You’re used to wiping counters and sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping floors to keep your house looking great, but have you ever thought about cleaning your concrete?
Driveways get oil stains, garage and shed floors weather various spills, and even sidewalks get discolored.
There are different types of concrete cleaners on the market, from mild to heavy-duty.
It’s important to make sure you’re informed before you take on such a cleaning task, and having the best concrete cleaner on hand is a helpful step.
#1. GP66 Miracle Cleaner
GP66 Miracle Cleaner is an eco-friendly, highly rated concrete cleaner, but it goes well beyond that call of duty.
This multi-purpose solution is safe to get the grime off your grill and oven, de-grease your pots and pans, spruce up your fireplace, and can even be used to clean laminate floors.
Since you can use it on food surfaces, you know this product is not harmful to your family.
It is fragrance-free, so you don’t have to worry about the smell when you use it inside your home. The concrete cleaner comes as a concentrate you dilute with water depending on the severity of your stain.
You can also leave the cleaner on the surface for a longer time to ensure it will eliminate the stain.
#2. All-Purpose Masonry & Concrete Cleaner
All-Purpose Masonry & Concrete Cleaner removes dirt, mold, mildew, and oil stains from concrete. As a bonus, the cleaner also works on bricks and mortar! The 3-pound bucket will clean approximately 900 square feet of concrete.
After mixing the powder with water, you’ll have six gallons of cleaning product to use on your driveway, patio, sidewalks, and more.
This cleaner is non-toxic, so you don’t have to worry about it killing your plants or harming your pets. You can spray the solution from a pressure washer or spread it over the surface and let it soak in to remove stains.
#3. Oil Eater Original
As the name implies, Oil Eater Original will eat through the oil spills or greasy surfaces on your concrete. The product comes as a liquid concentrate, a dilution chart on the label that tells you how much water to mix with it. Use more or less water, depending on the severity of your concrete stains.
Oil Eater Original is non-abrasive and non-corrosive so that it won’t eat away at your concrete. The cleaner is also non-toxic and USDA approved for use on non-food surfaces.
#4. ACT Concrete Cleaner
ACT Concrete Cleaner is an eco-friendly concrete cleaner that is safe to use around people, pets, and vegetation. Instead of breaking apart the grease or petroleum, ACT Concrete Cleaner eats the stains, converting them into carbon dioxide and water.
This method causes everything to evaporate without leaving residue. This cleaner can be used on plastic surfaces and won’t take the paint off of walls.
Unlike the previous concrete cleaners diluted with water and sprayed onto the stained surfaces, there’s a different method for using ACT Concrete Cleaner. Sprinkle the powder on the stain, and then use a push broom or brush to work the powder into the affected area.
Dampen the powder with a spray bottle—don’t soak it with a hose!—and let it sit. As mentioned, this product will evaporate on its own, so there’s no need to hose down the area later.
#5. TERMINATOR-HSD Concrete Cleaner
TERMINATOR-HSD Concrete Cleaner has an innovative, environmentally-friendly way to eliminate oil stains from your garage and driveway. While other cleaners might remove the oil from your concrete, the oil gets washed away into the sewer.
This cleaner breaks down the stain and dissolves it into carbon dioxide and water, so there is no harm done to the environment.
TERMINATOR-HSD Concrete Cleaner is a powder that you apply to the affected areas and lightly mist with water. There is no need to brush the powder into the concrete, use a pressure washer, or soak the surface with a hose! Since this product uses no chemicals to break down the oil, it’s best to use it every week for a month to see the best results and let it work its magic.
#6. EXIMO Waterless Concrete Cleaner
EXIMO Waterless Concrete Cleaner removes stains from your driveway and walkways while restoring the concrete’s natural color. EXIMO is another eco-friendly cleaner that uses bioremediation to break down petroleum and causes no chemical run-off.
EXIMO is probably one of the lowest effort concrete cleaners you can find. Sprinkle the powder on the stain and let it sit—no need to add any water, and no need to sweep it away! This is safe to use around your kids, pets, and plants but works best on outdoor surfaces.
#7. Simple Green Concrete and Driveway Cleaner
Simple Green Concrete and Driveway Cleaner is a cleaning product that eliminates oil spills and various stains from your driveway. The liquid concentrate can be used in power washing machines or diluted with water for manual application.
For manual application, mix two cups of Simple Green Concrete and Driveway Cleaner with a gallon of water. Brush it onto the surface you want to clean, and let it sit for five to ten minutes—but don’t allow it to dry!
After the allotted time, rinse the surface with a garden hose and then let it dry naturally. You’ll see results in no time!
#8. Chomp! Pull It Out Concrete Cleaner
Chomp! Pull It Out Concrete Cleaner does not use bleach, acid, or corrosive chemicals to clean away oil-based stains from concrete and brick. Pour the product onto the stain so it’s completely covered, and then let it dry.
Chomp! pulls out the stain, and then you brush away the powder that remains.
This cleaner uses a “poultice” formula that is guaranteed to work on more concrete, brick, and pavers than the average solutions. Using this product will not only make the concrete surfaces around your home look better, it’ll also improve the safety of these areas by eliminating slippery oil spills.
#9. Black Diamond Stoneworks
Black Diamond Stoneworks is a concrete cleaner that you can use on surfaces to boost their natural colors, even after the stain is gone! This is a pH neutral cleaner so that it can be used safely on polished concrete, tumbled stones, and porous surfaces.
To use Black Diamond Stoneworks cleaner, mix four ounces of the cleaning product with one gallon of water. After doing a deep clean of your stained surfaces, you can use light applications of Black Diamond Stoneworks to touch up the appearance of your stone and concrete surfaces.
