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How to Clean Concrete (the Easy Way!) – Porches, Patios, Driveways + More

For some of the country, patio season is winding down. For other parts of the country, specifically here in Texas, patio season is finally just getting started! Temperatures have gone from 110 (for real, ya’ll) to the 70’s and I. Am. Loving. It! We are spending more time on our patio, but there’s been one little issue…the concrete is gross. There are a ton of ways out there to clean concrete, but I like to use what I have on-hand and do things the easy way, so after a little trial and error I figured it out! Here’s how to clean concrete (the easy way!).

before and after of a concrete patio when cleaned 

How to clean concrete patio

During my research, I learned that people go to extremes to try and get their concrete patio clean…including using acid to wash the surface. That’s a little hardcore for me, especially as a mama with a baby around and someone who wants to keep their grass alive. 

So, I turned to what I had on hand, which was Tide Oxi. It’s a laundry product that removes stains from clothing, so I thought it might work on concrete as well. It seemed weird, but why not? I decided to give it a shot—and it actually worked! No acid needed. 🙂 

Supplies Needed

First of all, you’ll need to clear off your porch. Warning—you all are going to be grossed out when you see what was hiding underneath all of it. Look how nasty our porch was once the furniture was gone!

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Next, you’ll need to use a push broom to sweep off all the dirt, leaves and debris from the porch. You want the surface to be as clean as possible before you begin.

Now it’s time to make your cleaner. I used a full scoop of the cleaner since our porch was so dirty. I’ve gotten to work with a lot of cleaning agents and products over the years, and I promise you guys—this was the best-smelling one! Both Scott and I were joking that our porch was going to smell like fresh laundry, which is never a bad thing!

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Once you have your solution mixed, you will want to work in small areas at a time. Pour some of the mix on the porch and then use these scrubbing brushes to scrub the stains and dirt off. This method does take a bit of elbow grease, but it’s not bad!

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Check out this brush—yikes!

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The directions on the box clearly say to keep away from plants, so be very careful to not allow any runoff into the garden. We would continually use the broom to push all the water down the stairs rather than let it drip into the garden.

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It took us about 30 minutes to scrub down the entire porch, but yours will take more or less depending on the size and how dirty it is. 

Once you are done scrubbing, rinse thoroughly. 

Check out how much better things were looking already!

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Here’s a before/after shot so you don’t have to scroll back up to compare. 🙂

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How do you get stains out of concrete?

As you can see above, there were still a few stained areas on the porch. Stains can be extremely difficult to get out of concrete since it’s a porous material. Thus, you have to draw them out. To get stains out, make a thick paste using your cleaner—it should be the consistency of peanut butter. Spread the paste mixture onto the stain and let it sit for a few hours, then scrape it away and rinse. Repeat as necessary. 

See? So much better! 🙂

before and after of a concrete patio when cleaned and stains removed

How to clean concrete without a pressure washer

I’ve heard pressure washers are a great way to clean concrete (and everything else, too!) but I don’t have one and didn’t want to go buy one just for this. I did figure out how to clean concrete without a pressure washer though!

I recommend following the process above of scrubbing the concrete with a cleaner, then rinsing. To create a more pressurized rinse using a hose, you can either use the jet setting on your hose’s nozzle (this hose and nozzle works really well). If you don’t have a nozzle, just use your thumb to direct the spray forcefully. 

How to clean concrete steps

Cleaning concrete steps is easy! First, sweep and rinse them down to remove all debris. Then create a paste using a mix of Tide Oxi or Oxi Clean—you can ignore the ratios on the box and instead put a scoop into the bucket and add water slowly until the mixture resembles the thickness of peanut butter. Use a hand brush and scrub the steps, then rinse with a hose

So, now that you know how to clean concrete, what do you do with your concrete once it’s clean? You can do what I did and paint your concrete with this easy DIY concrete painted rug! It’s super easy…and super cute! Enjoy! 

girl painting rug onto concrete patio

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Tania Griffis is an accomplished writer, blogger, and interior designer with a Journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. She started her popular blog, Run to Radiance, in 2011, demonstrating her design expertise through the personal remodeling of six houses to millions of readers across the globe.

Tania also owns The Creative Wheelhouse, a respected ghostwriting agency for bloggers, further showcasing her talent for creating engaging and informative content.

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  1. Cleaning the patio is always such a task! Thanks for sharing some tips on some no-fuss way of cleaning our patio. Love the idea of using Tide Oxi! Never thought of that before.

  2. Thanks for adding all the pictures of your work. They always help! I didn’t see how much water you added to the powder cleaner. I would hate to add too much and waste my time scrubbing a less-than-effective mixture of cleaning solution! Thanks!!

  3. The best part about having anything concrete, is that even after years and years of neglect, it can be made shiny and new just by power washing! And the results are so satisfying!

  4. My old concrete patio is a real mess. Do you know if there’s any chance your methods will work to remove oil stains, paint, hard water marks, or rust? Thanks.

  5. As long as it’s a small area, SCRUBBING BUBBLES bathroom mildew stain remover is much easier. Spray liberally, wait 15 minutes and rinse. Or don’t rinse!

  6. OxyClean will do no harm to plants or grass. I mix it in a watering pail, pour, wait 15 minutes and scrub with a broom or scrub brush with a long handle, let it sit an hour or so and rinse with a hose. I put 2 or 3 scoops of OxyClean in a gallon of warm to hot water.

  7. Wow- this is truly amazing! My front porch has been transformed into a clean and bright place to sip my morning coffee! Thank you for the awesome idea- and just before I was going to hire someone to come clean it. Thank you thank you!!!!!

  8. Is it possible to use this technique on a fairly high floor condo balcony? I wouldn’t be able to hose down the concrete after scrubbing as the water would flow onto balcony beneath mine, any tips? Thanks,

    1. Hi, Donna! I haven’t tried this without rinsing, but perhaps you could get a very wet cloth and squeegee the cleaner off that way? Please let me know if you try it and how it goes!

  9. You are the best! I also read that vinegar and water will clean your cement patio. I will see what I have first but need to buy a push brush, easier on my back on the patio. Thank you for doing this and what a great artist you are to paint a rug. Very clever!

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