How to Remove Concrete Residue From Cement Pavers

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Clear concrete residue from cement pavers to maintain the appearance of the newly set pavers.
Clear concrete residue from cement pavers to maintain the appearance of the newly set pavers. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Mounting cement pavers to a concrete slab requires the use of mortar for securing the pavers in place. While mortar is usually thick enough to apply without spillage, you may accidentally drop some of the material. Quick cleaning can generally keep your pavers unaffected when spillage occurs, but if you miss any, the dried concrete can detract from an otherwise spotless installation. Removing the dried concrete isn’t difficult, but it does require a bit of time and effort to avoid damaging the pavers in the process.

Things You'll Need

  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Wire brush
  • Sponge
  • Rags
  • Mineral spirits

Remove any solid buildup of concrete on the pavers with a chisel and hammer. Place the chisel tip at the base of the concrete, angled so that the chisel passes along the surface of the paver and not into the paver. Strike the head lightly with the hammer, moving the chisel along the paver surface, chopping away the concrete from the paver.

Switch to a wire brush and scrub the surface of the paver to remove any remaining concrete particles. Use a vigorous circular motion to break the concrete free until all that remains is a thin white dusting of the material. Wipe the surface of the paver clean with warm water and a sponge.

Dampen a clean rag with mineral spirits and then wipe the surface of the pavers with the rag to soak the pavers. Leave the mineral spirits in place for 30 seconds to penetrate any remaining residue on the pavers.

Scrub the pavers with the damp rag using the same circular motion used with the wire brush to remove the last of the concrete residue from the paver. Scrub until no trace of the concrete remains.

Rinse the surface with the water-dampened sponge again to remove any residue, and then allow the pavers to dry completely.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear safety goggles and a facemask when removing the concrete residue to avoid flying concrete chips or inhaling concrete dust and mineral spirit fumes.

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