How To Clean Concrete Before Acid Staining

Cleaning concrete before acid staining is the most important step. You want to make sure there is nothing on the concrete that will prevent the acid stain from soaking in the concrete.

There are a few tools that you can use to help clean the concrete:

  • Scrappers 
  • Floor Machine
  • Shop Vac
  • Scrubbing Pads
  • Detergent (nothing that contains acid)
  • Mop
  • Mop Bucket
  • Xylene

The first thing we do when we clean concrete, is run the floor machine with detergent (typically dawn soap) over the whole surface to remove dry wall mud and any loose paint. This will help you see what is left on the concrete that needs to be removed.

If there is glue that is still on the floor, you might need to use a solvent such as xylene (make sure pilot flames are blown out) to remove it. If there is paint still on the floor, scrape as much of it of as you can, then go over the surface with xylene to remove any stubborn areas. If the whole surface of the concrete floor is painted, you will need to use a chemical stripper or grind the concrete. If you grind the concrete you will have to grind the whole area to make sure the surface texture is all the same. If the paint and glue remain on the concrete floor when acid staining, you will notice them.

After you have removed all the contaminants from the floor, use a mop with clean water to thoroughly clean the floor. Let the concrete completely dry out and then you are ready to acid stain the concrete.

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