Concrete’s porous surface is perfect for acid or water based staining. However, prior to staining, the porous surface is a magnet for stains. Removing those stains can be time consuming and frustrating, but this step is not optional.
Here are some tips to make removing common stains simpler and easier.
Cat urine is one of the most frustrating stains to eliminate. Not only does it leave your concrete marred, but it also smells awful, and will continue to smell until it is completely removed.
Use a 2 to 1 mixture of vinegar and water. Make sure the mixture soaks into the concrete well. Use a mop if necessary. Once the mixture has soaked in, use an enzyme cleaner, which is available at your local pet store or a veterinarian, to clean the floor. This cleaner is specifically made for removal of pet stains.
Fully saturate your concrete with the enzyme cleaner. Be sure that it has soaked thoroughly below the surface, because the cat urine has gotten far below the surface as well. When you have finished this step, lay a tarp over it quickly to avoid any quick evaporation of the cleaner. Follow the directions on the enzyme cleaner’s packaging for the rest of the cleaning.
Gum is a gross, sticky problem, but is not too difficult to remove. It can take a little “elbow grease” to get rid of, but can be done in just a few short simple steps.
The first step is to “freeze” the gum, simply placing ice cubes on the gum can do this. Once the gum has hardened up from being frozen, use a putty knife to scrape it off.
If the gum does not come up easily, you may need to re-freeze it and try again. Continue re-freezing and scraping until the gum is fully removed.
If any residue is remaining, use some WD-40. Once you have applied the WD-40 this, add a small amount of vinegar to the surface and use a toothbrush to scrub the concrete and remove any gum residue that has penetrated the surface.
Finish with a toothbrush and a rinse water scrub to remove all traces of cleaner.
If your concrete is in a garage or is used as a driveway, there is a good chance that it has at least one oil spill. While it’s always best to remove an oil spill as soon as it happens, often at least one goes unnoticed until it has set in.
Apply a layer of kitty litter to the stain and leave it over night to absorb some of the oil/grease.
In the morning, sweep up the kitty litter on your concrete. You may notice a stain remaining.
Purchase a degreaser at a local home improvement store or through Amazon, or you most likely have an acceptable one right in your kitchen.
Dishwashing detergent is a great degreaser. Use a scrub brush to get the detergent deep into the concrete. Wait about 20 minutes and then clean the area with clean water.
A commercial graffiti remover is available at almost any home improvement store or on Amazon, in different sizes depending on the size of your need.
You will also need a stiff bristled scrub brush and a bucket of warm water to get the job done. If you have a power washer available the job will be even easier and most likely faster than a brush and bucket. Most other stains can be removed with a combination of scrubbing and a good detergent, TSP powder or a power washer.
While many other types of stains exist, these are some of the most common hard-to-clean stains. Now that you have a clean slate, it is time for the fun part, applying the stain!