Bleach is a robust cleaning solution that sometimes damages surfaces. It is the reason most homeowners ask if they should rinse the bleach off concrete when used. We are also curious about this, so we have conducted thorough research to determine the answer.
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Yes, you need to rinse the bleach off the concrete after eliminating any grime, stains, and odor. Depending on your preference, you can do it by using a garden hose or hot water.
As you continue reading this post, you will learn how to properly clean concrete surfaces using bleach. Additionally, we will discuss the other applications for bleach. Knowing the safety precautions when utilizing bleach is also a must. So, without further ado, let's delve into the details!
Can You Pour Bleach Directly Onto Concrete?
Applying bleach directly onto a concrete surface is not advisable since bleach can compromise more than its appearance.
As much as possible, do not apply bleach straight to concrete if you care about preserving its condition. Undiluted bleach has a chemical concentration that is strong enough for the concrete to handle.
Moreover, undiluted bleach destroys concrete, accelerating its cracking and deterioration. Before putting it onto concrete, dilute any home bleach you plan on using.
When diluting bleach with water, it would be best to mix or shake the solution carefully. It ensures complete dilution. Doing such a thing will decrease the extreme acidity of the bleach.
Why Should You Clean Concrete With Bleach?
Since the surface of the concrete is permeable, you may need to thoroughly scour it to remove everything, including foul odor. Using a scrub brush with stiff bristles or a broom is highly advisable.
After that, you can rinse the area with hot water if it is just a tiny portion. On the other hand, use a garden hose to rinse off a bigger surface.
In addition, if you notice that you can't remove the odor even after scrubbing and rinsing it with ample water, it would be best to seal it to eliminate the unwanted smell.
How To Clean Concrete Surfaces Using Bleach
Cleaning concrete patios, driveways, or any surfaces is a must, especially if you want the area to be pleasing to the eyes. Also, you need to do it carefully, so please follow the detailed guidelines below.
Before getting started, prepare the following cleaning materials:
- A large bucket with hot water or a garden hose
- Clorox® Regular Bleach or any bleach you prefer
- A stiff broom or scrub brush
- Cleaning gloves
- Wear old clothes
Step 1: Remove All Items
Before you start cleaning, removing all items that can hinder the cleaning process is necessary. Additionally, you should first sweep the surface of dust and dirt to make the stains and grime visible.
Step 2: Protect The Plants Near The Area
If there are plants near the concrete patio, it would be best to cover them with plastic bags or a tarp. It is to protect them from potential harm from bleach exposure, especially since it can affect their growth.
Step 3: Create A Solution
To create a cleaning solution, prepare a 3/4 cup of bleach for a gallon of water. You can create as much as you will use.
Step 4: Pour The Solution
After making the solution, you will need to pour it on the concrete surface and spread it using a broom or handled brush.
After five minutes, expect that the concrete achieved the disinfection it needed. However, if you wish the concrete to be whiter and lift any stains, it would be best to let the bleaching solution sit longer, about 20 minutes.
After waiting, you will need to brush the surface to remove the loosened grime thoroughly. Ensure to address all areas.
Step 5: Rinse The Bleach Off The Concrete
It's time to give the concrete a good rinse. Use your garden hose's jet setting to push all the dirt, grime, and bleach away from the surface. Note that you should begin on one end and work your way across the concrete surface.
What Are The Safety Precautions When Cleaning Concrete?
Below are the things you should bear in mind before using bleach as a cleaning solution. Check them out!
Read Product Label
Always check the product label for warnings and precautions before even thinking about combining bleach with another product.
The most important thing here is to always keep in mind that you should never mix ammonia with bleach. Combining those two will produce extremely harmful gas.
Never Use With Grass
Since bleach can kill weeds, know that it can also get rid of your yard's grass. As mentioned, it would be best to use a tarp or any cover to protect your grass from the damage bleach can cause.
Watch Your Shoes
Don't let any bleach go on the bottoms of your shoes because that could introduce harmful chemicals into your house.
Wear Safety Gear
When trying to use bleach, it would be best always to wear safety gear, such as rubber gloves and eye protection. Using such will protect your skin and eyes in case of the bleach splashes out.
Use Only The Recommended Brush
You should always keep in mind that the only brush or scrubber to use is nylon. Never use a metallic brush since it can damage the concrete surface and leave metal bits, which can rust and stain the patio.
Even though bleach is safer than other cleaning solutions, it has risks if misused. If you are not knowledgeable enough about bleach, it's best to have professionals handle the cleaning.
Power washing can also remove stubborn stains from concrete, even those that have set in. However, this is the kind of work that requires trained professionals to complete successfully.
Can Bleach Damage Paints And Sealant On Concrete?
While diluted bleach solution poses no threat to concrete, it could eat away at a sealant or paint applied to the surface. Bleach can oxidize sealant when used to clean concrete tile grout, for instance. Consider the bleach's potential effects on the concrete's sealant before applying it.
What Are The Other Cleaning Products You Can Use For Cleaning Concrete?
Aside from bleach, there are still several proven and tested cleaning products you can utilize to clean a concrete patio, and they are the following:
If you notice stains on one of your concrete patios, know that you can use soda. It seems like nothing but only a drink, but it could eliminate stains on a surface. It is because of the soda's high acidity, which composes of the following:
- Phosphoric acid
- Citric acid
- Carbonated water or carbonic acid
These acids do the job by loosening or softening the stains and lifting them from the concrete. One widely used soda for this process is Coke. However, you can use any soda for cleaning.
All you need to do is pour the soda on the stained surface and leave it for about 20-30 mins. Moreover, if the stained surface is considerable, it would be best to use a brush to scour it to make the removal process quick.
Rinse the cleaned surface with ample water after cleaning.
Concrete Degreaser Or Concrete Cleaner
Concrete degreasers and cleaners usually come from a highly concentrated alkaline soap. Newer oil or stains on the concrete will become easier to remove after using them. However, they are not effective on old oil stains since they cannot dissolve the oil anymore. Additionally, concrete with a higher porosity will benefit the most from this approach.
Using laundry detergent is another helpful way of removing stains, dirt, and mold from a concrete surface. Use it properly by mixing the detergent with water. You will also need the help of a scrub or a nylon brush. Utilizing a detergent may need your patience and a bit of elbow grease.
Vinegar And Baking Soda
If you want to use the natural cleaning approach, you can use baking soda and vinegar. These two cleaning products won't be able to damage your plants and grass, unlike bleach and laundry detergents.
So, if the concrete patio you are to clean is near your plants or lawn, without thinking twice, it would be best to go for baking soda and vinegar immediately.
All you need to do is get a spray bottle and pour equal parts of water and vinegar to create a solution. Note that you can do the same with baking soda. Additionally, you can add a small amount of liquid dish soap.
Spray the cleaning solution on the dirty or stained concrete and leave it for 30 minutes to do its job. Scrub the surface afterward and thoroughly rinse it.
Wrapping It All Up
If you plan to clean a concrete surface, it would be best to familiarize yourself with the cleaning solution you are to use. Doing so will avoid the possibility of damaging the concrete surface. And since you now know that rinsing bleach off the concrete is a must, you should follow and always keep this in mind.
We hope this post answers all of your questions about bleach on concrete. If you have additional questions, please feel free to reach out in the comments. And for further reading, you can check these bleach-related posts out!