Concrete stain removal: How to Remove Concrete Stains (Oil, Paint, Rust & More)

How to Remove Concrete Stains (Oil, Paint, Rust & More)


Concrete driveways, patios, and garage floors may take a beating, but that doesn’t mean they must show the signs. While these rugged surfaces are bound to receive their share of errant oil, paint, rust, mud, foliage, or even “accidents” from family pets, you can banish stains and restore your concrete’s good looks with a little elbow grease and know-how. Read on for tried-and-true treatments that really work on the most common culprits for concrete stains.

How to Remove Oil Stains from Concrete

Oil spills leave unattractive black splotches on concrete flooring that can also track into your home from the soles of your shoes. Attack stains by soaking up as much oil as possible before it penetrates.

  1. Pour clay or “clumping” cat litter (but not crystal or clay alternatives like corn) over the entire stain and work it in with a stiff broom or brush.
  2. Leave the kitty litter in place for at least an hour—or overnight for an extensive or old stain—and then sweep up the mess.

For some new or small concrete stains caused by oil, this is all the treatment you may need.

If the concrete still bears a mark, don rubber gloves and goggles and do the following:

  1. Mix one cup of TSP (trisodium phosphate) in a gallon of hot water, then pour the solution over the blemish.
  2. Let it soak in for at least 30 minutes, and then scrub with a stiff nylon brush.
  3. Finally, blast the spot with your hose set to the highest pressure.

Repeat the process as necessary on deep-set stains.

How to Remove Paint Stains from Concrete

While a slight hint of color might always remain if you spill a large amount of paint onto unsealed concrete, you can remove most of the mess. If the stain is relatively fresh and small, put on rubber gloves and eye protection before mixing one cup of TSP into a gallon of hot water. Pour the solution over the paint, work it into the stain with a stiff, long-handled brush, and then rinse with your hose set to the highest flow.

Large or old paint spills need a chemical paint stripper—and that requires eye protection, chemical-resistant gloves, and a respirator (best choice) or a dust mask (suitable only if working in an open area with good ventilation).

  1. Mix paint stripper with an absorbent material such as baby powder, diatomaceous earth, or finely ground clay kitty litter until you get the consistency of thick paste.
  2. Use a brush or thick sponge to smear the paste over the entire paint spill and allow 20 minutes of dwell time.
  3. Use a plastic paint scraper to remove the paste and loosened paint. If there’s still quite a bit of stain, spread the paint stripping paste again and leave on for half an hour before again scraping it away.
  4. Sprinkle a scouring powder like Comet over any remaining stain and scrub thoroughly with a nylon brush and water.
  5. Rinse the area with a strong blast from your hose.

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How to Remove Rust Stains from Concrete

Rusty metal outdoor furniture, plant pots, and tools can transfer that ugly orange-brown color to concrete. While those marks can be difficult to conquer completely, these next treatments are sure to greatly reduce them.

A fairly new rust stain may succumb to the mild acid of white vinegar. Pour the vinegar over the stain, let sit for 10 minutes, then scrub with a stiff nylon brush. Rinse and repeat if the concrete doesn’t come clean.

For old or large rust stains, use commercial rust remover. Because these products contain much more powerful acid than vinegar, protection for your eyes and hands is a must. Follow the application directions on the package and let it dwell for 15 to 20 minutes (or the length of time recommended by the manufacturer) and then blast the area with your hose. Repeat the process if necessary.

RELATED: All You Need to Know About Driveway Cleaning

How to Remove Mud and Foliage Stains from Concrete

It’s easy to sweep away a light coating of dirt, but when mud or soggy fallen leaves sit on concrete for lengthy periods, they often leave brown stains behind.

To remove this type of stain from concrete:

  1. Pour one-eighth of a cup of liquid dishwashing detergent into a spray bottle, then top off the bottle with warm water and shake well.
  2. Spray the concrete stains with the soap solution, let it sit for 10 minutes, and then scrub with a stiff nylon brush.
  3. Once the stain lifts, hose the area until the spot is completely gone.


How to Remove Pet Stains from Concrete

If Fido has been doing his business on your concrete patio, driveway, or dog run, those pet stains no doubt smell as bad as they look.

To clean up after him, follow these instructions:

  1. First scrape off dried droppings with a metal shovel or poop scooper.
  2. Then prepare a cleaning solution of one-eighth cup liquid dishwashing detergent, one-half cup baking soda, and one gallon of water.
  3. Mix the solution thoroughly before pouring it over the stained area.
  4. Use a nylon scrub brush to work the solution into the stain, scrubbing until the marks are gone.
  5. Rinse thoroughly.

To treat any lingering odor, use an oxygenated enzyme pet stain cleaner (view example on Amazon). Some enzyme cleaners come ready to use, others require mixing per the instructions on the label. Spray the entire affected area, and continue to spray as needed to keep the concrete wet for at least an hour. Rinse with water and let the spot air dry, repeating if necessary.

