Video:How to Clean a Concrete Stainwith Zoya Popova
Concrete stains can be stubborn to remove, but the right cleaning product for the right stain can do the trick. Watch this About.com video to see how to clean concrete stains.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Clean a Concrete Stain
Hi, I'm Zoya Popova, and today we're going to talk about removing concrete stains.
Absorbing Stains from Concrete
If you're dealing with a fresh spill on your concrete, the only thing you may end up needing is an absorbent material, such as baking soda, clay-based kitty-litter, or talc. Act quickly. Spread it all over the stain and let sit for at least a day. Then, sweep up and see if any additional treatment is needed.
Treating Concrete Stains
Additional treatment comes in the form of chemicals that can be used to loosen and lift your contaminant from the concrete. You have several options. For dirt, greasy, and food stains, try:
- some dishwashing liquid dissolved in warm water
- laundry detergent, scrubbed into the surface, then activated with boiling water
- oven degreaser.
Types of Stains in Concrete
For rust and lime stains, use a toilet bowl cleaner based on hydrochloric acid. For paint, your options are acetone or paint thinner.
You also have some chemicals that are multifunctional. A bleach solution (2 cups per 1 gallon of water) may help with both grease and mildew. An ammonia solution (1 cup per 1 gallon of water) will fight off grease and rust. A solution of trisodium phosphate, or TSP (1/2 cup per 2 gallons of water) is a heavy-duty cleaner that will help deal with grease and grime, as well as loosen latex paint.
A word of caution. Do not mix any of your chemicals together unless manufacturer's instructions clearly state you can do so. For example, TSP can be combined with bleach to increase its stain-busting properties; but bleach mixed with ammonia produces fumes that can be lethal.
Applying Cleaning Products to Concrete
Once you've picked your chemical agent, you can apply it in two ways. Your first option is to scrub it deep into the concrete surface using a stiff nylon brush. Let sit for up to an hour, then remove. Try to avoid hosing the chemicals down the storm drain: they are detrimental to wildlife. Instead, collect with wet towels, and cover the entire area with kitty-litter or baby powder. Let dry.
Alternatively, instead of using your chemical and your absorber in succession, you can mix them together into a poultice. Once again, follow manufacturer's instructions for safety. If you're not sure, pick an inert absorber, such as talc. Mix the absorbent material and the chemical agent together into a paste. Apply it to your stain in a thick layer. Let sit for at least a day until completely dry. Then, scoop up and remove any residue with warm water.
Concrete stains can be stubborn, so don't hesitate to repeat these steps if necessary. Thank you for watching, and for more information, please visit us at About.com.