Rust Stain Remover: How to Treat Stubborn Stains

Rust stain on concrete floor
Untreated garage floors are known for developing stubborn stains.

Patsy recently moved into a new home and she’s dealing with some stubborn stains because one of the construction workers parked his car in her garage and his rusty radiator leaked onto the floor. Now, Patsy needs a reliable rust stain remover. 

She knows what won’t work — after all, the builder tried to clean the stains with Iron Out, and he attempted to pressure wash the garage floor, but so far, the stains haven’t budged.

That’s no surprise — rust (iron oxide) is often the key ingredient that professionals use to stain a concrete floor, and concrete stains aren’t meant to be removed.

The big problem here is that the builder didn’t seal the concrete floor, so the stains soaked right in. 

If Patsy tries to stain the concrete, it won’t cover up the rust, and the stain’s darkness doesn’t matter; the rust will still show through. 

So, is there a magic rust stain remover? Well, we recommend trying a few approaches.

First, Patsy can take a few items from her kitchen to clean this mess. For instance, look for a stiff-bristle brush and some white vinegar. Pour in the white vinegar and let it sit for 20 minutes, and then scrub it with the brush. 

Another natural option she might try is to cut a lemon in half and rub it into the rust stain. Allow the lemon juice to remain on the concrete for a while before hosing it off.

If neither option works, she could shop for an industrial-strength rust stain remover. Patsy should check out the website, and look for a product called Singerman Laboratories Concrete Rust Remover.

So, what can you do if something spills on your garage floor? 

Try this: first, soak up oil spills by pouring kitty litter on the oil and then use a brick to grind the kitty litter up to make it more absorbent. Leave the kitty litter on the oil for 20 minutes or longer before sweeping it up.

Listen to the embedded audio clip above for the full answer!

Read the blog from the March 7 show and listen to the full broadcast here.

Kitty litter and lemons not cutting it for the stubborn oil stains on your floor? Read the sections below for more tips and tricks on bringing a stained garage floor back up to par.

Understand What Your Garage Floor Is Made Of

The first thing you need to do before you tackle the oil stains on your garage floor is to know and understand what your garage floor is made of. This is because flooring materials interact with oil differently and need different cleaning techniques.

Here are some of the most common flooring options below: 

  • Concrete. As the standard for most garage floors, you can use various cleaning materials to remove oil stains from the surface of the concrete. However, certain sealers can make cleaning a bit easier.
  • Interlocking tiles. This is a garage floor covering that, as the name suggests, is made up of interlocking tiles that are usually made of durable, rigid plastic. Oil can usually be cleaned from these tiles with soap, water, and a cloth to wipe the stain off. 
  • Vinyl. Vinyl is another common type of floor covering used in auto garages, popular because of its low maintenance and relative softness. Cleaning fresh oil stains usually takes no more than just wiping off the oil, but older, dried stains will need some cleaning chemicals to get the job done.
  • Sealed concrete. Applying sealer to concrete changes the characteristics of its surface enough that cleaning out stains becomes much easier than it would with raw concrete. We will expand on this in a later section.
  • Epoxy flooring. A common alternative to standard concrete sealer, epoxy flooring creates a highly durable (and, if applied correctly, smooth) surface that doesn’t absorb stains allowing for relatively easy cleaning. 

How to Remove Old Stains From Concrete Garage Floor

Use Professional Stain Remover

The best way to clean oil off your concrete floor is using a professional stain remover like Prosoco. These stain removers are specially formulated with a blend of surfactants and other chemicals that target and lift oil-based stains. With these cleaners, one can ensure a removal that leaves the floor looking good as new. 

Use WD-40

Although it doesn’t seem very intuitive, considering WD-40 is itself a kind of oil, you can actually make WD-40 remove oil stains from concrete. Since WD-40 is a displacing chemical, you can spray it on old stains, let it soak for a few minutes, then wipe it with a cloth or paper towel to remove the blemishes.

How to Get Grease Off Garage Floor

Oil isn’t the only culprit for a dirty garage floor; grease is prone to mark up the floor of a frequently used garage or workshop.

Unlike oil, grease has a much thicker consistency, making it more difficult to simply wipe away. To get this grime off your garage floor, you’ll need more than the typical chemicals used to clean oil stains.

You’ll likely need a degreaser — a specific chemical designed to break up the viscosity of the grease, allowing it to lift off of the concrete more easily. Outside of that, the cleaning process is practically the same as that of liquid oil.

How to Protect Garage Floor From Future Stains

Once you’ve cleaned up every last oil leak on the garage floor, you would want to ensure that the floor doesn’t get any pesky stains again. You can achieve this by applying a sealer to your garage floor, which covers the many microscopic pores that allow oil and grease to seep into the floor’s surface.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here