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How to Remove 5 Common Concrete Stains

Concrete patios and driveways, be it, liquid limestone or exposed aggregate, are renowned for their hard-wearing properties. While these types of floors exhibit durable properties, that doesn’t mean they’re impervious to stains. Over time, concrete surfaces are bound to get stained with car oil, rust, foliage stains, and all sorts of blemishes. Thankfully, you can get rid of these stains with a little bit of elbow grease and a few handy tips. If you find yourself dealing with stubborn concrete stains, these tried-and-true treatments will help eliminate those unsightly splotches and restore the look of your patio or driveway.

  1. Removing oil stains

Oil stains leave unsightly blots on concrete floors. Once they dry up, they can be a bit difficult to remove so the best thing to do is to treat the spill as soon as possible. You can tackle these stains by blotting the oil with tissue paper and pouring clay or clumping cat litter on the residue. Leave the clay to sit for at least an hour (or overnight if the spills are extensively large) before sweeping everything up. You’ll find that most, if not all of the oil stains have been removed.

Use a laundry detergent and a gentle cleaning brush to remove any remaining vestiges of the oil stain before washing it off with a pressure washer..

  1. Removing paint stains

While removing paint stains can prove quite challenging, the last thing you want is to let it dry and turn your concrete into a colourful mess. Don a pair of rubber gloves and an eye protection before pouring a mixture of trisodium phosphate (TSP) and a gallon of hot water onto the blemish. Let the solution sit for at least 30 minutes before scrubbing the stain with a stiff nylon brush. Rinse afterwards with a pressure washer until all of the paint comes off.

For older paint stains, you’ll need to use a chemical paint stripper. This requires wearing goggles, chemical-resistant gloves, a dust mask, or a respirator. If you’re relatively inexperienced in using paint strippers, we recommend contacting a professional to remove dried-up paint stains as this is the safest and most effective method possible.

  1. Removing rust stains

Rusty tools, plant pots, and outdoor furniture can transfer that ugly orange tinge onto your concrete floors. Rust stains that are quite fresh can be treated with plain old white vinegar. Just pour the vinegar directly onto the blemish and let it soak for 10-15 minutes. Use a stiff nylon brush to scrub the stain and it should come off slowly. Rinse afterwards and repeat the process until the concrete comes out spotless.

White vinegar may not work as effectively on older rust stains, so your best bet is to use a commercial rust remover. As always, eye and hand protection is a must when dealing with strong chemicals so make sure you’re wearing goggles and gloves. Pour the liquid onto the rust stain and wait for the liquid to take effect (this will vary according to the manufacturer’s instructions). Once you notice the rust coming off, use a pressure washer to blast off the stain and. Repeat the process until necessary.

  1. Removing foliage and mud stains

While it’s easy to sweep away small traces of dirt on a concrete surface, mud or foliage stains may prove to be a challenge. Thankfully, these stains are much easier to remove and all it takes is a cup of liquid dishwashing detergent mixed with warm water. Transfer the solution onto a spray bottle and spritz the mud and foliage stains. Grab a stiff nylon brush and scrub the surface until the stains have been lifted. Use a pressure hose to wash off any remaining dirt, mud, or soggy fallen leaves. 

  1. Removing pet stains

If your pet loves to do their business on your concrete floors, it’s likely that the stains smell as bad as they look. Cleaning up after the mess might prove a bit yucky though, so prepare yourself by wearing a face mask. Usually, a mixture of water and baking soda are enough to remove pet urine. Simply mix both ingredients into a container, pour the solution on top of the stain, and scrub with a nylon brush afterwards.

There’s a good chance that the smell will still linger, especially if the urine has dried up. Thankfully, there are oxygenated enzyme cleaners that are available on the market specifically designed for this purpose. If there’s persistent odour after you’ve removed the stain, spray the pet cleaner around the affected area and let it soak for at least an hour. Proceed to rinsing the chemical with a pressure washer and the foul odour should come right off.

Maintaining concrete floors is not that hard. As long as you know how to tackle different kinds of stains, your flooring should look clean and spotless for a very long time. Follow these tips on how to remove 5 common stains that concrete floors suffer from.

Removing stains from concrete structures

Home / News / Removing stains from concrete structures

Industrial concrete floors are constantly exposed to various types of stains. Spills of chemicals, oils and other elements on these floors are common. However, the effect this causes can be reversed, resulting in a more functional and beautiful floor.

How to remove oil

Oil spills rather leave very unattractive black spots on the concrete floor. One way is to try to absorb the oil as quickly as possible. Thus, for new or small stains on the concrete floor caused by oils, the treatment will consist of the following steps:

Sprinkle the area with mud or cat litter and scrub with a stiff brush or broom, or leave the mixture for an hour. If the stain is more persistent, leave it overnight. Then sweep it away. If after this operation a trace of oil remains on the concrete floor, put on rubber gloves and goggles and proceed as follows:

  1. Mix hot water with a cup of TSP (trisodium phosphate) and pour this solution over the stain.
  2. Leave mortar on concrete floor for at least 30 minutes. Then scrub with a stiff nylon brush.
  3. Finally, use a pressurized hose on the treated area.

Repeat this process for stubborn stains.

