How to Remove Stains from Concrete
Concrete stains can be very tough for a couple reasons.
First of all, the concrete areas in our homes tend to take a lot of abuse, such as garage floors, patios and driveways.
To make matters worse, concrete is a porous substance so it absorbs just about anything that it comes in contact with. However, removing stains from concrete is still possible and can sometimes be done without professional help.
Removing Oil Stains from Concrete:
If you maintain your own vehicles and do oil changes in the garage, chances are you've spilled some on the concrete. When cleaning up spills, do not use a wire brush as this can erode and scratch the surface of the concrete.
Liquid Dish Soap and Water:
If you've spilled oil in the driveway and it's fresh, dish soap and water can work successfully when acted upon right a way. (dish soap is made for removing grease) A good grease cutting liquid detergent like Dawn works best.
- Squirt some liquid dish soap on the stain.
- Fill a bucket with warm water, dip a firm nylon brush into the water and start scrubbing the area. Using a little elbow grease helps to get a good lather going.
- The soap will blend with the oil causing it to lift from the concrete.
- Rinse the area clean.
Since concrete is so porous, regular towels don’t always work for removing stains. Instead, try using kitty litter. This is highly absorbent and will actually suck out a lot of the spilled liquid from the concrete. It is especially effective on cleaning oil spills so if you maintain your own vehicles, it's a good choice to keep on hand. Depending on the size of the spill, will depend on how much kitty litter you use. You want enough litter to cover the spill thoroughly. Leave it on the spill overnight then sweep up the litter.
To use this method, first dampen the stained area then sprinkle lots of baking soda over the stain on the concrete. Use a firm nylon brush to rub it into the stained area and let it sit for about 15 minutes while you go to boil a large pot of water.
Once the water is boiling, pour it over the concrete where the baking soda is. The idea is to remove stains by flooding the pores of the concrete. So, you will need ample water. When the water has cooled down, use a brush with firm bristles to scrub out the stain.
Tough Concrete Stain Removers:
Eximo Concrete Cleaner:
For a commercial concrete cleaner, this product is a safer more environmentally friendly approach. According to the manufacturer Eximo Concrete Cleaner is more than a surface cleaner, it breaks down the hydrocarbon chain into harmless water and CO2. It works deep into the pores of concrete, restoring its original luster and clean appearance. It's a dry powder that's swept over the surface of the concrete. That's it and you're done. It's a time released program that will visibly show results within two applications, for older and fresh stains.
Swab Powdered Concrete Cleaner:
This product is more caustic and care should be taken when using it. Always wear gloves and protective eyewear when using these types of chemical cleaners.
Swab Concrete Cleaner removes grease and oil, and ground in dirt from concrete floors. It will clean oil and grease residue and brighten your concrete floors.
When using commercial products always read the instructions prior to use.
Tips for Keeping your Concrete Stain Free:
- Clean up spills immediately and don't rub around the surface as this will result in spreading the liquid around and more area for it to seep into.
- Removing stains from concrete can be a very demanding job. Consider is treating your concrete floor with a sealant to prevent against stains.