Removing Wood Stain from Concrete

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated March 13, 2017)

I'm not afraid to say it: I love to putter around my home. Over the years, I have noticed that one project that seems to come up more often than any other is to stain some wood. It could be the steps to the front door one month, the back deck the next, or even the kitchen table some other day. No matter how careful I have tried to be, I always seem to drip some wood stain somewhere on the concrete in my garage or driveway. There was even one time that I spilled an entire can of wood stain all over the sidewalk.

Below are some of the methods that I have tried or learned about over the years. While these methods may work, caution needs to be exercised when using any of them. Each of these methods will require either the use of some slightly toxic materials or heavy equipment. Be sure that you follow the manufacturers' directions closely and that you use proper safety precautions.

  • Muriatic acid. Also known as hydrochloric acid, muriatic acid is an extremely corrosive material. Begin washing the wood stain from the concrete by mixing one part acid to twenty parts of water. Wash as you normally would, being sure that you are wearing rubber gloves while handling the mixture. If the stain doesn't go away with the initial wash, try increasing the strength of the mixture in small increments. An example of this would be to use two parts acid to 19 parts water, and so on until you find a mixture that works. After you have removed the stain there is going to be a powdery residue left simply rinse it away. Please note that you may need to seal the concrete again to prevent further stains.
  • Sandblast. Sandblasting your stained driveway may seem a little drastic, but sometimes it can be the easiest way to remove a dried stain from concrete. Most local home improvement stores have sandblasters available to rent at reasonable rates. If using a sandblaster, make sure that you follow the instructions carefully. Cleanup after use is a fairly simple matter since all you need to do is either sweep up the sand (there can be lots of sand) or wash it away.
  • Bleach. Bleach may be one of the most common household cleaners around, but you this type of bleach is not going to be the same. Purchase a special kind of bleach called oxalic acid. This is usually sold as a crystal powder, and is listed as a wood-bleaching agent. When you are using this type of bleach, you need to take some basic precautions like rubber gloves, eye protection, and a long-handled nylon scrub brush. Since this is a fairly toxic material, make sure that you follow the manufacturer's mixing instructions while also using it in a well-ventilated area. After placing the mixed bleach onto the stain, allow it to sit for roughly fifteen minutes and then rinse the area thoroughly.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

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