Will WD-40 Remove Rust from Concrete? (Yes & Here’s How)

Will WD-40 Remove Rust from Concrete? (Yes & Here’s How)

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If you have rust stains on your concrete driveway, walkway, or patio, you probably want to remove them. After all, those rust stains just don’t look very nice. You might have heard that WD-40 has the ability to remove rust from concrete, but is this really true? The answer here is that as long as you are using the right kind of WD-40, yes, it will remove rust from concrete, so let’s figure out how this works.

What Is WD-40 and Will It Remove Rust Stains From Concrete?

Regular WD-40 is a multi-use lubricant designed to lubricate various metal and moving components, while also acting as a moisture displacer and rust preventer.

So, regular WD-40 is made out of petroleum, hydrotreated heavy, petroleum base oils, hydrodesulfurized heavy, trimethyl benzene, and other ingredients. Now, while regular WD-40 will prevent rust from forming on metal and other surfaces, and may remove small amounts, it’s not ideal for very heavy buildups.

However, there is a special type of WD-40, called WD-40 Specialist Rust Remover Soak, which will remove rust from metal and other surfaces, and it works for heavy and thick rust stains. It features a biodegradable and non-toxic formula that is very strong and fast acting.

Is Using WD-40 the Best Way to Remove Rust From Concrete?

WD-40, the regular version, is okay for removing relatively small and lightweight rust stains from concrete. Moreover, using the WD-40 Specialist Rust Remover is even better, as it can penetrate much deeper into rust and works well on large and heavy rust stains. So, the bottom line is that WD-40 does work for removing rust from concrete, although whether or not it is the best way to do so is questionable.

While WD-40 should not damage concrete, it may occasionally stain it or remove pigment from it. Therefore, using it on painted concrete is not recommended. Moreover, the WD-40 itself can be somewhat hard to remove from concrete once it has been applied. On that note, WD-40 is also not the most eco-friendly product around, so using it outside and then washing it down a drain or sewer isn’t exactly ideal.

If you need something extremely powerful and ideal for removing heavy rust stains, muriatic acid, hydrochloric acid, and concrete rust remover is best. If you want something more eco-friendly, then lime juice and vinegar, baking soda and laundry detergent, and CLR all make for better options.

Pros of Using WD-40 for Removing Rust From Concrete

Now that we know that WD-40 works for this purpose, let’s talk about why you might want to try this method in the first place.

1. It Works in Most Cases

What’s convenient about using WD-40 for this purpose is that you can use either the multi-use version or the specialized rust remover, depending on the severity of the stain. Whether a light or heavy stain, WD-40 should work in most cases. Also, unless the concrete is painted, you should be able to use it in most places.

2. It’s Not Overly Expensive

Yes, the WD-40 Specialist Rust Remover is a bit more expensive than a regular spray can of WD-40, but both don’t cost all that much. WD-40 Rust Remover is not the cheapest thing in the world, but there are more expensive options yet. If it’s just a light rust stain, you’ll only have to spend a few dollars on normal WD-40.

3. It’s Pretty Easy

Using WD-40 to remove rust is very easy. You simply have to apply it, let it soak for a few minutes, scrub, and rinse it all away. That said, as you will see, you may need a degreasing agent to remove the WD-40 residue.

Cons of Using WD-40 for Removing Rust From Concrete

Let’s take a quick look at the drawbacks of using WD-40 to remove rust from concrete.

1. It’s Not for All Types of Concrete

Due to possible staining and coloration issues, using WD-40 on painted concrete is not recommended.

2. You’ll Have to Scrub

If you are using the WD-40 Rust Remover, then this issue won’t be as severe. However, if you are using regular WD-40, you will need to use a hard brush to scrub a bit, especially for heavy stains.

3. It’s Not Very Eco-Friendly

One of the biggest issues with WD-40 is that it’s not very eco-friendly, as it contains petroleum and petroleum-based substances. This means that it can be toxic to insects and animals, it can pollute groundwater and soil, and it’s not something that you want on the ground around your pets.

4. It Can Be Hard to Remove

Regular WD-40 is a lubricant and quite greasy, so removing it from the concrete may in itself require a degreaser.

How to Remove Rust from Concrete with WD-40

Let’s talk about how to remove rust from concrete using WD-40 Specialist Rust Remover.

Step 1: Apply the WD-40

Whether using the regular version or the rust remover, apply a generous amount of WD-40 to the affected area, and then let it soak for the recommended amount of time, which is going to be about ten minutes.

Step 2: Scrub

Use a hard-bristled brush to thoroughly scrub the area. You will need some elbow grease for this.

Step 3: Rinse

Use cold water to rinse everything away. You may need to apply some dish soap or a different degreaser to the area to remove all of the WD-40. You may need to repeat this process to remove all rust.

Mistakes to Avoid, Tips & Tricks

Let’s go over a few tips to help make this process easier for you.

  • It may be a good idea to wear safety goggles and gloves
  • Don’t let the WD-40 soak for more than 10 or 15 minutes.
  • Don’t do this when there are pets present.


There you have it, folks, how to remove rust stains from concrete using WD-40. As you can see, it’s quite easily done.