How to Remove Rust Stains from a Patio or Sandstone Patio Pavers

How to Remove Rust Stains from a Patio

Removing rust from sandstone pavers and patio tiles is difficult but doesn’t have to be. What was once a tricky task has been made easier by a range of products which will penetrate and lift the rust stains out of porous natural stone surfaces. 

But you need more than just a fancy product to get rust off a patio. You need to do it right to get the best results with sandstone and concrete pavers. Here’s what you need and how to remove rust stains from sandstone patio or concrete patio tiles.

How to remove rust stains from sandstone patio

Back in the day you would have had to use harsh acid-based cleaners to remove rust stains from patio tiles and stone. This would often cause more damage to the sandstone and concrete pavers than actual rust removal.

Thankfully there are now some great products which won’t damage the stone pavers or tiles; here’s what you need to remove rust stains from a patio.

What you will need:

Step 1: Rinse the patio with water

Start by spraying the entire surface of the patio or concrete pavers with clean water. Be sure to rinse off any bird droppings or other debris that may be on the surface. 

How to remove rust stains from sandstone patio
Rinse the concrete pavers or tiles before you remove rust from the patio (Credit:

This will help ensure a better finish later on and will make removing the rust stains from the sandstone and concrete patio tiles a lot easier. It will also help loosen dirt and other stains further down the line.  

Step 2: Apply the rust stain remover

Take your rust stain remover product and spray it directly onto the rust on the patio. Make sure that you apply an even coverage over the sandstone and concrete, so that the remover has comes into contact with all areas of the rust stain on the patio.

If you prefer to be cautious, and I don’t blame you with an expensive set of backyard concrete pavers and patio tiles, test an inconspicuous area first. It doesn’t have to have rut on it, but lets you check there won’t be any discoloration where it has been applied. 

Once you’re happy, apply to the rust stains on the patio you want removed and cleaned up. You might even start to notice the rust stains beginning to loosen up. But you will need to leave it to soak into the stones properly. 

If there are any remaining rust stains after this step, then don’t worry! These next steps will take care of them!

Step 3: Wipe away the rust or scrub stubborn stains with a stiff brush

Let the rust cleaner sit on the surface of your patio for at least ten minutes. After you have waited and the time has elapsed, start to wipe it away with the clean cloth, then rinse a little.

If you still have rust stains on the sandstone patio or concrete pavers, apply some more of the remover, wait another ten minutes, then try scrubbing with a stiff wire brush or scrub brush. 

Don’t apply too much pressure as you work, as you don’t want to scratch the patio stones – again, you might want to test an area of the patio tiles first.

Depending on how heavy or light your rust stains are, this will determine how much scrubbing is needed to remove them completely. Here, you should start noticing your rust stains gradually fading away! 

They may not be completely gone at this point, but they will with the next step!

Step 4: Rinse and wipe off any leftover residue

Once again, you’ll want to spray the surface of your patio with clean water. This will remove the remaining rust remover from the patio tiles.

If there are any rust stains still on the patio tiles, repeat the process.

Step 5: Rinse once more with a wet towel.

Once you have completed the previous five steps, it is now time to rinse everything one final time! Take your old rag or towel and soak it completely in clean water from your hose nozzle. Then squeeze out as much water as you can so that the rag is still very damp but not dripping wet.

 You want enough water on it to be able to remove and wipe away anything that remains of rust stains on the patio surface itself. 

Move your rag around until there are no visible marks left behind. If you don’t mind spending a little extra money, you can buy a new towel specifically for this task.

Step 7: Seal the surface with a sealer (optional)

If you want to keep the patio surface best, then consider applying a coat of patio sealer. This way, the stain will not return, and all you must do is maintain the patio every now and then just as you would with any other type of flooring or concrete surface. 

How to remove rust stains from patio stone
This is how good it will look once you’ve removed the rust stains from your sandstone patio.

The key here is to be vigilant about keeping an eye on the condition of your outdoor space, so rust doesn’t have a chance to take hold. 

You are now finished removing those unsightly rust stains from your patio! Your outdoor living space and concrete pavers should now look cleaner than ever before. Keep up the hard work to prevent rust stains from coming back in the future.

Will bleach remove rust from concrete pavers?

I felt I had to address this question before the end, as it’s a common one. But don’t use bleach. In my experience, bleach is not good at cleaning rust off concrete. It might even make the problem worse.


If you decide to use any form of chemical agent like the one I have recommended in this guide explaining how to remove rust stains from patio stone, please be careful.

Always wear the protective gear I’ve recommended, don’t rush. Chemical smells can also be a risk, so make sure you aren’t too close when spraying patio rust remover long periods.

Read the manufacturer instructions, and you should be able to remove the rust from a sandstone patio in under an hour.

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