How to Remove Stains from Concrete

Concrete is a tough material to maintain over time. It can be challenging to remove stains from concrete, but it’s not impossible. This article will explore the different methods for removing stains from concrete. Each technique will have its own set of pros and cons that you should consider before deciding which one to use.

First, let’s talk about what type of stain you’re dealing with:

Oil Stains

Oil stains are usually caused by oil leaking from cars or trucks. They can also be caused by any other type of oil, like grease or cooking oil accidentally spilled on the ground. If you’re not sure what type of stain you’re dealing with, it’s best to start with a light cleaning method and go up from there.

Removing oil stains can be done with a little bit of dish soap and some elbow grease. Prepare a bucket of warm water and add about 10 (or more!) drops of dish soap. Dip a rag or scrub brush in the soapy water and start scrubbing at the stain. After you’ve worked on the stain for a while, rinse it with a hose and clean, warm water. If the stain is still there, you can try upping the dish soap concentration and scrubbing harder.

Pre-soak oil stains by putting some grease-dissolving cleaner on them and then covering them up with black plastic or newspaper and leaving it for a day or two. When you remove the material, you can then pressure wash it away.

Water Stains

Water stains are usually caused by a sprinkler system malfunctioning and leaving too much water on the ground for too long. They can also be caused by people watering their lawns with a hose or sprinklers or accidentally spilling water on the ground.

Removing water stains is relatively easy. All you need to do is scrub them with some dish soap and clean, warm water, then rinse the area with a hose until it’s thoroughly rinsed off. You may have to repeat this process a few times to remove the stain entirely.

Grease Stains

Grease is a tough stain to remove from concrete, especially if it’s been there for a while. Grease stains can be removed by making soapy water and scrubbing away the stain with a brush or cloth. If that doesn’t work, try using dish soap and bleach on your rag and cleaning the stain again. The downside to this method is that it can bleach out your concrete.

There are also cleaners specifically for grease stains, like Dawn Power Dissolver. It’s made to remove all types of grease stains from laundry, dishes, garage floors, and more. You can use it on concrete too. Just spray some on the stain and scrub it with a brush. Let it sit for an hour before rinsing the area clean.

Oil and Water Stains

When oil and water stains are combined, it can be difficult to get rid of them completely. This is because oil and water don’t mix. If you get an oil stain on the ground where there’s also a sprinkler system, wait for the area to dry up entirely before scrubbing at the stain with dish soap and some warm, clean water.

There are also commercial cleaners available that can remove stains from concrete. These cleaners may be able to help you remove the stain quickly and with as little scrubbing as possible. However, like all chemicals, you should take caution when using these cleaning agents on such a tough surface as concrete.

Paint Stains

Paint stains are not concrete stains, but they can be removed with the same method of removing concrete stains. Soap up the stain with some dish soap and spray it with a hose for several minutes. The water pressure will help dissolve the paint, allowing you to rinse it away more quickly. For stubborn paint stains, scrub at the area with a brush.

Remember that different stains need to be treated differently, so if you’re not sure how to remove your stain, it’s best to err on the side of caution and start with a light cleaning method before trying anything else. For tough stains like grease or oil, it may take more than one treatment for them to come off.

Rust Stains

Like grease stains, rust stains are tough to remove from concrete because it’s difficult to dissolve them completely. If you know where the rust is coming from (typically water-based sources), try cleaning it with a mixture of dish soap and hydrogen peroxide. Be careful when mixing these chemicals, though – even though they’re both common household products, they can still cause serious damage to your skin and clothing. For this reason, you should always wear rubber gloves and make sure the area is well-ventilated.

Once it’s clean, rinse the concrete very well with a hose to ensure the rust doesn’t come back after it dries and reappears as ugly brown stains. If there are no water-based sources nearby, you can also try using some liquid rust remover on the stain or sanding it down.

If none of these methods work for you, there are still other ways to get rid of rust stains from your concrete. You can use oxalic acid (which is strong enough to eat through metal), trisodium phosphate (which you can buy at hardware stores), CLR, or even muriatic acid. Of course, it’s always wise to wear protective gear when using these chemicals, so be sure to read the safety labels beforehand.

Mud and Foliage Stains

Getting mud or dirt stains on your concrete is easy to prevent. Just sweep off any leaves or brush away all the loose dirt before you mow, weed whack, leaf blow, or seed your lawn. Once you’ve done that, it’s also a lot easier to clean up afterward by just spraying down the area with some water to rinse away the worst of it.

For stubborn stains, try using warm water and dish soap to help loosen up any dirt or mud that has dried onto your concrete. If you hit an area where the stain just won’t come off, try scrubbing at it with a brush or taking sandpaper to it to rough up the surface so that the grass or mud doesn’t stick to it as easily.

Pet Stains

Dog urine stains are perhaps one of the most difficult types of stains to remove from concrete, so there are a couple of steps you can take beforehand to try and prevent them. First, train your dog not to use your lawn as their bathroom by taking them there regularly to do their business so that they get used to it. Also, try keeping a bowl of water in your garage for them, so they don’t have to go outside as often.

