Pressure Washer Rust Removal: Can You Pressure Wash Rust Off Metal and Other Surfaces?

can pressure washer remove rust

Rust creeps in slowly, turning your once state-of-the-art equipment and visually appealing building exteriors into dull, red-brown eyesores. All of your business’s rusty machines, surfaces, and equipment are costing you big time–both in your bottom line and curb appeal.

Thankfully, using a pressure washer to remove rust is a surefire solution.

But you may be thinking, can pressure washers remove rust?

The answer is a resounding yes! Pressure washing rust is the go-to solution for business owners everywhere.

We’ll cover everything you need to know, including how to remove rust stains from concrete with pressure washers, which equipment to look for while shopping, and how to add soap to a pressure washer to speed up the process.

Pressure washer rust removal is simple at Hotsy of Houston, the #1 choice for an industrial pressure washer in Houston! Our experienced and friendly staff is here to help you analyze your needs. We’ll set you up with the exact equipment you need to say goodbye to rust forever.

Overview of Rust Removal

Before we dive into pressure washer rust removal, we’ll need to briefly discuss the basics, including how rust forms and why speed is essential.

How Does Rust Form?

Rust results from a chemical reaction between three common elements: iron, oxygen, and water. When these elements mix, they create a compound called iron oxide, which gives rust its red-brown color and eats away at your surfaces.

As you may have already seen, this process can be difficult to prevent entirely. Rainy days can slowly rust your metal fencing, locking you into a seemingly endless battle against it.

Why Rapid Removal is Essential

The kicker of all this is that Rust doesn’t just appear overnight. It’s a slow and steady process that will wreak havoc when left unchecked.

Rust removes the iron in an underlying surface, creating small “pits” in the base metal. This will compromise equipment, leading to costly breakdowns, safety hazards, and devastating downtime. Plus, the unsightly appearance of rust will turn off customers, vendors, and clients in a heartbeat.

Thankfully, the solution, like how to remove rust stains from concrete with pressure washers, is simple to learn and very effective.

So, how can pressure washers remove rust so quickly, anyway? Let’s talk about it next.

Can Pressure Washer Remove Rust?

Businesses have been pressure washing industrial buildings for years, thanks to the unparalleled cleaning power and speed that trims cleaning times to a fraction of the time other methods take.

But can pressure washers remove rust?

The answer is a resounding yes.

Can You Pressure Wash Rust Off Metal?

Pressure washing rust off metal is the most reliable way to restore rust to its original beauty. A power washer’s high-pressure stream can blast away even the most stubborn rust, leaving a shiny and clean finish.

Using a pressure washer to remove rust is even more effective with an effective detergent, as this can further disrupt the chemical bonds in iron oxide.

What About Rust Stains on Concrete?

Learning how to remove rust stains from concrete with pressure washers is another critical skill that will revolutionize your business’s cleaning processes. Whether you encounter rust from leaky pipes, tools, equipment, or outdoor furniture, those telltale red-brown blotches can turn your clean concrete into an eyesore.

Thankfully, pressure washing concrete is just as easy as on metal surfaces. The high-pressure water stream is perfect for penetrating deep into porous concrete and lifting out stubborn stains.

Comparing Pressure Washing With Other Rust Removal Methods

Pressure washing is fantastic, but are there any other methods for rust removal?

We’ve worked with hundreds of businesses that frequently deal with rust, and the evidence is clear that pressure washing is unmatched.

Sure, you could try a chemical rust remover or some good old-fashioned manual scrubbing. However, both of these methods have significant drawbacks.

Chemical solutions can be extremely harsh on the underlying surfaces, making them a no-go for sensitive machinery or structural materials. On the other hand, manual scrubbing takes an absurd amount of time to remove rust, costing you far more labor than pressure washer rental costs would.

Learning how to remove rust stains from concrete with pressure washers is the most reliable way to go about it. With a harmonious mix of speed, power, and safety, pressure washing rust is a no-brainer.

Now that you know how effective it can be, what is the best industrial pressure washer for your needs? Let’s talk about it next.

Choosing a Pressure Washer to Remove Rust

How can pressure washers remove rust so effectively? One primary reason is that there are several types of pressure washers that are perfectly suited to the task.

We’ll answer all your burning questions, like what size pressure washer do I need or what is the best soap for pressure washer rust removal, to ensure you have everything you need to eradicate rust.

Optimal Pressure Washer PSI and GPM for Rust Removal

Banishing rust with your pressure washer all starts with your water stream. PSI & GPM on a pressure washer are the two factors determining your stream’s effectiveness. You want enough oomph to blast away rust without going overboard and damaging the underlying surface.

Pressure washer PSI, or pounds per square inch, controls the amount of power. Look for something between 2,000 and 3,000 PSI for the best results.

GPM stands for gallons per minute and determines the volume of water. We recommend at least 2 GPM, but optimally 4 for tougher cleaning tasks.

Is Hot or Cold Pressure Washing Better for Rust?

Water temperature is the next crucial decision. Both sides of the hot water vs cold water pressure washer debate have their merits, but when it comes to rust, hot water is a clear winner.

The extra heat helps break down the chemical bonds or iron oxide, letting you blast away the rust while leaving the underlying surface intact.

But can pressure washers remove rust with cold water? The answer is still yes, but it may take longer. Still, they are a more affordable option, so the trade-off could be worth it.

