How to Get Stains Out of Concrete
Posted By:Dynamic Concrete Pumping , Date: Apr 15, 2022
Your high-traffic concrete surfaces — such as garage floors, patios and driveways — might experience many spills and stains. However, it is possible to clean your concrete surfaces. Whether you’re dealing with paint, rust, oil, mildew or other difficult stains, you can restore the look of your concrete using a combination of methods and some trial and error.
Your removal effort will depend on how fresh the stain is and if your concrete has cracks on the surface. Cracks make it easy for liquids and rust to get stuck in the concrete. Use this as a guide for how to get stains out of concrete floors, and find a treatment that works for you. You can also learn how to avoid these stains in the future to protect your concrete surfaces.
How to Remove Oil Stains From Concrete
Oil stains can create uneven splotches on your concrete driveway, patio or garage floor. Oil can also seep into the soles of your shoes and follow you into your home. Oil stains can create more problems if you plan on sealing, staining or resurfacing your concrete. They might creep back up to the surface and ruin your new treatment — and your hard work.
The longer you leave a stain and the larger it is, the more challenging to remove it. Here’s how to remove bad oil stains from concrete before it penetrates deeper. Remember that you may need to use a combination of these methods depending on the size and age of your oil stain.
- Cat litter: Pour clay or clumping cat litter on your oil stain and use a strong brush to buff it in. Leave the litter in place for a few hours or overnight and then sweep it up in the morning. Repeat as necessary.
- Trisodium phosphate (TSP): With goggles and gloves on, mix one cup of TSP to a gallon of hot water and pour it over your oil stain. Let the solution soak for about 30 minutes and scrub it with a stiff brush. Lastly, use high-pressure water to rinse the spot clean.
- Soap and detergent: For a fresh stain, use a cloth to soak up any excess oil. Then, use dish soap, strong detergent, concrete cleaner or degreaser to help loosen and remove the oil residue with the help of a brush. Rinse the spot clean with water.
How to Remove Paint Stains From Concrete
Paint spills are common but not always permanent. Like oil stains, the amount of materials and effort you need to remove paint stains depends on factors like the type of paint, size of the stain and porosity of your concrete. While a slight touch of color may remain if you spill onto unsealed concrete, here’s how to clean stained concrete with some different options:
- Trisodium phosphate: Use the same TSP solution listed above.
- Power washing: You can rent an industrial power washer or hire a professional to polish the surface of your concrete.
- Soda blasting: You can blast your paint stain using granular sodium bicarbonate — or baking soda — at high pressure to remove several layers of paint. This method is less aggressive than others, and it’s more environmentally friendly.
- Floor grinders: You can grind and remove thin paint coatings using a handheld concrete grinder. You’ll want to hook it up to a vacuum port to collect all the dust and ensure an easy cleanup. You can also hire a professional to do this — it can be tricky if you’re unfamiliar with the equipment.
- Chemical paint strippers: Make sure you use a paint stripper formulated for the type of oil or water-based paint you’re trying to remove. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make and apply the paste. Leave it on the stain for about 30 minutes — or up to 24 hours — then scrub the spot and rinse or mop it clean.
Remember when using any paint stripper or chemical to wear gloves, goggles and a respirator. Be sure to leave your garage door open for plenty of ventilation.
How to Remove Rust Stains From Concrete
Rust stains can form on your concrete from plant pots, tools and metal furniture. While these can be difficult to tackle, here’s how to remove concrete stains when you’re dealing with rust:
- Phosphoric acid: Pour white vinegar, lemon juice or even Coca-Cola over your stains and let it sit for 10 minutes. Scrub it with a stiff nylon brush and rinse. Repeat as needed.
- Chemical rust remover: Like paint strippers, rust removers have powerful oxalic acids and chemicals, so it’s important to protect your skin and eyes when applying. Follow the manufacturer’s directions before applying and let it sit for the recommended time. Then hose the area with high-pressure water and repeat if necessary.
- Trisodium phosphate: Use the same TSP solution listed above as another alternative.
Tips to Prevent Concrete Stains
Now that you’ve learned what gets stains out of concrete, let’s look at some preventative tips. While cleaning methods can eliminate or greatly minimize various stains on concrete, the best way to prevent stains altogether is with regular maintenance.
Routine cleaning can help you avoid rust, paint, oil and other stains you may not notice until it’s too late. Remember to keep your cement clean by sweeping it weekly or monthly. Try to keep your cement dry, and clean up any spills as they happen.
- Sealants: Keeping your concrete sealed can help prevent stains and liquids from penetrating cracks. Sealants also protect your floor and keep them looking new.
- Divert Moisture: If your driveway and garage have concrete floors, use downspout extensions to keep any rainwater flow towards your lawn instead of on your concrete. After a storm, sweep any leaves, twigs and debris to prevent trapped moisture leading to discoloration and mildew stains.
- Barriers: Always try to use liners and barriers under your cars, workstation or furniture to protect your cement from oil spills, water damage and other runoff stains.
- Rust prevention: Remove any rustable objects like pots and cans that don’t have coats on them to prevent them from rusting on your surfaces. You can also apply a coating or layer of paint on any decor or hardware you want to keep within reach.
Contact Dynamic Concrete Pumping, Inc. For Commercial Concrete Services
Learning how to get rid of stains on concrete is a key part of keeping your surfaces looking new and protecting them from long-lasting damage. At Dynamic Concrete Pumping, we have over 40 years of experience in various concrete services, and we are constantly updating our equipment to align with new, efficient technology.
From concrete pumping to grinding and polishing, we have the experience and technical expertise to keep your floors looking great through years of high traffic. You can rely on our technicians to get the job done efficiently with our reliable, broad fleet of equipment and finishing specifications. Contact us today to learn more about our services or request a quote online.