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How Can I Clean Rust Stains Off Limestone Steps?

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Limestone is a stone surface that absorbs certain liquids. Rust stains can occur if these liquids run over certain metals before they reach the step. Rust stains are the most difficult of all to remove and cleaners that are purchased over the counter from hardware stores will not really have much effect on the stains. There are a number of different solutions when it comes to removing rust stains from limestone, and these are:

• Lemon juice
Lemon juice is extremely acidic and can be used to remove rust stains. The lemon juice used must not be from a bottle, or a plastic lemon. Only real lemon juice works. Squeeze the lemon juice, directly from the lemon onto the affected area. Leave the juice for approximately 5 minutes to allow some reaction with the stain. Making sure that the area is still wet, scrub with an old toothbrush or any bristled brush. Scrub for 5 minutes at a time, making sure that the solution is washed with clean water after wards. It may be necessary to repeat the process a few times, depending on the severity of the stain.

• Spirit vinegar
Apply the vinegar to the stain and leave for 5 minutes. Scrub with a bristled brush, and clear with clean water. Repeat the process again if the stain is still visible.

• Oxalic acid
This is a highly toxic substance, so it is essential that protective glasses and gloves be worn when using it. Test the acid on a small area first to ensure that it works, and then if it does, follow the instructions given. This acid is especially useful if the rust stains on the limestone are heavy and hard to remove with either lemon juice or spirit vinegar.

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