Knowing how to remove rust from your balcony is a vital skill to keep things looking tidy. Rust isn’t great to look at but left alone it can cause significant damage to exposed metal.
In this article, we’ll look at how to remove rust from everything from balcony railings to outdoor furniture. There’s a range of solutions, including common household items and hard-hitting industrial products.
Where Will You Find Rust on a Balcony?
You’ll find rust on a balcony anywhere that’s made of iron. Almost all metals oxidize in some form, but iron is the only one that rusts. Copper turning green (verdigris) is the equivalent of rusting.
So, rust can occur on:
- Balcony railings
- Outdoor furniture
You can also find rust stains on outdoor fabric, as the iron oxide (rust) mixes with water or rubs off. Luckily, this is fairly easy to remove with the right products.
How to Prevent Rusting
The best option for how to remove rust is to stop it from happening in the first place. Cleaning and maintaining ironwork is key and should be done every few months depending on your weather.
Also, if your ironwork isn’t already treated, use anti-rust outdoor paint. An oil-based paint provides a protective coating that stops iron from oxidizing in the first place.
How to Remove Rust from a Balcony
So, what’s the best rust remover? It entirely depends on the level of rust and the amount of effort you’re willing to put in. Below are some of the top picks for rust remover products.
If your rust problem isn’t too bad, lemon juice or vinegar will do the job. These are very light acids that separate iron oxide from iron. Adding some coarse salt to the area will provide abrasion, making rust removal much easier.
Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) is another easy household product for removing rust. You mix it into a thick paste with water, apply it to the affected area, and leave it for an hour.
Then, use a wire brush to scrub the area and remove it with some water.
Rust remover either comes in a spray bottle or liquid form. Instructions vary by product but are generally, “apply the product, wash off”.
Some rust remover products are more hard-hitting than others, and you should also consider the environmental impact. It might not be the best idea to use these products if you have kids or pets, as you can’t guarantee you’ll remove all traces.
Also, these products often aren’t suitable for use on fabrics or some floor surfaces.
Rust Remover Gun
If you have large areas to treat, such as in a large-scale renovation project, a rust remover gun might be your best option.
These are sand blasters and remove rust through abrasion. It’s basically the same concept as using baking soda, but on a more powerful scale. If you don’t want to bother buying one, you might be able to rent one from your local DIY store.
How to Remove Rust from Different Balcony Areas
So, now that we have our range of rust remover products, it’s time to look at how to remove rust from different areas of the balcony. These instructions are fairly brief, as it’s often not a difficult job.
If the areas of rust on your balcony railings are minor, vinegar or baking soda will be fine.
- Remove loose debris using a wire brush.
- Apply the product to rusted areas, making sure to cover everything.
- Leave to sit, either an hour for baking soda or 5-10 minutes for vinegar.
- If using vinegar/lemon juice, apply some coarse sea salt.
- Scrub the area with a wire brush to remove the rust.
- Clean with a damp cloth and water to remove excess product.
- Finish by painting or treating the iron to prevent further rust.
When working on larger areas, a rust remover gun is the better option. You can follow this video on how to remove rust using a sand blaster for more information.
Few balconies will have iron flooring, but you might find that rust has bled onto the floor and stained it. The best solution will depend on the type of flooring you have, as some can withstand more abuse than others.
Baking soda or vinegar are probably the best solutions, providing you’re willing to use some elbow grease. You can leave them for up to 30 minutes.
Failing that, rust remover spray is the next best option. Follow the instructions on the bottle, but avoid using it on wooden flooring.
The method to remove rust from outdoor furniture is much the same as balcony railings, as they’re essentially the same material. As above, consider painting the furniture to prevent more rust in the future.
You can use a rust remover spray instead, but put down some plastic sheeting to protect your floor. Also, you could use a rust remover gun if you’re completely renovating the furniture.
This is best on all-metal furniture. If your outdoor furniture has cushions, remove them before treatment.
Another area where you’ll want to remove rust from outdoor furniture are the cushions. You can use this method on rugs and other soft items you keep outdoors.
For washable fabrics, liberally pour vinegar onto the stain and blot it with a towel. Leave in the sun so the stain can fade, and then wash according to instructions.
For non-washable fabrics, pour on vinegar and leave for 30 minutes. Add coarse salt and scrub with a cloth. Rinse and repeat until the stain disappears.
Avoid bleach, as this will cause the stain to oxidize further.
When it comes to how to remove rust, the best solutions are household products and elbow grease. Along with this, proper maintenance of the iron product is vital to prevent rust from forming in the first place.
So, get yourself some vinegar and salt and burn some calories!