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How to Clean Concrete Without a Pressure Washer: 10 Tips That Work

Mold Cleaning

Pressure washing dirty concrete seems satisfying, but it could cost you hundreds of dollars. The process involves professionals who use specialized and expensive equipment. Even if you try to pressure wash it yourself, it can still put a considerable dent in your pocket. In the worst situations, you may end up causing damage to your property.

Luckily, you have multiple affordable options to clean concrete without a pressure washer. Some methods require you to go to a store and get supplies, while others include things you already have in your home.

This article includes 10 tips on how to clean concrete without a pressure washer. Let’s check them out.

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How to Clean Concrete Without a Pressure Washer

1. Remove the Debris With a Broom

cleaning wall with broom
Image Credit: KingofShuttVIP, Shutterstock

You can make your concrete surface look clean as new just by sweeping it with a broom. This will also prepare the surface for other tips we will list later in the post. In most cases, a concrete surface looks dirty because of debris that hasn’t been cleaned for months or even years. All you need is a broom to get a spotless concrete surface.

Want to hear the best part? You don’t even have to collect the dirt in a dustpan. Instead, sweep the debris in your backyard or lawn and let nature take care of it.

2. Use a Special Hose Attachment

You can clean the concrete with an excellent high-pressure hose attachment. It easily removes dirt accumulated on the surface without requiring you to pay for professional service or a pressure washer.

The jet attachment works wonders as a hose in cleaning concrete. You can screw it onto your standard garden hose to make your DIY pressure washer.

However, if the debris doesn’t come off with a broom or a special hose attachment, you must try different acid and bleaching methods from this list. Fortunately, they all are easy and don’t require much effort!

3. Use a Soap and Water Solution

Cleaning water bucket
Image Credit: Myriams-Fotos, Pixabay

You can make a gentle soap and water solution and use it as a cleaner for your concrete surface. Use warm water for effective results and mix it with a dish detergent soap to create the perfect solution.

Once the solution is prepared, pour it on the concrete surface and scrub the stains with a wire brush. As the foams appear, run a hose over the area to rinse them off a little. If you still see stains, scrub it again with the brush and then give one final rinse to complete the cleaning process.

4. Use Muriatic Acid

Muriatic acid works wonders in removing stubborn rust and stains. Not only that, but it also deals with any grout on the concrete surface. That’s why you’ll likely see the ingredient mentioned on almost all concrete cleaners and etchers.

Muriatic acid has similar properties as bleach, so you should always wear chemical-resistant gloves when handling it. Also, don’t forget to go through the manufacturer’s instructions written on the product and wear suitable clothes.

After taking all the safety measures, spray the acid on the concrete and coat every stained area using a brush. Give some time to the acid to show its magic, and then wash the surface off. Muriatic acid products are usually dissolvable in water, so you can use a hose to finish the cleaning process.

5. Scrub With Lemon Juice

citrus cleaner
Image Credit: felipequeiroz, Shutterstock

When life gives you lemons, extract their citric acid and clean the concrete. Lemons are rich in citric acid, which is safe for humans but can kill certain insects and even frogs. Due to this property, lemon juice is a great ingredient to remove rust and stains from concrete surfaces.

All you have to do is squeeze out lemon juice or buy the bottled one. Then, pour it all over the concrete, carefully covering every stain on the surface. Now, wait about 10 minutes before scrubbing the stained areas with a wire brush. Finally, rinse the concrete with water and see it shine like new.

6. Spray White Vinegar

Vinegar is a go-to option to remove every kind of stain. White vinegar works the same way as lemon but gives better results than the latter. The good thing is that it is entirely safe to use and is a commonly available cleaner in most homes.

It’s recommended to mix white vinegar with equal parts of water to make an ideal solution. Then, transfer it to a spray bottle and spray it all over the concrete surface. You can also add a pinch of salt to activate the vinegar. Now, wait 10 minutes and scrub the areas with a wire or firm-bristled brush.

When you’re done scrubbing, run a hose over the area to remove the solution. All the stains should have been gone by now. However, if you still see a few spots on the concrete, you can use the vinegar alone without diluting it with water.

The ingredient will typically take less than 15 minutes to show its effects. After that, rinse the surface and you’ll have clean and clear concrete.

7. Clean With Carbonated Drinks

close up photo of a soda in a glass
Image by Ernesto Rodriguez from Pixabay

Carbonated drinks may not be suitable for your health, but they are the life savers for DIY concrete surface cleaners. These liquids contain citric acid—the same ingredient that lemon juice has—that helps remove stubborn stains.

In addition to citric acid, the fizziness or bubbles in your soda also help the cleaning process. Simply open a carbonated drink can, pour it all over the concrete surface, and wait an hour or so. Then, use a brush to scrub the surface and rinse it off with water.

This tip may give you a sticky concrete surface if you use a regular soda. Instead, use diet ones and rinse them with a significant amount of water.

8. Try Hydrochloric Acid With Precautions

Hydrochloric acid is a dangerous acid that works wonders in cleaning concrete surfaces. However, it requires strict handling protocols to avoid any mishap or safety hazard. Like muriatic acid, you must wear gloves and proper clothes when performing the job.

If you have already got a hydrochloric acid cleaner, read the instructions on the package and dilute it with the right amount of water. Always fill the bucket with water first and then add chemicals to it. If you do it the other way around, you may experience a splashback and risk your safety.

Pour the solution over the concrete and adequately cover every stained area. Now, wait 10 minutes and then scrub with the wire brush. Lastly, wash the area with water. Be sure that your kids and pets aren’t around during the operation.

9. Make a Bleach, Detergent, and Water Solution

Cleaning window using sprayer_Vladimir Miloserdov_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Vladimir Miloserdov, Shutterstock

When nothing works, you can try making a bleach and detergent solution and cleaning the surface. But since bleach can be dangerous, you should always use oxygen bleach instead of chlorine to protect the surrounding plants. Also, ensure that your pets and kids are not anywhere around.

For ideal consistency, mix one part of bleach and dish detergent and mix the ingredients with five parts of water. Make sure to fill the bucket with water and then add chemicals. Now, pour the solution on the concrete surface and start scrubbing.

During scrubbing, the mixture may start foaming because of the detergent. First, ensure the foam covers every area of the concrete, and then wait 15 minutes to let the solution work. Finally, rinse the surface with enough water, and you’re done.

10. Prepare a Natural Cleaning Solution With Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural stain-cleaning ingredient that poses no safety threats. It is also very affordable and available in almost every household. When mixed with water, baking soda removes dust and stubborn stains from different surfaces.

Simply scoop out half a cup of baking soda from your pantry and mix it with a gallon of water. But if you feel the mixture is too dilute, add liquid detergent instead of more baking soda. The ideal quantity for the detergent must be 1/8 cup.

After preparing the solution, spray or turn it throughout the concrete. Leave it for 30 minutes to settle on the surface and react with the dirt and stains. Soon you’ll see that the dirt has started to come off even without any scrubbing.

However, you can start scrubbing with a brush to help baking soda break down the stains easily. Finally, rinse the solution with a hose pipe to complete the cleaning process.


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Cleaning a concrete surface with a pressure washer is easy and quick. However, the process can be costly. Also, if you don’t have the skills to handle the pressure, you may end up damaging your property, so it’s better to try easy DIY methods on your concrete surface and see if they remove dirt or stains.

Hopefully, the above 10 methods will help you clean your concrete surface without much effort. You can try all of them till you achieve your desired results.

Featured Image Credit: Jovica Varga, Shutterstock


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