If you love how this cleaner works on your concrete surfaces, check out what else the brand has to offer! Black Diamond Stoneworks provides various cleaners for different surfaces, including options for wood and laminate floors, granite countertops, marble, and tile.
Types of Concrete Cleaners
In general, there are five different types of concrete cleaners. Though we’ve highlighted the nine best specific brands, the cleaner you ultimately pick will depend on what stains you need to remove, the type of concrete surface you’re cleaning, and how much work you want to put into the cleaning process and upkeep.
Regardless of the type of concrete cleaner you buy, make sure to safely store the container when it’s not in use. Keep the lid firmly closed so nothing can get into your cleaning solution, whether it’s liquid or powder.
You also want to keep it tightly closed and stored securely in your shed, garage, or utility closet so it’s not exposed to the elements, which may cause its cleaning efficiency to deteriorate over time.
Most pH-neutral cleaners are mild cleansers that work best on sealed concrete, as typically found with interior surfaces. You can also use these cleaners on unsealed exterior concrete that doesn’t require a deep clean, such as cosmetic upkeep.
Typically, pH-neutral cleaners are sold as concentrates that you’ll mix with water and apply to the stained surface. This type of solution requires a bit of work—you have to scrub the surface, then clean and rinse it after.
It may take a few applications to eliminate the stain, but you can be confident that the cleaner won’t damage your stone.
These cleaners can be ordered from Amazon.com and are also easy to find in stores.
Acidic cleaners eliminate stains that are made by substances that have an acidic solution. This type of cleaner comes in both a concentrate or a ready-to-use formula.
If the stain is stubborn, you might have to work the product into the concrete or try multiple applications. You have to rinse the concrete with water from a hose after using acidic cleaners to neutralize the surface.
Once you remove tough stains using acidic cleaners, you should consider sealing the concrete to make stains less likely to occur in the future. If they do occur, you’ll be able to use milder, pH-neutral cleaners to revitalize the treated concrete.
It’s easy to find acidic cleaners online at Amazon.com as well as in stores, but you must make sure you’re getting concrete-specific cleaners.
Lime Away and soap scum cleaners are readily available and claim to remove stains, but they are used on interior surfaces and don’t contain acid, so they’re not sufficient for concrete.
Alkaline cleaners, also called concrete degreasers, are used to eliminate oil and grease stains from concrete. Since these cleaners have high alkalinity, the oil-based stains are broken down and easily cleaned away.
After applying the cleaner, you’ll have to clean up the broken-down oil stain from the surface and then wash away the residue to see the results.
Alkaline cleaners are concentrated, which makes them an incredibly affordable option—one gallon of the solution can be diluted into enough cleaner to treat over 4,000 square feet of concrete!
You can also safely use them undiluted on tougher stains, but it’s essential to give the cleaner enough time to penetrate the stain. This might mean leaving the cleaner on the stain for a few hours or doing multiple treatments.
Concrete is naturally alkaline, so you can also use an alkaline cleaner on your concrete surface after using an acidic cleaner. This will restore your concrete to its natural state.
Enzymatic or Bacterial Cleaners
Enzymatic or bacterial cleaners can also be called “oxidation cleaners”, and the most common brand is OxiClean. This cleaner uses active enzymes to break down stains, and include genetically engineered bacteria that focus on eating away oil, grease, and hydrocarbons.
These cleaners are pretty low maintenance because you don’t have to add water or wash them away after using them. Bacteria eat away at the stain until it’s gone, so once you apply it, leave it to work its magic.
This might take some time, though, so while you don’t have to put a lot of physical work into this type of cleaning, you do have to give it time to work.
If you let the enzymatic cleaner work for several hours or even days, and it still doesn’t eliminate the stain you targeted, don’t hesitate to start another application.
Some stains are stubborn, and there might not be a specific cleaner that will get rid of it immediately.
You can order enzymatic or bacterial cleaners online and have them safely shipped to your home, but they might be a bit harder to find in stores.
Hardware or janitorial stores might have some in stock, but make sure the brand you buy will target your specific stain and will work on concrete and not just interior surfaces like bathrooms and kitchens.
It might be possible that your stain is so unique and so stubborn that the previously mentioned cleaners don’t work as well as you had hoped. In that case, you might have to look into specialty cleaners.
Some specialty cleaners blend two or more of the above types of cleaner. These combination products might target specific stains, like rust or efflorescence.
Plus, some specialty cleaners might refresh your concrete so you can apply a sealant or prevent cracks.
You can find specialty cleaners online at Amazon.com, but make sure you read the ingredients and specific purpose carefully to get the right cleaner for your stain.
No matter how bad the stain, there’s a product out there that can tackle the job, and the above picks are the best concrete cleaners available.
Here are a few common questions about concrete cleaners and how to choose the best one.
What is the best product to clean concrete?
The best concrete cleaner will address the stains your concrete has and its natural composition.
Depending on whether your concrete is sealed or is indoors or out, you’ll need to shop around for a product that meets your unique needs.
How can I make my concrete white again?
Getting your concrete bright-white again requires a cleansing solution specific to whatever stain is on the surface. For oil stains, alkaline cleaners can be effective.
Enzymatic options can also be helpful for set-in stains that scrubbing can’t remove.
What is the best chemical for pressure washing concrete?
Plenty of products promise to help pressure wash your concrete to its original cleanliness, but we like All-Purpose Masonry & Concrete Cleaner because it’s non-toxic and can also clean up bricks and mortar.
What can I use to clean a concrete driveway?
There are plenty of cleaning options to clean your concrete driveway, and we’ve listed some of the best ones here.
However, if your driveway runoff winds up in a neighborhood water source, you’ll probably want an eco-friendly option like ACT Concrete Cleaner to remove stains and spruce up your concrete.