If you have ever worked with concrete, you know how messy it can be! A little splatter is totally normal. It is fairly simple to remove concrete splatter when it is wet. However, what do you do with dried concrete splatter? Can it be removed?
Concrete splatter is a common problem. Though it is best to deal with splatter immediately, it can be removed once it is dry. The large pieces of concrete may be scraped off with a chisel. The remaining dried residue can then be broken up with the use of muriatic acid. The acid residue should be rinsed thoroughly after application.
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How Can I Remove Dried Concrete Splatter from Concrete?
It is possible to remove unsightly concrete splatter from concrete! Follow these instructions and with a little time and elbow grease, you should have a nice and smooth concrete surface.
- Muriatic Acid
- Paint brush
- Scrub brush
- Eye Protection
- Chemical resistant gloves
- Mask, preferably a respirator mask
- A machine like this that can grind and polish concrete (optional)
Here are the step by step instructions.
Don’t forget about safety! You will be working with harsh chemicals and therefore, need to make sure you are protected. Wear long sleeves and pants, chemical-resistant gloves, a respirator mask, and eye protection. Choose eye protection that fully encloses your eyes, like this one.
If you get muriatic acid on your skin, wash it off immediately. You may want to use clothes that you can throw away after the job is done.
This is where you will apply some elbow grease! Grab your chisel and mallet. Position the chisel at an angle between the edge of the splatter and the concrete. Tap the chisel with the mallet. Break up as many of the large pieces as you can.
It might sound like a rather easy process, but it’s most often not! This can easily be a long, tedious job.
If you have a large area to work on, be prepared to put in a lot of time. Or, better yet, call a few friends to help with the process.
Wet Down the Area
Soak the entire concrete area with water. This will work to soften the excess concrete layer, so that you can take out the splatter in an easier way.
Apply the Muriatic Acid
Read the label on the muriatic acid. Some varieties come as a concentrate and need to be watered down. Slowly add the acid to the water in the recommended ratio.
Note: Always add muriatic acid to water, not the other way around!
Once your acid is ready, apply it to the concrete splatter with the paint brush. Use an old paint brush, then trash it when you’re done.
Watch for Bubbles!
The muriatic acid will bubble as it breaks down the concrete. This usually takes about 5-15 minutes. Once you see the bubbles, scrub away the acid and concrete residue with the scrub brush. You can stop scrubbing when you stop seeing progress.
Reapply the acid and scrub as many times as needed. Depending on the thickness of the concrete splatter, you may need to repeat the process 2-5 times.
Yes, this is indeed a bit hectic. However, it’s still the most effective way to get rid of even the most stubborn concrete splatters.
Rinse It Away
It is important that you thoroughly rinse all the muriatic acid off of the concrete or it will continue to eat away at the concrete. Be careful as you rinse! The acid will kill any grass or plants in its way.
Polish it Up (Optional)
If you still have rough edges from any residual concrete, use the grinder to even out the surface of the concrete. The muriatic acid may cause some variance in the color of the concrete.
What is Muriatic Acid?
Muriatic acid is also known as hydrochloric acid. It is commonly used to treat swimming pools by balancing the pH levels. It is also used to clean and brighten concrete, stone, and brick.
Hydrochloric acid is made by dissolving hydrogen chloride in water. The muriatic acid you find in the hardware or pool supply store is usually 10-12 percent hydrochloric acid. Check the label! There are usually instructions on how to dilute the solution even further.
Muriatic acid is a potent chemical! Follow safe handling and storage practices. Never leave muriatic acid where children may find it. If it comes into contact with skin or eyes, flush the area immediately. In case of accidental ingestion, seek immediate medical attention.