Concrete can be a beautiful building material, but as anyone with a concrete driveway knows, it is highly susceptible to staining. If your concrete driveway or any other concrete element in your home is stained, you may think that you have to repave or replace that element in order to enjoy the fresh, clear look of new concrete again. Fortunately, you can clean most concrete stains yourself without the help of an expensive professional.
Things You'll Need
- Scrub brush
- Laundry soap
- Wood bleach
- Rubber gloves
- Brake cleaner
Mix bleach, laundry soap and water in a one-to-one ratio in a bucket to clean oil and grease stains. These are probably the hardest stains to remove once they have set, so attack them as quickly as possible.
Use a scrub brush or push broom to scrub the oil stain with the cleaning mix. It may take repeated applications of this mixture and a great deal of scrubbing to clear the oil stain completely. If you have a colored concrete driveway, test the mixture first, since it may lighten the color of your driveway as well as the stain.
Attack rust stains with wood bleach. Wood bleach contains oxalic acid, which actually eats away the layer of concrete that is stained. Dissolve the powdered wood bleach in a bucket of warm water until you cannot get any more to dissolve. Scrub brush the mixture onto the affected area. Wait about five minutes and then rinse it thoroughly. This is a mildly toxic solution, so do not touch or ingest it. This also affects colored concrete, so test it first to see if you can live with what the bleach does to the stained area's color.
Use a bleach solution and a scrub brush to kill mold and mildew that are growing on your concrete. Add 1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water and scrub the stains away. The bleach kills the mold and lifts the stain. Do this three days in a row, and then again in about two weeks to kill any mold spores that may have survived. Rinse the area after scrubbing it to prevent the bleach from sitting on the concrete and lightening it further.
Remove tire marks with brake cleaner. Spray brake cleaner on the tire mark and scrub with a little water. The marks should disappear.
Tips & Warnings
- All of these cleaning solutions are hard on your clothes and skin. Protect your hands and arms with long rubber gloves. If you are working in an enclosed area, have adequate ventilation.
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