How To Clean Concrete

Pressure Washing

Pressure washing your concrete from time to time can be a great way of making it look good. Most rental stores rent pressure washers for a great daily rate, however most of these pressure washers put out over 4000 PSI, that’s 4000 pounds per square inch. With that kind of power, you can destroy your concrete over time. When using too much pressure you can cause the concrete to flake or cause pop outs. If you flake your concrete or cause small cracks in it then it will let water seep into the cracked areas and if it freezes it will pop out little chunks of concrete. Here are a few tips forcleaning your concrete;

Cleaning dirt and grime

When using your pressure washer always adjust the pressure for the area that your cleaning. If you are just cleaning dirt and grime then most likely you won’t need any cleaner, water will do the trick most of the time. In most cases 2500 psi will clean any dirt or stains without damaging the concrete. If you have stubborn dirt or algae, then you can pour a little house hold bleach on it and let it set for about 15 minute before power washing off.

Cleaning oil stains

First off you need to get rid of the oil that’s on top of the concrete by sprinkling some kitty litter on the oil spot then grind it into the concrete with your feet. Let it set for a couple of minutes and then power wash it off. This will get rid of the oil that’s on top of the concrete. Now find some degreaser that has alkaline in it and sprinkle it over the stain and let it soak in for about 15 minutes or so, then rinse with hot water. Most of the time dawn dish soap will do the trick for lifting oil stains.

Removing rust stains

Rust stains can be the most difficult depending on how porous the concrete is and how long the rust has been there. You can go to your local home improvement store and find a cleaner with oxalic acid in it. You should find it in the deck cleaning section. Take the cleaner and pour it on the stain when the concrete is the driest. Let it set for about 10 minutes then power wash it off using no more than 2500psi.

Common concrete cleaners

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Ammonia
  • TSP
  • Dawn dish soap

Written by Mike Inman


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