How to remove paint

Paint stains are another common feature of concrete floors. They can be dealt with even if a large amount of paint has been spilled. Assuming paint has just been spilled on a concrete floor, do the following: put on goggles and mix 1 cup of TSP with 1 gallon of hot water. Pour this mixture over the paint stain, scrub with a stiff brush and rinse with high pressure water from a hose.

On the other hand, old and large paint stains on concrete floors are a much more serious problem. Use a chemical stripper, goggles, special gloves for chemicals and a respirator or dust mask.

Next steps to uninstall:

  1. Mix chemical cleaner with absorbent material until a thick paste is achieved. The absorbent material can be baby talc, diatomaceous earth, or finely ground clay.
  2. Apply this solution to the spilled paint with a brush or thick sponge and let sit for about 20 minutes.
  3. Then use a plastic scraper to remove loose paste and paint. If you still find a small stain of paint on the concrete, repeat the process and leave for half an hour before rubbing again.
  4. The next step is to sprinkle abrasive powder on any stains that have yet to be removed and rub it in well with a nylon brush and water.
  5. Finally, rinse the treated area with high pressure water.

How to remove rust

Stains may appear due to rusty metal furniture, old tools and other products found in industrial buildings. They cause an unsightly orange-brown color on the surface of the concrete floor. They are very difficult to remove completely, but some methods can help reduce them to a great extent. If it’s a fresh stain, the acid in the vinegar may be enough to remove it. To do this, pour the vinegar directly on the stain, leave it for about 10 minutes, and then rub it with a stiff nylon brush. Then rinse and repeat if the mark persists.

How to remove dirt and leaves

Removing dirt and leaves from concrete floors is a simple task. However, if the dirt and softened leaves have been on the concrete for a long time, they can leave brown spots. To remove stains, the following steps must be taken:

  1. Mix liquid dishwashing detergent with warm water in a spray bottle and shake.
  2. Spray onto stains and leave on for 10 minutes. Then scrub with a stiff nylon brush.
  3. Finally, clean the treated floor area with water from a high pressure hose.

There are maintenance recommendations for industrial concrete floors, including: daily cleaning. Clean up spilled fluid as soon as possible

These recommendations apply to the maintenance of a new concrete floor from the very beginning. But floor polishing is the solution to these problems, which not only eliminates stains and surface damage, but also protects and improves the concrete so that these problems do not occur in the future.

Sanding and polishing concrete produces a dense, hard and durable surface that can withstand heavy use and is easy to clean. This simple cleaning not only improves the quality of the floor, but also reduces maintenance costs because less material and time is required for cleaning.


4 Tips on how to remove an oil stain from concrete?

Surely you have ever topped up the oil in your gas tool or even worse changed the oil in your car. And of course the old oil is now on the concrete walkway or on the floor of your garage? Most commonly used driveways or garages will end up with oil stains sooner or later. You can always minimize damage by collecting the oil and soaking it up immediately after spilling it.

Then treat the stain with a good cleaner – the sooner the better. But even if you have deep oil stains caused by old oil stains on concrete, they can often be removed almost completely using one or more of the following methods.

If possible, clean oil stains on concrete as soon as you notice them. A thorough annual cleaning, including removing oil stains, can be part of your general cleaning.

Method 1: With concentrated detergent:

What do you need?

  1. Paper towels or rags
  2. Concentrated soap
  3. Stiff nylon brush
  4. Garden hose

A good detergent in the right concentration can be a wonderful oil stain remover – along with some serious cleaning. One product that will really remove grease from concrete is Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day.

This product contains natural ingredients and is sold in 470 ml bottles. and it is usually diluted for general household cleaning. Other dishwashing detergent will also work, but any product should be used in concentrated form when removing oil stains. Concentrate Mrs. Meyers is a proven strong substance, but its vapors can cause a slight burning sensation in the eyes of a person, so be careful.

How to remove?

Start cleaning oil stains by blotting up as much oil as possible with paper towels or a rag. Simply place the towels on the stain, let the oil soak in for a few seconds, then collect and discard the towels. Don’t try to wipe the oil off the surface because you will only help the oil soak deeper into the concrete.

Apply soap and clean the stain

Apply concentrated soap directly to the stain. Then scrub thoroughly with a stiff nylon brush, such as a heavy-duty handled bath brush.

Rinse the area with a garden hose and nozzle, if possible with a strong jet. Repeat once or twice and the stain will likely disappear.

If the oil stain is large and difficult to remove with a simple wipe, start by dusting the stain with inexpensive, absorbent cat litter and thoroughly covering the entire surface. Leave the cat litter for an hour to soak up the oil, then remove it. For very tough stains, let the cat litter dry overnight.

Wash the affected area with concentrated detergent, repeating the procedure described above.

Method 2: Destaining Concrete Floors with Trisodium Phosphate

Dilute 1 cup of phosphate-free trisodium phosphate in about 4-5 liters of hot water and mix thoroughly.

Wearing goggles and rubber gloves, pour the trisodium phosphate solution over the oil stain and let it soak in for 20-30 minutes. Then scrub with a stiff nylon brush and rinse the surface well with a hose. Repeat if necessary.

Method 3: Remove oil with paint thinner and sawdust

Mix sawdust with paint thinner until damp, then spread the soaked sawdust over the stain.