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How to Remove Salt Stains from Concrete


Salt and deicers create a chemical mix that, diluted with enough water, seeps into concrete. The brine re-freezes when temperatures drop, then evaporates when temperatures warm - leaving damaged concrete and salt stains.

Don't let your clients wait for a nasty springtime surprise!

Educate them on the effects of winter, and begin booking appointments now to evaluate, clean, repair and coat their concrete garage floors to prevent any further damage. Or, encourage clients to book their spring clean-and-coatings now, perhaps at an “early-bird” discount.

How do you remove salt stains from concrete?

CAUTION: Contrary to what your first instinct may be, do NOT use a pressure washer. With high water pressure, you run the risk of driving the salty solution deeper into concrete - only to reappear again when the water evaporates.

  1. 1. Clear any debris and clean the entire garage floor of other contaminants, thereby exposing damage or salt stains.
  2. 2. To remove salt stains, prepare a solution of 1 cup vinegar and a squirt of dish soap to every gallon of warm water. (Water alone won't work and may just move the salt around and re-deposit it).
  3. 3. Apply the vinegar mix to stains and scrub with a stiff brush or broom.
  4. 4. Thoroughly remove the residue with a mop or wet vac, to prevent the road salt from being redeposited into the concrete pores.
  5. 5. Rinse thoroughly with water.
  6. 6. For tough salt stains, repeat the process. Or, try a commercial-grade cleaner. Apply and remove residue in the same way as described above, to prevent re-dispersing the salt back into concrete pores.
  7. 7. For the most stubborn salt stains, you can use a mild acid-etch solution.
  8. 8. Once the salt is removed, it is time to repair any damage that may have been caused by winter's harsh effects.

Need more help removing those salt stains and selecting the right products? Schedule a (free) no-obligation chat with one of our flooring experts here.

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