Removing Stains From Concrete

Removing Stains From Concrete

Let’s face it: Stains are an eyesore. Even the most well-maintained concrete can suffer from spillage. Whether the stain is on the floor of your facility from a day’s work or found underneath your car on a driveway, there’s surely a way to clean it. Here are some of the best tips for removing and that pesky stain from concrete (indoors and outdoors!)


Under Pressure

When it comes to oil and grease, odds are the hose is just not cutting it. That’s where a pressure washer can take over. These tools can cut through dirt and grime in no time with their high-intensity systems. The most common pressure washers are powered by electric or gas. Electric washers typically plug into a standard outlet and are safe to use indoors. Petrol washers, on the other hand, deliver so much pressure that they are not safe to use in enclosed areas. Pressure washers can be used with a cleaning solvents, chemicals or simply water, depending on the stain itself.

Pro tip: Choose a model that can generate hot water, as the heat is ideal for loosening and removing oily substances from a porous material like concrete.

Thin It Out

Removing paint from concrete can be tricky, but with the right procedure, it can be done. First, scrub the area with trisodium phosphate and water. Once the area is dry, try to scrape and peel the paint off with a knife. Next, apply paint thinner, and let that stay overnight. Use a scrub brush to remove the leftover paint if it’s a small spot or a pressure washer if it’s a larger, outdoor area.

Note: Be sure to take the proper precautions when dealing with dangerous chemicals like paint thinners or degreasers. Be sure to wear a face mask and gloves to avoid any contamination or harm.

Litter-all Absorption

If you have an oil stain that is recent and still wet, you might have the supplies handy to get rid of it. Grab some kitty litter and spread it all over the area. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the stain. If it’s a bigger stain, consider letting it sit overnight. The litter should break down the oil, absorb the stain and suck it right out of the concrete. If you really want the litter to get in deep, you can grind the substance into the ground by stepping on it with shoes. This process will help gather the oily mess. Then, sweep up the remnants with a broom.

If there’s still an oil stain after you clean up the mess, add a little degreaser to the spot. Add a little water and then scrub the spot with a bristle brush. The pressure and solvent should lift any residual oil right up.


Rust can be removed easily and naturally with a citric acid like lemon juice or vinegar. Pour some of the liquid on the stain, and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Then, scrub with a wire brush to remove the rest of it. Rinse off the remnants with a little water.

Preventing stains

Stains are inevitable. However, stocking your facility or office with the right degreasers, solvents or removers can help prevent anything from becoming permanent. That way, all you have to do is head to the supply closet once a stain pops up.

Also, be sure to perform routine maintenance on all your systems and machines. If there’s a consistent stain being produced, you might have some leakage.


Pub. 04/2017

The product statements contained herein are intended for informational purposes only. Such product statements do not constitute a product recommendation or representation as to the appropriateness for a specific application or use. W. W. Grainger, Inc. does not guarantee the result of product operation or assume any liability for personal injury or property damage resulting from the use of such products.