How to Clean Dirt Stained Concrete

If you are a homeowner, you know that the outside of your home is just as important as what’s inside. Unfortunately, it often gets neglected and, over time, can become dirty. If you’re tired of spending your weekends scrubbing at stubborn dirt stains with a toothbrush, there’s good news! Many concrete cleaners on the market today make it easy to get rid of dirt stains from your concrete surface quickly and easily.

How to Clean Dirt Stained Concrete

There are a few different methods for cleaning them that you can try at home. But, you can also do some things on your own to help with this task! This blog post will give tips on cleaning dirt-stained concrete effectively so that your driveway or sidewalk stays clean and looks good. 

10 Methods on How to Clean Dirt-Stained Concrete

1. Pressure Wash:

If your driveway is stained with concrete, you can try pressure washing it with a garden hose and a heavy-duty spray nozzle. Water and detergent might be enough to clean it. But be careful not to make the situation worse by using a pressure washer that’s not powerful enough.

2. Use Mild Acid-based Cleaners:

While this is not as effective as a power washer, it will work well for occasional concrete stain removal in spots where you can’t get a pressure washer to work. Apply the product with a scrub brush or cloth; let it sit for several minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.

3. Use a Steam Cleaner:

Steam cleaners will remove stains that mild acid-based cleaners won’t. The key to good cleaning results is using the “household” setting for plain water only, not to scald anything. Also, you want to start with low pressure and work your way up until you get better results. You should also use a brush attachment to give the best results (for cleaning concrete).

Note: It takes longer to clean but is well worth the extra time. Make sure you follow all of your manufactures safety requirements.

4. Use Muriatic Acid:

Muriatic acid will remove most stains. However, it is a strong chemical, so be careful and protect yourself from breathing in fumes. It can burn your skin too! For safety, use rubber gloves and eye protection and do this outside or in the open air (and with plenty of ventilation). Apply it directly to the concrete stain, and let it sit for 30 minutes. Please do not use this method on colored concrete as it may discolor your surface. If you do not wish to use acid-based products, consult a professional driveway cleaning service.

Muriatic Acid Will  Remove Most Stains

5. Use a Handheld Grinder:

Using a handheld concrete grinding tool to grind out the stained area will also work nicely. This might take some time, but it is quite easy to control and can be done to almost any shape needed. In addition, grinding away the concrete leaves behind zero residues, so it is much easier on surfaces with special substances mixed in with the concrete surface.

6. Use a Stiff Brush:

If you are using muriatic acid, make sure to sweep away all of the remaining residues before rinsing and neutralizing your concrete. The only reason to use this method is if you can’t get a power washer or steam cleaner to work for you.

7. Try a Commercial Concrete Cleaner:

If nothing else works, you can always replace the concrete. However, it is not cheap and will save a lot of money over time! If you have this expense in your budget, go for all-new concrete! It will be worth it in the end. Always try cleaning as much as possible first to limit the cost of repair.

8. Cleaning With a Pressure Washer:

If you clean your concrete regularly, it will not get stained in the first place! Instead, use the high-pressure water-on-stain method to remove as much dirt and stains before they set into concrete. Make sure that you do this all year round, or you will be stuck with unsightly stains.

Cleaning With a Pressure Washer

9. Hiring a Professional:

If your concrete has been stained, you can hire a professional to clean it for you. They will have the right tools and products to clean the stain without damaging the concrete or the environment.

10. Using a Chemical Stripper:

If you can’t do it yourself but have decided to replace your concrete anyway, this is the best thing to use. A chemical stripper works by dissolving the top layer of concrete so that the stains will be gone. It won’t do anything other than make your job easier if you replace your concrete look better After that, short while. It will fail, and more stains will show up later on, guaranteed!

5 Tips & Tricks to Clean Dirt Stained Concrete:

1. Apply ice-cold water to the dirt stain immediately when you see it; regular tap water will not work well on a dry concrete stain.

2. Use a high rise and a shortfall spray nozzle on your cleaner to blast the dirt away from the surface (more effective than low-rise and long-fall); this is called the “Jet-Spray” method of floor cleaning.

3. What will work great is a marble cleaner or concrete & grout cleaner designed to penetrate dirt build-up and blast it away from the surface, leaving a clean shine that lasts for days.

cleaner or concrete & grout cleaner

4. Apply an oil remover to dissolve any sticky residue and oils that have dried onto concrete surfaces; this can be applied over marble cleaner or most any other concrete surface cleaner.

5. Use a concrete sealer to keep your floor looking good for months to come; sealers should also be applied after staining, sealing, and polishing.


In conclusion, it is important to remember that concrete stain removal requires a little time and patience. You may need to repeat the process multiple times before seeing any major improvement in your surface quality.

It’s best to do this with as few people on site as possible to better monitor progress without disturbing too many of the chemicals or sealers. If you need help with this process on how to clean dirt-stained concrete or have any questions, ask away, and we will be glad to help you out.

Jennifer Branett
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