How to Remove Marks From Concrete

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Marks can cause concrete to appear dingy.
Marks can cause concrete to appear dingy. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Concrete is recognized for its durability and longevity. However, concrete can acquire unsightly marks and blemishe sover the years. Hot rubber from vehicle tires can transfer black marks onto concrete. Automotive fluids produce dark, oily marks on concrete that become harder to remove with time. Dissolved minerals and salts within concrete can evaporate and form white efflorescence marks. Promptly remove tire, oil and efflorescence marks to prevent them from marring concrete’s aesthetic appeal. Different marks require specific removal methods.

Things You'll Need

  • Broom
  • Commercial concrete degreaser
  • Plastic bucket
  • Paint stir stick
  • Nylon scrub brush
  • Garden hose
  • Paper towels
  • 1 tbsp. liquid dish detergent
  • Clean spray bottle
  • Undiluted white vinegar

Tire Marks

Sweep the concrete with a broom to remove loose dirt particles and debris.

Mix commercial concrete degreaser with warm water in a plastic bucket, following the label directions. Thoroughly mix the solution with a paint stir stick.

Dip a nylon scrub brush in the solution. Scrub the concrete with the brush until the tire marks are completely removed.

Spray the concrete thoroughly with water from a garden hose to wash away the degreaser solution and grime.

Blot the runoff with paper towels or rags to prevent harming nearby vegetation. Dispose of the towels properly.

Allow the concrete to air-dry. Repeat the cleaning process if any tire marks remain.

Oil Marks

Spray the concrete with water from a garden hose to prevent causing further stains.

Squirt 1 tbsp. of liquid dish detergent onto the oil mark. Spray some water onto the soap to create lather.

Scrub the concrete with a nylon scrub brush to loosen the oil mark.

Spray the concrete with water from the garden hose to wash away the soap and oil. Thoroughly rinse the concrete.

Blot the runoff with towels or rags to prevent killing any nearby vegetation. Dispose of the towels properly.

Allow the concrete to air-dry thoroughly. Repeat the cleaning process if any oil marks remain.

Efflorescence Marks

Scrub the concrete with a nylon scrub brush to loosen the white deposits. Remove as much efflorescence as possible.

Spray the concrete with water from a garden hose to wash away the efflorescence dust.

Inspect the concrete for remaining efflorescence. If white marks remain, fill a clean spray bottle with undiluted white vinegar. Spray the white vinegar liberally onto the efflorescence marks.

Scrub the concrete with the nylon scrub brush until the white stains are gone.

Rinse the concrete with water from the garden hose to wash away the vinegar and loosened efflorescence.

Allow the concrete to air-dry. Repeat the cleaning process if any white marks remain.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can substitute a muriatic acid solution for the white vinegar. Carefully follow the manufacturer's directions on the label.
  • Don't use a wire brush -- it can permanently scar and damage concrete surfaces.

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