How to remove rust stains from an asphalt driveway


Whether your asphalt pavement is marred by chalk, paint, oil or rust, getting rid of these stains can be a challenge. Luckily, there are some techniques that can effectively deal with rust stains on an asphalt driveway. Read further to learn ways to remove rust stains from your asphalt driveway.

Basic cleaning method

Before moving to the remedy for rust stains on an asphalt driveway, let’s first take a look at this basic method for getting it clean beforehand. 

  • Clean the asphalt surface. Regardless of the cause of the stain or the removal process that you will use, try to hose down the surface to clear away any dirt or debris. 
  • Use a household cleaner on the stained areas such as soap, dish soap or diluted vinegar. You can find a variety of environmentally-friendly choices. Use a stiff-bristled brush to create suds, rinse and repeat. 

Solution for rust stains

The rust stains on your asphalt driveway should be cured with rust-inhibiting primers and coatings before the application of seal coating. 

These products work by either blocking the penetration of moisture or binding oxygen to effectively retard the oxidation of pyrites that contain aggregates. It is important to note that these specialty products are made with polymers and specialty chemicals. These are available in water-dilatable compositions that can cover a wide area. There are also specialty clear coatings that are effective for concrete surfaces.

Remember that this is a preventive measure and is not a one-time cure. There might be a need to repeat the process of priming during the initial rounds of seal coating.

How to get rid of oil spills on pavement

  • Soak up as much of the leftover spill. Gravel, non-clump cat litter or sawdust are suitable options to absorb the liquid. These work by soaking up the spill you cannot remove with a towel or rag. It is recommended to leave it on the stain overnight.
  • An effective method involves tri-sodium phosphate (TSP). Prepare a paste by mixing it with water. Dab the paste on the stained area using a brush. Let it sit for 30 minutes and rinse away with water. 

You can also use any of the commercial degreasers that are also effective in dealing with this type of stain. There are various choices in hardware stores. Remember to avoid using degreasers that contain solvents. These products will only cause more damage. When using a degreaser, carefully follow the instructions on the packaging and scrub it onto the stained area. It will work by breaking down the oil. When youre done, rinse it away thoroughly with water. 

What causes rust stains on asphalt driveways?

The miniature particles of iron ore are combined with the stone that is used to make your asphalt driveway. Once water leaches up through the bottom of your driveway, it causes the metal particles to oxidize. The ensuing rust particles climb to the surface of the driveway, causing stains and streaks on your asphalt driveway.

Will WD 40 remove rust from concrete?

Once your concrete driveway or pathways end up with rust stains, you can use WD-40 to remove them, along with some elbow grease. It is important to note that WD-40 is specially formulated to work as a penetrating agent. Once it is applied to rust stains, it works right away by moving deep under the rust. 

What removes rust?

Depending on where rust forms, it is a corrosive mark that can be undesirable to look at. Generally, rust is iron oxide and forms once iron or a compound containing iron is exposed to oxygen for a long time. Moisture, usually water, hastens the process. Let’s take a look at some of the products that can remove rust. 

  • Vinegar. Acetic or citric acid can remove rust, especially if it has formed on surfaces or objects that can be easily removed and soaked. Soaking or pouring vinegar on rust stains and letting it sit for some time can remove it. 
  • Lemon. Use lemon or lime with some salt. Rub salt over the stained area and squeeze lemon or lime juice. Let it sit for 2-3 hours. Follow-up by scrubbing the site with a scourer or steel wool. 
  • Baking soda. Mix baking soda and water to create a paste. Make sure that the paste is thick enough. Apply on the stained area and let it sit for a few hours and scrub it away with a toothbrush.

Final thoughts

When rust starts to form on your asphalt driveway, it can be unappealing to look at. As part of the overall external façade of your house, having a stained driveway can lower its curb appeal. With the methods described on how to remove rust stains from your asphalt driveway, you can keep your driveway clean and free from unsightly stains. 

teammichael

Michael René, consultant, is the leading stain removal expert in Denmark. Read about him and the rest of the team here

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