Does an Electric or Gas Model Make More Sense?

Engine types are our next point of contention. The gas vs electric pressure washer conversation heavily depends on your needs, as both are effective in their own ways.

Electric models are an excellent option for smaller jobs in enclosed spaces. They are quiet, environmentally friendly, and you don’t have to worry about running out of fuel while cleaning!

Conversely, gas-powered models pack an extra punch, with higher PSI and GPM ratings than their counterparts. They are excellent for large-scale rust removal and are easier to maneuver outdoors since they don’t need to be plugged into an outlet.

The best pressure washers, like those from Hotsy, provide enough options to allow you to focus on your exact needs. If you have an indoor job, you can still harness the cleaning power of a 3000 PSI machine with an electric model like Hotsy’s 1744 or 1745. Be sure to hone in on your needs to make the best choice.

Don’t Forget Nozzles, Attachments, and Detergents!

No pressure washer equipment list without the best pressure washer accessories, like nozzles, detergents, and attachments!

Nozzle selection is critical for effective rust removal. You’ll want to aim for a 15 or 25-degree nozzle to hit the sweet spot between power and precision.

The attachments you want to use will vary based on your specific needs. For example, the Hotsy Extension Wand can help you reach up to 40’ in the air for large-scale jobs, while something like the Hotsy Surface Cleaner is suited for clearing rust from concrete floors.

Soap is also essential for optimizing cleaning. Hotsy carries a few specific blends formulated to tackle rust, like Hotsy 99, which is safe for use on metal surfaces.

You now have all the information you need to start rust removal, so the only thing left is to start shopping! Thankfully, the #1 home for industrial hot water pressure washers in Houston is right before you…

Hotsy of Houston Has Everything You Need to Start Pressure Washing Rust!

Houston business owners who need a powerful and reliable pressure washer to remove rust should look no further than Hotsy of Houston.

Whether you want to buy or rent a pressure washer, Hotsy of Houston offers unparalleled expertise and friendly service. We’re proud to be Southeast Texas’ authorized Hotsy retailer, working with the most reliable brand in the industry to put high-quality cleaning machines in the hands of business owners.

As the premier home of industrial pressure washer rental in Houston, we simplify the entire process. Our friendly team of Houston natives will walk you through how to rent a pressure washer, working closely with you to match your business needs with a suitable model. We even sell and rent out pressure washer trailers in Houston for large-scale jobs.

If you are looking for pressure washer parts in Houston, we’ve also got you covered. We carry thousands of parts, from the smallest cogs you need to keep your machine running smoothly to essential accessories like soap and attachments.

Plus, we are the best place to find industrial pressure washer repair in Houston. As a Hotsy warranty repair shop, our comprehensive inspection process and speedy work will ensure your machine stays in peak condition with minimal downtime.

How to Remove Rust Stains From Concrete With Pressure Washer

Before you start shopping, let’s discuss how the removal process works.

You’ll start by donning your PPE, like non-slip pressure washing boots and gloves. Be sure to clear the area of debris or obstacles.

You’ll then apply a pressure washing pre-treatment, such as a concrete rust remover blend. Let it soak for a while as you set up your pressure washer.

Set your pressure washer to 3,000 PSI and adjust the nozzle to the 15 or 25-degree range. Fill up your detergent tank with your soap of choice, like Hotsy 99, and you’re ready to begin.

Work in small sections, starting from the outer edges and working inward and down. Use slow, sweeping motions for full coverage. For stubborn spots, you can use a nylon brush.

Rinse the area thoroughly and let it air dry.

Tips on Pressure Washing to Clear Rust on Metal Surfaces

What about how to use a pressure washer on metal?

The process is quite similar to that of concrete. You’ll start with your PPE and pre-treatment, setting your nozzle to 15 or 25-degrees.

For metal, we want to be a little more gentle. Start your PSI at around 2,000, and slowly work your way up to 3,000 to avoid damaging the underlying metal.

Move toward the metal grain to avoid scratches. Focus on the edges, corners, and hard-to-reach spots where rust tends to accumulate.

Preventative Measures for Rust 

Pressure washing is extremely powerful as a solution to rust, but sometimes prevention is worth an ounce of cure! Here’s a few tips to keep rust away:

  • Regularly inspect your metal addressing signs as they appear with pressure washing
  • Apply sealants for an added layer of protection
  • Store metal items in a cool, dry place
  • Consider upgrading to stainless steel or galvanized metal for better rust resistance

Parting Thoughts on Pressure Washing Rust Removal

Conquering rust is no easy task, but you now have all the necessary tools to do the job!

The only thing left to do is for you to decide where to rent a pressure washer to get started. Our team at Hotsy of Houston is here to help.

Whether you want to know how to maintain a pressure washer or need assistance choosing the right pressure washer detergent, our team will work as your strategic partner to identify the perfect cleaning solution.

If you enjoyed learning how to remove rust stains from concrete with pressure washers, check out our blog for more tips! Other use cases we’ve explored include pressure washing graffiti, pressure washing parking lots, oil rig pressure washing, pressure washing farm equipment, and pressure washing construction equipment.

Otherwise, finding the best industrial cold water pressure washers in Houston is as simple as visiting Hotsy of Houston. Send us an email or stop by our Pasadena storefront to learn more!