seeping in.
Step Five: Wait 24 hours and then remove the plastic wrap. The paste should be dry. If it is not, wait another 12 hours.
Step Six: Once dried, scrape the dried paste away with your hands to ensure you don’t damage the stone. Then, rinse the area with clean water.
If the paste has not been effective or merely has reduced the look of the stain rather than removed it, you can repeat the process or apply a specialist granite cleaner that’s formulated to remove rust from granite.
Preventing Rust Stains in Future
Once you’ve removed rust stains from your granite, you need to keep them away. Here’s how:
Store your Garden Furniture
One of the best ways to prevent hard-wearing rust stains is to store garden furniture, barbecues and similar items away from your granite paving during adverse weather, which will prevent oxidised particles from reaching your stone. Move furniture into the shed or onto the grass.
Keep an Eye Out
You need to keep an eye on your granite paving to see if rust stains, or other types of stains, appear and, as soon as they do, you should apply a rust stain remover or heavy-duty granite cleaner to ensure the stain does not penetrate the stone too far.
Removing rust stains is like removing stains from your clothes: as soon as you spill something that will stain, you dab the stain with a sponge and put it in the wash.
See a Mechanic
If your vehicle is causing rust stains on your granite patio, you should see a mechanic immediately. Rust can eat away at the body of your vehicle and cause damage that may be detrimental to your safety.
If the body of your vehicle is rusting, your mechanic should be able to cut and weald it to remove stop the rust in its tracks.
To remove rust from granite paving, move the vehicle away from your driveway while the work is being carried out and complete the cleaning procedure above.
Get a Pressure Washer
To keep your granite paving in excellent condition, as well as watching out for stains, you should aim to clean your natural stone a couple of times a year at least. At Nustone, we stock a range of heavy-duty natural stone cleaning products, including granite cleaner, to keep your stone looking its best.
Have a question about how to remove rust from granite paving or want our advice on the best products to use? Get in touch.