Concrete patios and driveways are renowned for their hard-wearing properties. While these types of floors exhibit durable properties, that doesn’t mean they’re impervious to stains. Over time, concrete surfaces are bound to get stained with car oil, rust, foliage stains, and all sorts of blemishes. Thankfully, you can get rid of these stains with a little bit of elbow grease and a few handy tips. If you find yourself dealing with stubborn concrete stains, these tried-and-true treatments will help eliminate those unsightly splotches and restore the look of your patio or driveway.
Oil stains leave unsightly blots on concrete floors. Once they dry up, they can be a bit difficult to remove so the best thing to do is to treat the spill as soon as possible. You can tackle these stains by blotting the oil with tissue paper and pouring clay or clumping cat litter on the residue. Leave the clay to sit for at least an hour (or overnight if the spills are extensively large) before sweeping everything up. You’ll find that most, if not all of the oil stains have been removed.
Use a laundry detergent and a gentle cleaning brush to remove any remaining vestiges of the oil stain before washing it off with a pressure washer..
While removing paint stains can prove quite challenging, the last thing you want is to let it dry and turn your concrete into a colourful mess. Don a pair of rubber gloves and an eye protection before pouring a mixture of trisodium phosphate (TSP) and a gallon of hot water onto the blemish. Let the solution sit for at least 30 minutes before scrubbing the stain with a stiff nylon brush. Rinse afterwards with a pressure washer until all of the paint comes off.
For older paint stains, you’ll need to use a chemical paint stripper. This requires wearing goggles, chemical-resistant gloves, a dust mask, or a respirator. If you’re relatively inexperienced in using paint strippers, we recommend contacting a professional to remove dried-up paint stains as this is the safest and most effective method possible.
Rusty tools, plant pots, and outdoor furniture can transfer that ugly orange tinge onto your concrete floors. Rust stains that are quite fresh can be treated with plain old white vinegar. Just pour the vinegar directly onto the blemish and let it soak for 10-15 minutes. Use a stiff nylon brush to scrub the stain and it should come off slowly. Rinse afterwards and repeat the process until the concrete comes out spotless.
White vinegar may not work as effectively on older rust stains, so your best bet is to use a commercial rust remover. As always, eye and hand protection is a must when dealing with strong chemicals so make sure you’re wearing goggles and gloves. Pour the liquid onto the rust stain and wait for the liquid to take effect (this will vary according to the manufacturer’s instructions). Once you notice the rust coming off, use a pressure washer to blast off the stain and. Repeat the process until necessary.
While it’s easy to sweep away small traces of dirt on a concrete surface, mud or foliage stains may prove to be a challenge. Thankfully, these stains are much easier to remove and all it takes is a cup of liquid dishwashing detergent mixed with warm water. Transfer the solution onto a spray bottle and spritz the mud and foliage stains. Grab a stiff nylon brush and scrub the surface until the stains have been lifted. Use a pressure hose to wash off any remaining dirt, mud, or soggy fallen leaves.
If your pet loves to do their business on your concrete floors, it’s likely that the stains smell as bad as they look. Cleaning up after the mess might prove a bit yucky though, so prepare yourself by wearing a face mask. Usually, a mixture of water and baking soda are enough to remove pet urine. Simply mix both ingredients into a container, pour the solution on top of the stain, and scrub with a nylon brush afterwards.
There’s a good chance that the smell will still linger, especially if the urine has dried up. Thankfully, there are oxygenated enzyme cleaners that are available on the market specifically designed for this purpose. If there’s persistent odour after you’ve removed the stain, spray the pet cleaner around the affected area and let it soak for at least an hour. Proceed to rinsing the chemical with a pressure washer and the foul odour should come right off.
Maintaining concrete floors is not that hard. As long as you know how to tackle different kinds of stains, your flooring should look clean and spotless for a very long time. Follow these tips on how to remove 5 common stains that concrete floors suffer from.