If you need to clean concrete floors in your driveway, garage, or patio, a concrete cleaner with a pressure washer is the best way! It can be confusing which concrete cleaner to pick. We break it all down for you.
Paint spills on the garage floor, oil stains on the carport, and mildew or mold on the foundation are some of the most difficult to manage. Most of the stains on concrete floors are caused either by hard materials like paints, or petroleum products, or by living creatures like algae, mildew, and mold can cause most stains on concrete floors.
One of the best tools for cleaning a large area of concrete quickly and efficiently is a pressure washer. However, you need to choose the right cleaner to get the best results and that can be extremely confusing because there are a whole bunch of cleaners available in the market.
This is why I have put together this comprehensive guide to the best concrete cleaners to use with or without pressure washers. We’ll talk about what to look for in a good cleaner as well as reviews of some of my top picks so that you can make an informed decision about which product is best suited to your needs.
***This post contains affiliate or referral links. It is a way for this site to earn advertising fees by advertising or linking to certain products and/or services. Please read my full disclosure here ***
List of the best concrete cleaners
Let’s get right to the answers. Here are the highest-rated concrete cleaners. We will discuss these cleaners in more detail as well as tips for picking and using them below.
1. General Purpose Concrete Cleaners:
2. Oil and Grease Stain Removers
3. Rust Stain Removers:
4. Mold and Mildew Cleaners:
5. Heavy Duty Concrete Cleaners
Pressure washers are machines that shoot water under pressure making the stream extremely powerful. This helps reach and clean tight spaces, crevices, and corners – especially the tiny pores in the concrete, which other cleaning methods might find challenging. They are commonly used to clean outdoor surfaces such as driveways, patios, and decks as well as washing cars and boats, or outdoor furniture.
They come in a wide variety of sizes and types. There are different kinds of pressure washers:
- Electric pressure washers are the most common and use electricity to make a powerful stream of water.
- Gas pressure washers use gas and hot water units use hot water to make the stream which helps clean the stains.
There are also cordless electrical models also available.
When looking for a pressure washer, consider the size of your cleaning area and what kind of power you need.
What to Look for in a concrete cleaner
Typically, the concrete cleaner you pick will depend on various factors including the type of stain you are dealing with, the intensity of the stain, etc. Concrete cleaners work by attacking stains deep below the surface to help you clean. Using the right concrete cleaner, a pressure washer, and a little elbow grease, you can definitely give your concrete floor a new life.
Picking the right concrete cleaning solution will 100% make the job easier.
With so many products on the market, picking the concrete cleaners that are right for you can be very confusing.
Here is what you need to look for in a concrete cleaner:
- Type of stain: Concrete cleaners are designed to work with and remove specific types of stains such as oil, grease, rust, mold, and mildew. Based on the type of stain you need to remove, you can pick a cleaner specifically formulated to tackle it.
- Cleaning power: The cleaning power of a concrete cleaner is determined by its concentration, active ingredients, and pH. If you have tough stains, you want to pick a cleaner that has a higher concentration of active ingredients so it’s specifically designed for heavy-duty stubborn stains.
- Compatibility pressure washer: If you plan to use a pressure washer to clean your concrete surface, make sure that the cleaner you choose is compatible with your pressure washer. Some cleaners may damage the seals or hoses or require special attachments for application.
- Safety: It is important to prioritize safety when choosing a concrete cleaner. Consider cleaners that are safe to use around plan pets and children. Biodegradable and eco-friendly cleaners are definitely the way to go whenever possible.
- Ease of use: some cleaners may require dilution while others come ready to use. Based on your requirements you may want to choose a cleaner that is easy to apply and use. Also, you might want to make sure you choose a cleaner that doesn’t require excessive scrubbing or rinsing.
How to use a concrete cleaner with a pressure washer.
Once you have picked the concrete cleaner you want to use it is time to get to work. Using a concrete cleaner with a pressure washer is a simple process but it is also important that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines carefully.
Remember to always wear appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and eyewear, when working with pressure washers and cleaning solutions.
Here are the basic steps:
- Prepare the surface: Before applying the concrete cleaner, clear any debris, such as leaves, twigs, and dirt. Sweep or blow the surface clean to ensure the cleaner can penetrate deep into the concrete.
- Mix the Cleaner: once you have selected the concrete cleaner that is compatible with your pressure washer and is designed to remove the type of stain you need to clean, read the label carefully before starting. Some cleaners may require dilution with water, while others may come ready to use.
- Apply the Cleaner: Apply the cleaner using a sprayer attachment on the pressure washer. Start at the highest point of the surface and work your way down. Apply the cleaner in a uniform pattern, covering the entire surface.
- Allow dwell time: Allow the cleaner to sit on the surface of the concrete for the amount of time specified on the label, usually between 5 and 15 minutes. This will allow the cleaner to penetrate deep into the concrete and break down the dirt, grime, and stains.
- Scrub the Surface: Once the cleaner has had time to sit, use a scrub brush to agitate the surface of the concrete and remove any remaining dirt and stains.
- Rinse the Surface: After scrubbing the surface, rinse it thoroughly with clean water using the pressure washer. Start at the highest point of the surface and work your way down, making sure to rinse away all the cleaner.
- Repeat if Necessary: If the surface is heavily stained or has not been cleaned to your satisfaction, repeat the process, starting from step two.
