September 7, 2017

Cleaning Brick & Concrete

Removing grease or rust stains is rarely an easy task, and porous materials like brick and concrete can be especially tricky. Anyone who has spilled motor oil in their driveway would probably agree. It’s undoubtedly smarter to act sooner than later when fighting these stains; the longer they sit the harder they are to remove. When evaluating what chemicals are needed, here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • When treating grease stains, you want to stay away from acid based cleaners. They are not only ineffective, but can intensify the stain or cause it to spread. We recommend picking up some of our high-strength CC-124 degreaser to make the job a little easier. This chemical is highly alkaline which makes it the most effective choice for removing any grease stain. For best results, apply CC-124 to the stained area and let the it soak for up to 30 minutes before rinsing with a pressure washer. This process may have to be repeated a few times.
  • If you are dealing with a motor oil stain, follow the same steps listed above. If the stain is still appearing after a few rounds of CC-124, then try some Oil-Dri for the last step. This powdery substance can be mashed into the cement stain with your feet or hands (with gloves). Leave the product on the surface allowing it to wear away on its own; it will help remove the lingering coloration. This process may also have to be repeated.
  • Rust stains are another unwanted eye-sore & also very tough to remove. The best chemical for rust is Oxalic Acid. It can be bought at our shop in powder form, or you can try our liquid solution of Rust Kutter for smaller areas. Both are very effective, but like grease stains, sometimes will require multiple applications.

Choosing your equipment:

  • Use a pressure washer, ideally a hot water machine, with a rating of 3000psi or higher with a flow rate of 4+ gallons per minute. Surface cleaners can also be effective for soaking out those tough stains.
  • Ensuring you have the right nozzle is also important for effective cleaning. Here is a great reference sheet from General Pump to help calculate which size nozzle to use with your machine.
  • Also consider the spray angle of the nozzle. Typical nozzles come in zero, fifteen, twenty-five, forty and sometimes sixty-degree spray angles. For tough cleans like concrete stains we recommend a zero or 15-degree nozzle. Turbo nozzles are also great idea for these types of cleaning projects.
  • Be sure to always use caution when operating a pressure washer, especially with a smaller degree nozzle. Always point the spray gun away from others, preferably at the ground when starting your machine.

Still having trouble with a stain? Call or stop by for chemical and machine recommendations!


Energen Carolina specializes in Pressure Washer Machine Sales, Service & Supplies. We also offer off-site servicing & low-rate delivery to most parts of SC. Stop by our newly updated showroom to find the perfect machine to fit your needs!

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