How to Remove Concrete Efflorescence

Lead Image
  • 1-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-20
What You'll Need
Garden hose
Spray bottle
Safety goggles
Protective gloves
Paper breathing mask
Hard-bristled scrub brush or wire brush
White wine vinegar
Dry cloth
Wet/dry vac

If you've recently noticed a strange white substance on a concrete surface in your home, you may be looking for an effective way to clean concrete efflorescence. If so, you'll be pleased to learn that this substance can be successfully removed with the aid of a few basic cleaning tools.

Give Your Concrete Surface a Thorough Rinse

The first step in removing efflorescence is to vigorously rinse the concrete with water. If you are working with an outdoor surface, you can carry out this step with a garden hose. However, if the surface you are cleaning is located indoors, this process can be carried out with a spray bottle filled with water.

Once you've thoroughly soaked the spot, put on your goggles, gloves, and a paper breathing mask; then, proceed to scrub the infected areas with a wire brush or scrub brush. For efflorescence that is relatively fresh, this step may ultimately constitute the entire cleaning process. If a fair amount of efflorescence remains after you've carried this out, you'll need to proceed with the next step.

Produce and Apply Your Cleaning Solution

Having thoroughly rinsed your concrete and removed any fresh efflorescence deposits, you may now proceed to purge any caked-on deposits. Start by combining white wine vinegar and warm water in an empty spray bottle. Seal the bottle and shake it until your cleanser has taken shape. This highly effective, homemade solution will prove invaluable in ridding a concrete surface of efflorescence.

Once you've successfully produced the cleanser, spray it onto any deposits and allow it to set in for several minutes. Use your preferred wire brush or scrub brush after to vigorously clean the troubled areas. Efflorescence that has had a good deal of time to adhere to the concrete may require you to put forth a considerable amount of elbow grease. Furthermore, you may need to apply your cleaner multiple times before you can fully purge all the efflorescence.

Rinse Again

Having cleaned off all of the deposits, it's now time to apply the finishing touches. First, use a spray bottle filled with water or, if you're working with an outdoor concrete surface, a garden hose, to rinse off any remaining traces of the cleaning solution. Next, dry the freshly cleaned surface with a dry cloth or a wet/dry vac if you don't feel like waiting for it to air dry.

Concrete efflorescence has a habit of reappearing, which means that you may need to repeat the cleaning process several days to several weeks after initially carrying it out. With any luck, the efflorescence will stay away long term after enough cleanings have been performed.