How to Acid Washing Concrete: 12 Steps
Knowing how to acid-wash concrete can help you restore the appearance and luster of your outdoor space. Whether it’s a driveway, patio, or walkway, it always pays off when you properly maintain stained, dull-looking concrete surfaces. The good news is that with just a few simple steps and readily available materials like muriatic acid, water, and a pressure washer, you can easily transform any concrete surface back to its original glory! In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of acid washing concrete in 12 easy-to-follow steps so that even beginners can tackle this job with confidence.
- Safety First: Always wear protective gear and ensure that the area is well-ventilated when performing any type of acid wash. Make sure to read all product labels thoroughly before using any materials.
- Prepare the Area: Before you start, clear away any furniture or other items from the concrete surface that you plan on washing. Also, use plastic sheeting or tarps to protect surrounding plants and vegetation from being damaged by the acid wash solution.
- Mix the Acid Wash Solution: In a large bucket, mix one part muriatic acid with five parts water until blended thoroughly. You may need more or less of this solution depending on the size of your concrete area – make sure to follow instructions on any product labels for specific details.
- Apply the Acid Wash Solution: Using a garden sprayer, uniformly apply the acid wash solution to the concrete surface. Be careful when spraying as this solution can be corrosive and may cause injury if not handled properly. Allow the solution to sit on the concrete for 10 minutes or until it begins foaming. Once it does, scrub any discolorations away with a stiff brush.
- Rinse off the Solution: When you are done scrubbing, turn your garden hose to full pressure and rinse off all traces of the acid wash solution before moving on to step six. Make sure that you have wiped away all residue from corners and crevices – even small amounts of muriatic acid can cause discoloration.
- Pressure Wash the Area: If you have access to a pressure washer, use it to rinse off the acid wash solution and any dirt or debris that may be lingering on your concrete surface. This is an especially important step if you are working with extremely dirty or stained areas as it helps break down stubborn residue and removes dirt from hard-to-reach places.
- Neutralize the Surface: Once you have finished concrete cleaning, mix one part baking soda with two parts water in a large bucket. Using a mop or garden sprayer, apply this neutralizing solution to your concrete area and allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes. Afterward, rinse off with water before proceeding to step eight.
- Let the Surface Dry: Allow your concrete surface to air dry completely before continuing with any further maintenance or sealant application. This will ensure that all traces of muriatic acid and the neutralizer have been removed from the area, leaving you with clean and beautiful concrete that is ready to be sealed or painted as desired!
- Seal the Concrete: Sealing can help protect your freshly cleaned concrete surface by creating a protective barrier against dirt, grime, and other contaminants. To seal, simply apply an even coat of a quality masonry sealer using either a brush, roller or garden sprayer – our team recommends using an acrylic-based sealant for best results.
- Apply a Second Coat of Sealer: For added protection, consider applying a second coat of sealant. This will give your concrete an additional layer of protection from dirt, grime and other contaminants that can cause discoloration and staining over time.
- Allow the Surface to Dry Overnight: Before you move any furniture or belongings back onto the freshly cleaned and sealed concrete surface, make sure to let it dry for at least 12-24 hours. This will ensure that all components have fully cured and offer the best possible performance.
- Enjoy Your Clean Concrete Surface! Now that you’ve completed all steps in the acid washing process, take a few moments to appreciate your beautiful clean concrete surface! With just a little bit of effort, you can keep your concrete looking like new for years to come. Happy cleaning!