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Acidic cleaners

When to use them:
These types of cleaners are primarily designed to remove stains, dirt, and contamination that are soluble in an acidic solution. They are especially effective for removing efflorescence on concrete, an insoluble metallic salt that appears as a white powder or crystalline residue on the concrete surface and will not wash away in plain water. Exposure to hard water, a high salt content in the concrete, and high soil alkalinity are common causes of these types of stains.

How they work:
As you might expect, acidic cleaners contain acid as the active ingredient. They come in both concentrated and ready-to-use formulations and are applied directly to the contaminated area. Sometimes scrubbing or agitation is needed, and stubborn stains may need additional applications. It is critical to neutralize the concrete after cleaning with an acid-based cleaner, followed by a clean-water rinse. Consider using a sealer to protect the area from future alkaline or salt contamination.

Where to get them:
Acid based concrete cleaners are available at most specialty concrete distribution outlets. Diluting standard muriatic acid is a widely used and accepted type of acidic cleaner. It is important to note that over-the-counter cleaners like Lime Away and soap-scum removers are designed to clean similar types of contamination in a bathroom environment, but do not contain acid, so they may not be as effective on concrete.

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