Tips and Tricks for Using concrete cleaners with Pressure Washers
Use the right concrete cleaner
Make sure you’re using a specific concrete cleaner with your pressure washer, as this will help ensure that the cleaner won’t damage any seals or hoses.
Use the Right Nozzle
Different nozzles have different uses, so make sure you’re using the right one for your task. If you’re cleaning a large area of concrete, use a wide fan nozzle to cover more ground quickly and easily. If you’re cleaning a smaller area, use a pinpoint nozzle for more control over the stream of water.
Wear Protective Gear
It’s essential to wear protective gear when using a pressure washer on concrete surfaces. Wear earplugs, safety glasses, and gloves to protect yourself from flying debris, contact with chemical cleaners, or strong streams of water.
Watch Your Distance
Keep the nozzle of your pressure washer at least 12 inches away from the concrete surface to avoid damaging it. The stream of water should be parallel to the surface and not pointed directly at it.
Once you’re done cleaning, make sure you rinse the cleaner off of the surface thoroughly using fresh water. You don’t want any residue to be left behind, which can damage the concrete and make it look dull over time.
Let the Concrete Dry
Once you’ve finished rinsing off the cleaner, let the surface dry for at least 24 hours before applying any sealers or waxes. This will help make sure the surface looks its best.
Top Concrete Cleaners
The best thing about Simple Green Concrete and driveway cleaner is that it is eco-friendly and biodegradable. The non-toxic and biodegradable formula makes it safe for use around plants, pets, and people, and it does not contain harsh chemicals or bleach. Plus, it doesn’t have a harsh smell.
It is specially formulated to remove oil, grease, grime, and dirt from driveways, walkways, patios, and garage floors.
Zep Driveway and Concrete Cleaner is a heavy-duty cleaner that is designed to tackle tough stains on concrete surfaces.
It is formulated with powerful ingredients that can remove oil, grease, and other stubborn stains from driveways, walkways, patios, and garage floors.
This product is safe for use on concrete surfaces, but it should be used with caution around plants, pets, and people.
Krud Kutter Original Concentrate Cleaner/Degreaser is a versatile and powerful solution for cleaning and degreasing a wide range of surfaces, including concrete.
It is formulated to dissolve tough stains, grease, and grime. The non-toxic and biodegradable formula is safe for use around plants, pets, and people. It can be applied using a pressure washer, pump sprayer, brush, or roller.
It contains anti-corrosive agents to safeguard pressure washer parts.
Terminator – HSD Concrete Cleaner is a highly effective and fast-acting cleaner for removing tough stains from concrete surfaces.
It is extremely easy to use. It is a white powder that can be spread evenly across the surface and then misted with water. You do not have to rinse this off. It absorbs oil out of the concrete over time.
It does take a long time to work – about 4-6 weeks and needs a re-application weekly. But with patience, this can remove the oil stains permanently.
Rust-Oleum Cleaner and Degreaser is a multi-purpose solution for cleaning and degreasing a variety of surfaces, including concrete.
It is formulated with a powerful blend of surfactants that can remove tough grease stains, oil, tire marks, and grime, making it an ideal choice for cleaning driveways, walkways, patios, and garage floors.
It is an environmentally safe, non-toxic, and biodegradable formula that is safe for use around plants, pets, and people.
Bonus – it can also be diluted and used as an everyday cleaner.
Singerman Laboratories Rust Remover for Concrete is a powerful and specialized solution for removing rust stains from concrete surfaces.
It comes as a powder and can be mixed in water to form a gel that can be applied to the surface. After the dwell time, it can be simply rinsed away with little to no scrubbing.
It is phosphate-free, biodegradable, and non-hazardous so it is safe for plants.
Wet and Forget Outdoor Mold and Mildew Remover removes green and black stains caused by moss, mold, mildew, and algae.
It does not require scrubbing, rinsing, or pressure washing. As the name suggests, you can simply wet it and forget it!
It is bleach-free and non-acidic but you need to rinse your plants and lawn well after applying.
RMR-86 Instant Mold and Mildew Stain Remover Spray is a fast-acting and highly effective solution for removing stubborn mold and mildew stains from concrete.
It is safe to use on multiple surfaces including concrete.
It is a fast-acting spray and doesn’t need any scrubbing!
30 Seconds Outdoor Cleaner is a fast-acting and versatile cleaner and is specially formulated to remove not only dirt and grime but also mold and mildew making it a truly general-purpose cleaner. It is safe to use for lawns and plants.
The best part is that it doesn’t need to be used with a pressure washer. You can simply attach a garden hose to the bottle and spray.
ACT Concrete Cleaner is safe and eco-friendly to use. This cleaner uses a process known as bioremediation to clean oil and protein-based stains. This means that microorganisms work to break down and consume stains.
Because of the way it acts, it takes longer than other products (it can take up to two weeks for stains to evaporate). However, it is a completely natural and harmless process from start to finish.
In conclusion, when it comes to cleaning concrete surfaces, using the right cleaner can make all the difference.
Pressure washing alone may not be enough to remove stubborn stains, but with the right concrete cleaner, you can achieve excellent results. By using one of these top-rated concrete cleaners with your pressure washer, you can achieve a clean, fresh look on your concrete surfaces while saving time and effort.