How to Clean Concrete

Whether it’s a patio or a driveway, stains can become a permanent fixture if you don’t take the proper steps to clean it. Here’s what you need to do: Clean with a power washer, apply a masonry primer and top coat, and spot-treat any stains with liquid laundry detergent. Afterward, clean the area with a pressure washer or by hand.

Clean with a power washer

When concrete cleaning, you should use a power washer with a black tip. The pressure on these machines is usually between three and four hundred pounds per square inch. For most purposes, the 3,000-to-three, 500 PSI setting will be sufficient for your needs. Ensure that you are using a power washer that has an adjustable nozzle to prevent abrasion and damage to the concrete surface. When cleaning vertical surfaces, you should start at the bottom and work your way up.

Pressure-washing exterior concrete floors is a great way to remove stains, dirt, and other debris. Concrete is a good surface material for high-pressure cleaning because it can take more water pressure. You’ll be able to clean the concrete in a fraction of the time that you’d need to do it by hand. You can even use a garden hose with a pressure washer attachment. Make sure to step up the pressure slowly, and protect any plants and windows from being impacted by the pressure.

Spot-treat stains with liquid laundry detergent

If you have a stain on your concrete that won’t come off with water, you can use liquid laundry detergent on the spot. Use a diluted solution with water and apply it with a stiff nylon brush. Avoid using a wire-bristled brush, as this can scratch the concrete. Then, rinse it off with water and allow it to dry before continuing. If the stain is oil or rust-based, you can use a mixture of liquid laundry detergent and one gallon of water. You can use this solution several times, as needed, for a thorough treatment.

Regardless of the cause, concrete can leave stains. Oil stains can be particularly problematic because they can track into the home on the soles of shoes. In this case, the best way to remove the stain is to soak it up. A good option for this is clumping cat litter. Apply the solution to the stained area and allow it to dry overnight or for several hours. While this treatment is best suited for large stains, small ones can be easily removed by sweeping up the kitty litter.

Apply a masonry primer

When painting masonry surfaces, it is imperative to seal them first before you apply the paint. The sealer prevents moisture from penetrating the surface. Generally, moisture seepage occurs most in basements and other damp locations. To test the seal, place plastic kitchen wrap on the area to be painted and wait 24 hours. If the plastic wrap remains wet, the seal is not adequate and you should repaint the area. Ensure you use a high-quality masonry sealer with a complementary primer. Sealing and priming build a strong foundation for the paint.

Before painting, prepare the surface by removing old paint. This will create a smoother surface and reduce the chance of chips. Scrub the surface with a stiff-bristled brush. Avoid using metal brushes while cleaning the surface. After a few minutes, rinse the area thoroughly with clean water. If necessary, use a non-metal mop to remove excess water. This will help the primer adhere better to the surface.

Apply a masonry top coat

In order to clean concrete before applying a masonry top coat, the surface should be cleaned thoroughly. Power washing will remove loose powdery surface stains. If the concrete is bare, you can apply a masonry primer. After this, apply a masonry top coat to seal the surface. This will prevent stains from returning, and help prevent a buildup of moisture. Lastly, remember to apply a waterproof sealer before applying a masonry top coat.


When applying a masonry top coat, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. This will help to ensure that the product is not too thin. You may have to apply a second coat to cover areas that were missed in the first coat. It is important to allow the surface to dry completely after the first coat. To test the sealant, place a piece of plastic wrap on a wall. Make sure that it’s secured on all sides. If it is, the sealer is working. If it doesn’t, it should be applied before painting the wall. You can use masonry sealer in conjunction with a primer to prevent any paint from adhesion.

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