Of course, you can always clean up pet stains after the fact with an enzymatic cleaner or some white vinegar and water. However, if your dog’s aim is bad, you may have to scrub at the stain a bit with warm water and soap first. You can also sprinkle some baking soda over the area to remove the smell before scrubbing it.

Also See: Moving with Dogs

Tree Sap Stains

The best method for removing tree sap is to use a chipper/shredder (like what they use on The Simpsons) or an ax to break down the sticky substance into smaller pieces that are easier to dissolve and clean up. But if you don’t want to go through all the trouble of chopping up your tree, there are still other ways to get rid of sap stains on concrete.

Making a paste out of warm water and dish soap and letting it sit for at least an hour before scrubbing it off with a brush is one way to do it. You can also try using some of the same chemicals mentioned in the rust stains section.

If none of that works, there’s still one last option you can try – boiling water. Get a pot of water boiling on your stove, and then pour it right onto the sap stain to melt it away. Just be sure not to use too much water, or else it may seep into your concrete and cause some serious damage.

If all these methods fail, you can also try using a pressure washer or hiring a professional for help.

Animal Blood Stains

No matter how careful you are with your cuts and scrapes, accidents happen now and then – especially if you’re working with sharp objects like knives, glass, or saws. When this happens, press a clean cloth or paper towel against the cut to try and stop the bleeding. Then rinse away any blood that’s left on your concrete with cold water before applying some hydrogen peroxide (or bleach if you don’t have any handy). Let it sit for about 10 minutes before scrubbing it with a brush and rinsing it away.

If you don’t want to use any chemicals, make a paste of baking soda and water instead. This technique works best for larger bloodstains, but it can also be used on rust stains.

That’s about all there is to know about removing different types of stains from concrete.


There are various ways to remove different types of stains from concrete, depending on the nature and severity of the stain. In most cases, warm water and dish soap will do the trick, but you may need to use harsher chemicals or even boiling water for tougher stains. Always be sure to test any cleaning solution on a small area of your concrete first to ensure it doesn’t damage the surface. And if all else fails, you can always try using a pressure washer or hiring a professional.

See Also: How to Get Rid of Termites


Is it safe to use boiling water?

In most cases, yes. Make sure to avoid using too much water, or else the steam could seep into your concrete and damage it over time. Also, make sure that you fully dry any remaining moisture after cleaning up all the sap or blood so it doesn’t start to corrode your concrete.

What causes rust stains?

Rust is a form of corrosion caused by exposure to air and water. It often appears as a reddish-brown color on concrete, but it can also appear as yellow, orange, or even green, depending on what metal is rusting.

How do you remove rust from concrete?

You can use a chemical solution containing either sulfuric acid or sodium hydroxide, but these products are hazardous and require a lot of safety precautions. It’s much safer to try scrubbing away the rust with a mixture of lime juice and salt instead.

Where should I test any solution before I apply it?

Always test any cleaning solution on a small area of your concrete first. This will allow you to see how effective the chemical is while preventing potential damage if there’s a problem.

What prevents rust from coming back after removing it?

After removing any rust stains, be sure to thoroughly clean and dry your concrete. Also, sealing your concrete is a great way to prevent future rust stains from ruining the surface again.

How do I remove sap from concrete?

The best way to remove sap is by boiling water or using a pressure washer. If that doesn’t work, you can try scraping away as much of it as possible before making a paste of baking soda and water to wipe the rest away with a scrub brush.

How do I remove paint from concrete?

The best way to remove paint is by using a chemical solution that contains methylene chloride. Note that this method requires extended exposure time, so you will need to use some sort of protective gear to stay safe.

Also See: Tips for Painting Concrete Floor

Can I use boiling water to remove paint?

Yes, it only works on latex paints and is not as effective as a chemical solution. Also, note that even though boiling water is safe for concrete, you will need to thoroughly clean the area after removing the paint to prevent future damage from occurring due to rust or corrosion.

How do you remove crayons from concrete?

Try scrubbing the area with dish soap and a scrub brush before spraying it down with WD-40 or mineral spirits. You can also try making a paste of baking soda and water to wipe the crayon away.

What solution should I use to remove dried paint? 

The best solution is methylene chloride, but always wear protective gear such as rubber gloves and a gas mask when applying it. Also, note that methylene chloride is dangerous if not handled properly.

See Also: How to Repave a Concrete Driveway

Written by

Rostislav Shetman is the founder of 9Kilo Moving. He has been in the moving and relocation industry for more than 25 years, making him an expert in his field. Rostislav started as a helper, dispatcher and driver and has worked his way up to owning his own company. He takes great pride in his work and enjoys helping people relocate across the United States of America. When he's not working, Rostislav enjoys spending time with his family and friends. They are the light of his life and bring him happiness every day.