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How to Remove Rust from Stone

If you have ever seen this, then you know that it can be a particularly challenging task. Removing rust from a stone surface is not the easy task that many first think it to be. But there are ways to achieve it if you know what the nature of the rust stain is and are familiar with the treatment methods. Mostly though, it will require following instructions, a little "elbow grease", and some patience. In this article, we are going to look at some kinds of rust stains you may encounter. We will also discuss briefly some methods for removing them as we consider how to remove rust stains from natural stone surfaces.

Why the Need for Removing Rust?

This is a question that comes up occasionally and the answer is one that involves a number of factors. The short answer is that there are times when rust forms on (or in) natural stone surfaces. That's right, not all rust stains are the same. We'll get to that in a moment, but first let's complete the thought regarding the need for removing it.

You are likely aware that rust is not "static", meaning, rust continually forms and a stain that is very small today, will be larger in the future. Furthermore, it will continue to form and the stain will grow over time. This is one of the big reasons that rust stains on stone surfaces are a concern for many.

Different Kinds of Rust Stains

As we briefly mentioned, rust stains are not all the same. What do we mean by that? Well, depending on how the stain occurs and where it forms, the stain needs to be treated differently. Also, some stains might need to be treated repeatedly if they are are forming in a certain way.

Surface Rust

The first kind of rust stain we will discuss is the one on the surface of stone. Some rust stains are surface stains that are a result from a reaction taking place on the surface of the stone. What causes surface rust? One way that surface rust forms on a stone material is by leaving a metal object on the surface where moisture is present. The moisture and the metal react on the surface of the stone and rust forms in that location.

Rust from Inside the Rust?

Another kind of stain that occurs in relationship to stone is rust from within the material. That might sound far-fetched at first. However, rust is a process that happens when moisture and metals (such as iron or steel) are in the presence of oxygen (in the air). Did you know that iron can be found in natural stone? That's right. Notice the description of granite's composition mentioned by Berkley.edu. Because of this, some natural stone has the potential of forming rust in the pores of the stone if enough moisture and oxygen get to the iron.

Other Sources of Rust

As we have seen, there is the potential for rust forming if there is iron, moisture, and oxygen present in the same location. And we have looked at the fact that some stone has iron right in the stone itself. But did you know that there are other substances that contain iron? There are household items that contain iron and if these are left on the surface of a stone and moisture meets with them, they have the potential for causing rust stains. For example, lawn fertilizer contains iron. Therefore, leaving a bag of lawn fertilizer stting on an outdoor kitchen countertop made from stone, could result in a rust stain. There are other ways too, but you get the idea.

Rust Removal Methods

Because of the variety of ways rust forms in relation to the stone, many methods and products have been developed for removing it. Let's take a brief look at some of these now.

Removing Surface Rust With Tools

Rust on the surface of a stone can be an eyesore. Many of the aforementioned situations can cause rust to form on the surface of stone. Using the somewhat extreme, but thorough method of using stock removal tools to physically remove the rust, along with some of the stone is quite the undertaking and may not be necessary. However, this method of rust removal is effective.

Rust Removing Poultice Powder

For most cases where removing surface rust is the desired goal using poultice designed to reverse the staining process. These products generally work by using a blend of chelates that, when used in a specific way, reverse the natural process that enabled the stone to accept the rust stain. Yes, rust is removable if you use a rust remover designed for natural stone and following the instructions carefully.

Liquid Rust Removers

In addition to other methods mentioned above, stone rust remover liquid is also an option. The liquid products often times are appealing because they work in a simpler manner and often in less time. However, it is important to follow the instructions and be familiar with the type of stone you are treating.

In conclusion then, answering the question, "How can I remove rust from my stone surface?" is one that might have varying answers. Additionally, the answers might depend on what kind of stain it is, how large the affected area is, and the amount of time and resources you have to work on the stain. Yet, as we have seen in this article, there are several ways and products that can be used to accomplish the task.

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