Most people don’t really worry if their concrete floors get dirty because concrete is usually outside and in places like garages and sidewalks, places where people are not too concerned with the appearance of the surface. However, after years of neglect concrete floors can become very dirty and ugly. The good news is that concrete floors are easy to clean; however just like anything else they can develop stains. Here is how to clean a few different types of stains from concrete floors.
Removing oil stains from concrete
Removing oil stains from concrete is never easy, as you may know, if you have ever had to try to do this. Concrete is a porous material so it soaks it up, which makes it difficult to clean. There are some ways that oil can be removed but most of these methods require harsh chemicals that are not good for the ecology.
Concrete oil remover can be harmful to the grass and plants that border the concrete and can also get washed to the ocean in areas that are coastal. They can also be toxic to pets and small children if these chemicals get in their mouths.
If you have just spilled the oil then put down towels or paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Then put something like hydrated lime or cornmeal onto the stain, wait 24 hours and then sweep up the powder. Anything that is left can be clean with a solution with a lot of soap.
Many people also use kitty litter to clean up the oil that leaks from their vehicles which is great and ecologically sound for soaking up the oil, but there are still stains that are leftover from it. It just doesn’t quite get it all. The clay can soak up quite a bit, but when it comes to cleaning the stains that are leftover, another solution is needed.
If the stain is older then put flannel into a mixture of acetone and amyl acetate. Then take the flannel and place it on top of the stain and press the flannel to the stain. After this is done you should rinse the floor and the stains should be gone.
Natural concrete oil stain remover
There is a new green method for cleaning up even old oil stains that do not harm the environment like other harsh chemicals can and has been found to be totally safe.
Bioremediation is a method that was used to clean up oil spills such as the one that happened in Alaska and more recently, the Gulf of Mexico. This is not a chemical, it is actually a bacterium that takes the oil and breaks it down, and turns it into other products like water and safe materials.
Since this was first introduced as a solution to cleaning up oil spills, it has been made to work even faster than it did back then. Now, this process can clean up oil stains in just seven days making concrete as clean as the day it was poured.
This process uses a liquid that gets into the porous concrete and works to break down the oil which turns into harmless products that can be washed away easily. It is only being sold to consumers recently and is already very popular.
Not only does it clean up oil from concrete, but it can also clean up gasoline and any other oil-based products like transmission and brake fluids that may leak. There is no reason to use harsh chemicals or to attempt to use clay-based kitty litters to clean up oil or gas stains in concrete when the Bioremediation process is much safer and more effective.
Concrete dirt stain removal
Removing dirt stains is one of the easiest types of stains to clean. All you have to do is wet the stain then scrub it down with a weak solution of soap and water and a brush. If this doesn’t work then you can use water and hydrochloric acid but be careful because hydrochloric acid is corrosive.
Personally, I would avoid using acids if I really don’t have to, but sometimes we just have to pick whatever works. A pressure washer can be a useful tool too for some stubborn dirt but using it has to be careful not to go too hard on the surface. Some nozzles like turbo can eat the concrete pretty fast.
Removing chewing gum from concrete surfaces is not that hard but requires a bit of muscle. Start off by freezing the gum with either ice or a freezing agent then scrape away all the gum that you can. Then if that doesn’t get everything tries applying carbon disulfide or chloroform to the gum in order to remove it.
How to remove rust from concrete
Removing rust stains from concrete can be a little challenging. It’s usually left behind by garden furniture that has been on one spot for too long or something else like that.
If you have a light rust stain then clean the floor with a mixture of oxalic acid and water. After you have waited for a couple of hours then scrub the concrete with a hard brush (that is non-metal) and then rinse the area down with clean water.
Some new rust can also be cleaned with white vinegar. It’s poured into the stain and then brushed off after 10 minutes. Repeat the process if there is some left.
If you have a heavy rust stain then use the poultice of sodium citrate and slightly warm water. Then add glycerol in order to create a paste that is hard with talc. Put this on the stain then let it sit for a couple of days before cleaning. Your stain should now be clean and your concrete floors looking nice.
How to remove paint from concrete
Paint stains can be hard to clean as well as some stick hard to the surface. Chemical paint stripper might be needed to get it off, it’s good for small spills at least.
To remove old paint from the concrete floor, we will use something to apply the paint stripper to the surface of the paint. Usually, a small brush will do just fine. Then the paint stripper will be left to the surface of the paint for the time it says on the manufacturer info.
After the time is over, we can use wire brush or scraper to get the paint off. After scraping is done, it’s good to wash the surface to get all the leftovers away.
A pressure washer can also remove some paint spills, it’s good to check if it will work out. Too much and it will draw into concrete so advancing carefully is recommended.
These are the most common stains that you see in concrete driveways and patios. Removing them will help you keep your concrete slabs in top condition.
Most often a stain that seems troublesome at first needs only that special trick to be cleaned.