Help Cleaning Pavers

Hoping I could get some advice on cleaning some stubborn pavers. Hot water isn’t budging the stains. Thanks in advance for any advice.

Have you tried any chems ?

Looks like iron stains from well water

1 Like

I got this job last minute yesterday afternoon and by that time the supply house was closed so I’m stuck with only being able to use Lowe’s/Home Depo. I bought some rust off to try a small test area and it removed the rust but lightened the color of the pavers so I’m back to square one.

Hmm. Im not the most experienced with certain chems, but I can tell you for almost certain you’re gonna need REAL chems. Probably not anything you’ll find at lowes… maybe oxalic or muriatic acid as those look like either hard water stains or maybe rust stains?
@CaCO3Girl would know. Shes the mad scientist around here…

That’s what I’m afraid of, unfortunately they asked to have it done by Monday and I won’t be getting quality chems on the weekend. Never fails

The thing about rust removers is they lighten the area where applied so you usually have to apply to the whole area or try to gradually blend them. That’s likely your only option right now. I would try and keep it off the dark colored pavers so you don’t have to apply it to them at all. I would give oxalic a try. You’ll pay more for it but go to the painting department at Lowes or Home Depot and get some wood brightener. It should be by the deck cleaners. It’s just oxalic acid. Look at the label to confirm though. Mix at 8 oz per gallon. It might take multiple applications with agitation in between. If oxalic doesn’t work you might have to order some F9 Barc. I’ve always had pretty good luck with oxalic though.

1 Like

Thanks! I’ll give it a try. These last minute jobs with deadlines always turn out to be a pain.

This is before and after with just hot water. I found some good industrial degreaser in the back of the shop. Wondering if it would clean without damaging the color of the pavers

A degreaser is for grease. It might help clean the basic grime but won’t touch the rust or mineral deposits. As with any job it’s all about the proper chemicals for the stain at hand. Hot water and pressure isn’t going to remove rust.

1 Like

Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it. I’m going to try what you suggested. Does it need to be rinsed off by pressure washing. Or can I just hose it off with a water hose after treating with the oxalic?

I basically apply the oxalic exactly how Front 9 Restoration recommends to apply F9 Barc.

You shouldn’t have to pressure washer afterwards. Just before the oxalic to clean and open up the pores.

1 Like

Do yourself a favor and order some chems and have them stocked in the shop so that you’ll always have what you need. You def dont wanna be in this kind of situation. No bueno. I keep all my chems at the shop so that I dont have to order anything and I’ll have them for whatever job. I have a store near me that sells truck parts and chems and industrial pump supplies… they also sell caustic chems and other similar types of corrosive chems and acids. You ought to see if you have a company like this near you, might be easier than having to special order something. You’ll be able to just walk in and leave with a 5 gallon jug or box/ container of what you need to get this job done…


I give up. which one is the before and after? Both pics still looks dirty and it’s not all rust, mud or whatever.


I know this will shock many, but the Lowe’s and Home Depot’s of the world actually have decent chemicals…they just are called different things than you are use to.

As was said, “deck/wood brightener” is usually oxalic. Need caustic soda, look for a paint stripper, want a good rust and mineral remover try CLR (it stands for calcium, lime and rust), and as shocking as it is, some of your super strong chemicals like muriatic and even hydrofluoric can be found in many toilet bowl cleaners. Even Walmart has a section for power wash chemicals that are designed to be diluted.

In a pinch, don’t knock the box stores. They actually do stock heavy duty chemicals, just not as you know them.


@CaCO3Girl your so awesome…glad you still hang around :grin:


Racer, That’s obviously the issue and why the post was created… It’s grease from construction equipment…

Thanks for the info! That’s a lot of good information! This is an iconic high rise in downtown Dallas that I’ve serviced for the past four years and the fear of damaging the pavers has me second guessing everything. I invoice over 100k in PO’s each year at this one property. I’ll update everyone on the progress. That’s again to everyone that contributed!

1 Like

Thank you, please just remember to @ me if anyone needs me. Happy to help!


I thought you said it was mineral deposits? If it’s grease use a degreaser. Try that degreaser you mentioned you have or get some EBC.