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removing rust stains from conrete retaining wall bricks

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by jwith2boys, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. jwith2boys

    jwith2boys LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I have a planter made of cast concrete blocks. I water the plants with our iron filled well water, so there are stains. How can I best remove the stains?

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. cranesrule

    cranesrule LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    I need help with this same issue. My iron filled well water has stained the brick of my house where my landscape sprinklers hit it. I now have city water and need a safe way to clean the stains. CLR doesnt work, and neither does a pressure washer.
  3. hdtvluvr

    hdtvluvr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 507

    You can mix some Oxy clean in water and apply to the blocks / bricks. Oxy Clean can be found in the detergent aisle at grocery stores / walmart. You can also use oxalic acid available at hardware stores. Both of these products are powders. Be sure to read the labels.
  4. cranesrule

    cranesrule LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    Thanks for the suggestions. How will these products affect the landscape plants around them? What would I need to do to protect them?
  5. Summett

    Summett LawnSite Member
    Messages: 72

    This stuff works really well. I got it from my irrigation/well company. You spray it on using a pump sprayer. I think it's about $8 a gal. Not cheap, but does the job and removes ALL the rust stain and is safe to use on grass/plants/etc.

    Haven't tried the oxy clean suggestion, but i'll give that a try too. It's a little cheaper route. :)

  6. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,654

    You may be able to get rid of the stains, however I'm wondering how you will keep them from coming back? It certainly sounds that with iron in your water you're going to have an ongoing problem as long as you use concrete blocks. Perhaps you should consider a long term solution.
  7. hdtvluvr

    hdtvluvr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 507

    With the strength of either that you will be using and rinsing well afterwards (thus diluting what gets on the ground), there shouldn't be a problem. I would, however, try not to spray directly onto any plants. If plants are close, I would wet then before spraying the house so that if any overspray did hit the plants, there would be some water already present to help dilute the spray.

    Regarding the concrete planter, you could try to collect some of your water the night before into a bucket or jug. Stir or shake well to aerate the water. Allow the water to sit undistrubed overnight. The iron should come out of solution and settle to the bottom, you can then pour off the top or filter through cloth before using. This may not remove all of the iron but it should decrease it enough that the iron stains will take longer to be really noticeable.
  8. cranesrule

    cranesrule LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    I just tried Home Advantage Products concrete cleaner from Lowes. It is on the same aisle as the heavy chemicals like muratic acid, etc. This stuff took off EVERY bit of the rust stains on my brick home. The stains under the outside faucets were deep dark red over my buff/grey brick. Even those were completely removed after a few minutes soak with little effort. It is about $18 a gallon, but well worth it for the awesome results. CLR had zero effect on these same stains.
  9. Faded87T

    Faded87T LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I have had good luck with a product called Iron Out.

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