How to Remove Stains from Concrete Sidewalks

a person pressure-washing concrete
  • 8-16 hours
  • Beginner
  • 40-400
What You'll Need
Cat litter
Oxalic acid
Pressure washer
Muriatic acid

When concrete sidewalks stain, they can start to look very bad and worn. Even though it can make the sidewalk look bad, you can generally remove the stains if you use the proper technique. Here are the basics of how to remove stains from concrete sidewalks.

Step 1 - Cat Litter

If you are dealing with an oil stain, there is a good chance that you can remove it with cat litter. For this type of stain, simply pour some cat litter on the stain and let it soak up the oil. In most cases, it will soak up the oil within an hour or less. After one to two hours, you can sweep up the cat litter with a broom and a dustpan.

Step 2 - Degreaser

If you have an old oil stain on the concrete sidewalk that will not come up with cat litter, you may need to use a degreaser. This is a product that you can buy at most hardware stores or home improvement stores. With this product, you can simply pour it on the stain and let it sit. After 15 to 20 minutes, you can wash it off with a hose.

Step 3 - Oxalic Acid

Oxalic acid is another substance that can come in handy when you are trying to remove stains from a concrete sidewalk. This type of chemical is ideal if you have rust stains on the sidewalk. With this type of acid, you can put it on the rust stain and let it sit for about 20 or 30 minutes. Then, when you are done, you can clean it up, and the rust should be gone.

Step 4 - Pressure Washer

If you have access to a pressure washer, this is one of the best tools that you can use to remove any type of stain from concrete sidewalks. Pressure washers are available for rent in most places, or you can purchase one. This tool shoots a powerful stream of water, and it can take many different types of stains out of concrete. In order to increase the effectiveness, you can also spray a detergent through the pressure washer. Some people like to mix a little bit of bleach into the water as well. This is a great tool to use if you have mold or mildew building up on the concrete.

Step 5 - Muriatic Acid

Muriatic acid is another product that you can use to remove stains on concrete. This is a type of acid that will generally remove most types of stubborn stains. When you use muriatic acid, you need to be very careful throughout the process. You should wear protective gloves and goggles when handling the acid. You should mix it with water and then pour the mixture on the stain. After allowing it to soak in, you should wash it off with a hose.