I used fertilizer with iron and, unfortunately, didn't sweep adequately afterwards. Afterwards I ran my sprinklers and now my driveway and sidewalk are peppered with unsightly rust stains.

What are the best ways to get it off? (By "best" I mean easiest and most efficient, while still being safe, inexpensive, and not too harmful to the nearby lawn.)

Any suggestions?

2 Answers 2


Use a cleaning product called CLR also known as calcium,lime and rust remover. It is available at hardware stores and home centers.


OK, well, I just figured this out. I did some web research and saw all sorts of suggestions for stuff like TSP, muriatic acid, and CLR (thanks, @mikes). But for the most part they're all bad for your lawn, bad for your skin, and bad for your wallet. Let me save you some money...

All you need is a stiff wire brush and a bucket of water (and the water is optional). You can even use one of those BBQ grill scrubbers (although I recommend a 1" wire brush). Just a little dab of water and a little elbow grease and the rust is gone! You might think of using a hose, but I wouldn't recommend it because, if you just fertilized your lawn, you run the risk of washing more fertilizer right back onto your cement, and you'll have the same problem all over again when it dries.

Now, I did this about an hour after I first noticed the stains. Perhaps if the stains had "set" for a few weeks it might have been harder -- I don't know. I did hear that another "solvent" that works well is vinegar (a natural acid), so if anyone doesn't get results from the above method, you might try it. But I didn't try it, so I don't know.

  • Vinegar does kill vegetation so be careful. I found that vinegar with a wire brush did take out the new rust areas and light
    – user43570
    Sep 16, 2015 at 15:52

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