Remove Dirt Stains from Concrete

If you have a tennis court, a driveway, or some other concrete surface on your property, you may end up getting dirt on it. Dirt on its own isn’t an issue; it’s what in the dirt that can cause it to stain those concrete surfaces. If you live in an area with a lot of clay or colored dirt, it may be beneficial for you to know how to remove dirt stains from concrete surfaces. 

Remove Dirt Stains from Concrete

What is in “Dirt?”

Dirt is such a generic term, and we seem to use it for almost anything that makes our homes “dirty.” So what is in dirt and why does it make everything such a mess? First, the word “dirt” or soil is a very versatile term – dirt and soils vary depending on what region you are located in.

The dirt that you use and walk on has a lot of things in it, like rocks, sand, clay, and even dead objects (exoskeletons of bugs, snake skins, etc). The region that you live in will determine what of those things are in your dirt, and that means that dirt varies from one place to another.

Why does this happen? Think about it. Different regions have different climates, and those different climates break down materials differently. Temperature, humidity, rainfall, and other climate factors will affect how quickly or slowly that materials break down. You could even have the same rocks in two different regions, but if the climate is different, those rocks will break down differently and give your dirt different properties (colors, textures, etc).

Even though different regions have different properties, dealing with dirt stains doesn’t seem to change, even if those dirt stains are on your concrete surfaces. 

How to Remove Dirt Stains from Concrete

First, how in the world do dirt stains get on concrete anyway? Isn’t concrete just a big rock? Yes, but the problem isn’t the dirt itself; rather, it’s the color of the dirt. Different types of dirt can stain your concrete surfaces if the color is different than that of your concrete (think red shale and other clays). It can also become imbedded in some of the uneven surfaces of the concrete.

What you will need:

  • Push broom
  • Powder-style laundry detergent
  • Powdered bleach (optional)
  • Water Hose
  1. Make sure that you have protective gear on. Gloves and slip-proof shoes are recommended while you do this, so that you don’t get blisters and you don’t fall.
  2. Take your push broom and sweep all of the concrete thoroughly. Go through it several times if you have to; you want to make sure that there are no particles on top of your concrete.
  3. Take your water hose and wet the entire surface.
  4. Sprinkle the whole area with your powder-style laundry soap. The brand doesn’t matter, just make sure that it is powder and not liquid. If you see stains, make sure to cover those areas very well.
  5. Optional: You can also use powdered bleach on the stains to try and restore the concrete’s natural color. If you are concerned that the bleach may make your concrete too light, skip this step.
  6. Take your broom and use it like a giant scrub brush, scrubbing the entire concrete surface with it. Take extra care to scrub the areas that are stained so that the stains start to come out.
  7. After you’ve scrubbed the surface to your liking, then take your water hose and rinse everything off of the surface. Make sure to get all of the laundry detergent off of your concrete or you could end up with some discolored areas.
  8. Allow the area to dry for a day or so. If there are still stains, repeat the process in about a week. You should be able to do this about twice a year without any issue.