How to Clean the Concrete Off a Stone Patio

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Stone is one of the most popular materials for patio floors; however, the installation process can prove to be a messy one. It is common for stray amounts of concrete to find their way to the surfaces of the stone either during or after installation. Although concrete is mostly a permanent material, it can be cleaned off the patio with the right materials and tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Eye protection
  • Breathing mask
  • Rubber gloves
  • Wire brush
  • Muriatic acid
  • Lime (or baking soda)
  • 5 gallon buckets
  • Water hose
  • Large sponge
  • Masonry hammer and chisel

Scrubbing

  • Rinse the concrete with water, and put on eye protection, breathing mask and rubber gloves.

  • Fill a 5-gallon bucket about half full with water, then carefully pour in about a quart of muriatic acid; try to avoid splashing.

  • Dump the wire brush into the diluted acid, and begin to scrub any concrete deposits from the stone surfaces; the solution will fizz as it eats away the concrete material.

  • Fill another 5-gallon bucket with clean water.

  • Clean the acid-scrubbed surface using the sponge and clean water, returning any liquid to the first acid mix bucket, and repeat as necessary.

Clean-up

  • Slowly stir generous amounts of lime or baking soda into each bucket; both lime and baking soda will neutralize the acidity of the muriatic acid.

  • Stir both buckets until they have stopped fizzing; this is a sign that any chemical reactions are finished, and the liquid is neutralized.

  • Dispose of the fluids by pouring them out into dirt or sand; it is best to pour this mixture into an area bare of direct plant life, because even though the mixture is neutral, it is still not good for plants.

  • Rinse the stonework with fresh water using a garden hose.

Tips & Warnings

  • For large deposits of concrete, it may prove easier to chip away with a masonry hammer and chisel before scrubbing with acid.

References

  • "Cleaning Stone and Masonry"; James R. Clifton;c 1986
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