Things You'll Need
Nylon-bristle scrub brush
Seal your patio furniture with a spray-on metal primer to ensure that the rust does not return.
Always wear protective gloves and clothing when working with oxalic acid.
Many pavers end up with rust stains, thanks to improperly sealed wrought iron patio furniture. If you have rust stains on your pavers, the stain removal process is not nearly as complicated as you might imagine. In fact, in many cases you can remove the rust stains with a surprising item that is probably in your refrigerator right now.
Treat the rust stains with lemon juice. Wait for a sunny day, since sunlight interacts with lemon to make it a more effective cleaning agent. Slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice directly on the stains. Allow it to stay on the stains for five minutes, which should not be long enough for it to dry out. Scrub the stains using the nylon-bristle brush. In most cases, this should lift the stain completely or nearly completely.
Finish off the stain with a dose of white vinegar. Pour it directly on the stained areas and cover the saturated area with a cleaning rag to keep it damp. Allow the vinegar to stay for 15 minutes before scrubbing it aggressively with the scrub brush.
Rinse the pavers down with lots of water from the hose. This will help you see how effective your efforts have been so far. It will also dilute the vinegar runoff so that it does not hurt grass or plants around the patio.
Attack stubborn rust spots with oxalic acid (wood bleach). This is a powdered acid that is mixed with water to create a cleaning solution. You should wear your rubber gloves to work with it. Mix the acid and water in the plastic bucket, being careful to follow the specific instructions on the label for dilution since every manufacturer makes this product slightly differently. You can then scrub the rust stains right off the patio with the wood bleach and the bristle brush.
Rinse down the patio once more. If there are any rust spots remaining, tackle them again with the oxalic acid since it can take more than one treatment. When all the rust is gone, wait to replace your patio furniture until the pavers are completely dry.
Carole Ellis began writing in 2004 for the "UGA Research Magazine." Her work has appeared in Growing Edge, Medscape and Doctors' Guide publications. In addition to medical coverage, Carole publishes a real estate newsletter called REJournalOnline and is the news editor for the Bryan Ellis Real Estate Letter. She has a bachelor's degree in English and graduate work in creative writing and plant biology.