How to remove paint from concrete without chemicals?

As preferable and less expensive concretes floorings are, they are very porous and can readily absorb liquids such as paints. This is an advantage until you need to eliminate paints from the concrete.

The good news is that the paint spill on your patio, driveway, or garage floor that you have probably thought was never going away can still be removed. But there is no argument that this task can be quite difficult and time-consuming since paints quickly penetrate millimeters deep into the concrete surface. 

Searching through the internet, you would see that most articles go ahead to recommend the use of chemicals to remove paints from concretes. However, there is a way to get this done without using chemicals. 

The one question on your mind right now is, “how to remove paint from concrete without chemicals?” With this article, we can guide you through a few methods to remove paint from concrete without using chemicals. You only need the right products and perseverance to get this done.

How To Remove Paint From Concrete

How to remove paint from concrete

For concrete floorings, maintenance is quite easy. All you do is cover the surface of your floor with water, then with a hard bristle scrub brush and some detergent, scrub the stains away. Fresh paints can effortlessly be removed from your concretes, but removing dried paints, on the other hand, is not equally so simple.

Homeowners with little kids or pet may prefer to remove the paints from concretes without using chemicals can potentially be harmful. If you prefer this, there are friendly options you can consider using. Let’s discuss a few.

1. Pressure washer

Whether you intend to use chemicals or not, your first option to remove paint from concrete floorings or any concrete structure is to use the pressure washer. You have to understand that while using this method, you and your environment around the concrete you plan to wash will probably get wet. So the prominent places you can do this are outside your house, or parts of the home that have no problems getting wet. 

The power washer is an efficient and cheaper means to remove dirt as well as spray paints. However, the truth is that the pressure washer will not remove all types of paints. It is easily the preferred options for latex paints, but pressure water may not be an excellent option to remove epoxy type paints from concretes. 

The pressure washer is a simple way to remove paint from concrete. You get this done by tackling the affected area straight on with the narrowest tip of the pressure wash and force the paint to wash off. But you have to apply care and ensure you are in full control of the pressure washer wand because the washer jet can cause damage to softer materials. 

If with all these, the paint still doesn’t come off, you can try to score it with a hard bristle scrub brush. Keep at it over and over, then spray again with the pressure washer, until the paint is removed. 

2. Floor Grinder

After trying the pressure washer and the paint remains on the concrete, or the concrete is located in a place you cannot afford to wet, floor grinder is your next best bet. The floor grinder with a diamond grinding wheel is a very efficient method to remove paint from the concrete surface. 

As with the first option, you have to be careful with this too. The process of removing paint from concrete with the grinder can leave marks. This will happen if you leave the machine on one spot for too long. It is recommended to use the floor grinder, only when you have plans to cover the marks.  

You can make the first attempt in an inconspicuous area to be sure. On the safer side, you can also try a softer brush wheel on the grinder to see if the paints will come off without leaving marks.

While removing paint with the floor grinder, ensure you wear the proper safety gear such as the respiratory mask, gloves, and goggles. 

3. Non-Toxic cleaners

All alternatives to remove paint from concrete without chemicals are more labor-intensive. Instead of using a paint stripper, this method is another means to achieve your purpose without utilizing the help of toxic cleaners. 

With the use of some non-toxic soy-based gel cleaners, you can remove paint stains from cement. The fact that they are non-toxic gives these cleaners a gentler effect on the environment, which is preferable to other traditional harsh paint strippers. 

These cleaners are of different types, but you should ensure to read through the instructions before use. However, the general way to use these gels is to spread them on the paint stain and leave to set for some time. After these, you can wipe it off, and the most likely result is that the paints will come right off. You can follow this up with power wash and repeat as necessary until the paints are removed

The most effective non-toxic cleaner option could perhaps be the soda blaster. You can rent a tool like a sandblaster, but rather than sand, it shoots out baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). With this also, you need a dust mask or respirator, especially when you are working indoors.

The advantage of this cleaning method is that the gels can be contained to remove paints from the targeted areas alone. Liquid cleaners, on the other hand, will flow away and make you use more product than you intend. 

4. Traditional Paint Remover (last option)

After trying all the suggestions we have given, and the paint remains on the concrete, there is still an option you can resort to before contacting the professionals. The last option is the traditional paint remover or paint stripper. 

We intentionally left this option for last since it is always better to be cautious of how we use chemicals. It is typically the last thing you should try when removing paints from concrete. 

It is a straight forward process, but you have to select the paint stripper of your choice. Most times, the brand of the paint determines the type of stripper you use. Some often have it written on the label by the side of the can. But, if you are not sure of the kind of paint on the concrete, you can use the general purpose paint stripper. 

You then have to apply the paint stripper to the concrete and follow the instructions given by the manufacturers. One thing we recommend you try before applying the chemical to concrete is first to test run it in an inconspicuous area of the concrete.

Sometimes these paint strippers need to set for a predetermined amount of time to be fully effective. When it is appropriately set in, you can scrape or scrub the paint off. Once this is done, and the paint is totally off, you should clean and wash off the concrete to remove the remaining residue. 

Some products and tools you may need to remove paint from concrete:

  • Vacuum cleaner or broom: To clean up the surface of the affected areas before and after removing the paint.
  • Protective gear: You may need a respirator and gloves for safety purposes.
  • Scrub Brush: This one makes scrapping off the paint easy.
  • Power washer or hose: Direct and high-pressure washing can help to remove and wash away chipped paints.
  • Trisodium phosphate: This is mostly used to clean up the surfaces before painting. It can also help to peel off the paints on the stained surfaces.
  • Paint stripper: This product is a chemical product you may resort to if all previous attempts have failed. It removes the paints and cleans the underlying surface.

Conclusion

If you have those ugly paint stains on your concretes that have been there for ages and you’ve probably given up on cleaning it. You should know that, as long as you are willing to invest some time and effort to this task, you can remove paint from concrete without chemicals. 

We have given four methods, and the step by step guided you can follow out to make paint spills disappear from your driveway, garage, and patio. These approaches can look like a real chore, but they are doable, and you should give these methods a shot. Any of them can work for you.

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