Are your concrete walls, patios, or driveways an old and ugly sight with rust stains, oil, soot, or elbow grease stains? Here we shall lay down options on how to clean concrete.
How to Clean Concrete Patios
The first step in cleaning concrete patios is to always sweep loose dirt and debris then remove any weeds in between. Here we have listed the most common cleaners for concrete.
Next, you can mix a cleaning solution from the most common cleaning materials you can find at home.
1.Regular detergent and water
Pour warm water into a bucket and add liquid detergent until it builds up enough suds. Pour enough of this mixture onto your patio and start scrubbing with a push broom on your patio slabs. Work on one section at a time. Leave for 5-10 minutes and hose off with clean water. For tougher stains, you can use a pressure washer.
Bleach is a stronger cleaning agent if soapy water is not enough, especially when you have moss and algae on the surface. However, be careful when cleaning concrete with it as it also is harmful to nearby plants. Also, it is only good for natural stone patios, not artificial ones which can fade with this chemical.
Lastly, it may irritate the skin, so be sure to use protective gear.
To use, combine one part bleach with 5 parts water. As it is a strong cleaning chemical, it is best to use a watering can to distribute the solution more evenly on your patio.
After applying the solution on your paving stones, brush and leave for 15 minutes before you rinse off with clean water.
Baking soda is a good, more natural option for cleaning concrete surfaces especially stubborn stains, mold and mildew. Simply combine 1/2 cup of baking soda with 1 gallon of water and 1/8 cup of liquid dish soap. After letting it settle for half an hour, scrub with a push broom or brush and then rinse.
Another good cleaning solution to clean concrete surfaces is to use one part vinegar and one part water. An option is to use full strength on any hard stain that is tough to remove or for mold and mildew. Add a little liquid dish detergent, spray on the surface and let it rest for half an hour. Scrub and rinse after, repeat as necessary.
5.Use a Pressure Washer/Waterblasting
For any of these options to clean your patio, you can use a pressure washer to remove tough stains. Please keep in mind though that using power tools require practice and skill to use, and can cause damage if instructions are not followed.
A pressure washer can clean
Sandblasting is a process of surface preparation wherein you use power equipment – such as an air compressor and a sandblasting machine – to forcibly propel a stream of abrasive materials on a surface via high pressure. There are two types of sandblasting – the dry and the wet type,
Once this abrasive material is blasted on the surface, it can work several ways and one of which is to clean concrete surfaces including:
- concrete floors
- brick and concrete driveways
- brick and concrete walls
How to Clean Concrete Walls
Cleaning upright concrete surfaces is a tedious and time-consuming process, something that ordinary scrubbing can be difficult to accomplish. With the huge task required, only 2 of the methods above are applicable: power washing or sandblasting.
Using a power washer though requires skill as there are various functions, settings and attachments for concrete cleaning, paint removal such as graffiti, tough stain removal and. Just make sure you follow the instructions as stated in the manual. Using the wrong pressure can cause damage to concrete surfaces.
As far as cleaning concrete walls is concerned, sandblasting can do wonders for any concrete restoration project. Sandblasting can do any of the following
- Paint Removal
- Brick Cleaning
- Soot Removal
- Concrete Stain Removal
- Concrete Sealer Removal
- Mold and Mildew Removal
- Surface Preparation – to make rough surfaces smooth or vice versa
- Surface Preparation prior to painting
Cleaning Concrete Floors
Concrete floors have the toughest and nastiest stains to remove. Whether it is a garage floor, a driveway, cleaning concrete includes tough grease, rust stains, oil spills.
How to Clean Concrete Driveway / Garage Floor
Oil and Grease
Use a bucket of water to wash away the loose dirt or grime on top. At this point do not use strong water pressure nor a brush to scrub the stain. You are just driving the oil or grease further deep.
For smaller, newer stains, usually, soap and hot water will do. Pour over the oil or grease and scrubbing it away should do the trick.
Next, put some sawdust, baking soda, or cat litter over the oil or stain to absorb it. Leave it overnight. For tougher stains, you might need to mix the sawdust, kitty litter, or baking soda with a solvent like acetone or lacquer thinner.