Cleaning Stains off Concrete Patios or Driveways
Concrete is a tough surface, but because it is porous, it's easily stained. Most spots are easy to clean if you know the steps. Here are a few things you can use to renew your patio, driveway or front porch.
The most common stains are caused by oil or grease. The first step in removing an oil stain is to use mineral-spirits-based paint thinner to dissolve and break up the oil. Use a scrub brush to work the thinner into the stain. When the oil is loosened, cover the spot with absorbent materials, such as cat litter, cornmeal or sawdust. Leave it overnight and sweep it away, along with the stain, in the morning. Repeat if needed.
Another good general-purpose cleaner for concrete is TSP, trisodium phosphate. Follow the package directions for mixing. Along with a good scrub brush, the mix will remove a variety of tough stains.
For tougher stains, you might have to use muriatic acid. This should be diluted with water and must be used with caution. Always add acid to water rather than adding water to acid. A good general-purpose mixture could be 10 parts water to 1 part muriatic acid. Wear gloves, safety goggles and a mask to protect yourself.
Oxalic acid is also a good cleaner, especially for rust stains. It can be mixed with water and be effective. It also can be used to bleach the entire surface when you have cleaned off the stains.
One of the best things you can do to keep your concrete surfaces looking good is apply a sealer. It might need to be reapplied annually, but it will keep some of those stains from getting into the concrete.
We also have concrete cleaning products that we make at SERVPRO corporate if the tricks above do not seem to work. Give us a call for more cleaing advice at (586) 741-5050. We are always Here to Help at SERVPRO of St. Clair Shores.