Concrete is an often overlooked part of personal property, though it should be cleaned on a regular basis. A quick, simple cleaning of the concrete in your driveway or on the sidewalks surrounding your house can go a long ways towards making the outside of your home look just as warm and inviting as the inside.
Soap and Deck Brush
One of the simplest ways to go about cleaning concrete is by using dish soap or laundry detergent. Squirt the soap across the concrete, and scrub the surface with a deck brush. Rinse the soap away with water from a garden hose, and use a floor squeegee to push access soap and bubbles from the concrete. This method of cleaning will rarely remove deep stains in the concrete but can be used to keep concrete looking clean, give it a healthy shine and as a first step before moving on to more severe methods of cleaning.
Perhaps one of the easiest method of cleaning concrete is by using a pressure washer. You can rent one at your local hardware store, or borrow one from a friend if you don't have one of your own. Often, water alone will be enough to clean concrete when sprayed from a pressure washer, but cleaning solutions can be added to the water to get out really tough stains such as grease or oil. Holding the nozzle of the pressure washer about 6 to 10 inches away from the concrete, spray the water on the surface. Work in a steady fashion, working back and forth across the concrete slowly, allowing the pressure of the water to spray away built-up grime. Work in sections to prevent streaks and uneven coloring.
Kitty Litter and Dry Cement
If the entire slab of concrete is not in need of cleaning, you can spot clean tough stains using kitty litter. Pour a pile of kitty litter atop the stain, and allow it to sit untouched for 48 hours, which will give the kitty litter time to soak up the stain. After 48 hours has elapsed, sweep the kitty litter into a dust pain, and the stain will go with it. If traces of the stain remain, repeat the process, this time using dry cement.
Muriatic acid is a cleaning agent often used to clean concrete in industrial settings. It should only be used on your personal property as a last ditch effort and should be handled with extreme caution; muriatic acid is a dangerous chemical that can burn your throat, nose and lungs. Long sleeves, long pants tucked into socks and shoes, protective eyewear and rubber gloves should be utilized, and you should read all of the directions on the label before using muriatic acid. Muriatic acid can be scrubbed onto the concrete with a deck brush or sprayed, as with a pressure washer, by using a specialty sprayer.
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