Asked on Jun 26, 2017

How do I get water stains out of a porous, stained concrete floor?

Gary Jones
by Gary Jones
I've tried vinegar, which dimmed the stain, but didn't remove it. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
This is after 2 vinegar applications and lots of scrubbing with a stiff bristled brush and then rinsing with clean water.
  14 answers
  • Lynn Goins Lynn Goins on Jun 26, 2017

    I would try CLR.

  • Marcus Barber Marcus Barber on Jun 26, 2017

    It looks like a can of paint has been sitting there? If so, you may be able to 'float' the stain off the concrete. If it was an oil based stain, then plenty of mineral turps on a wet sponge or cloth.

    If not paint, or not an oil based one, try a pretty sloppy paste of bicarb soda with a smallish amount of white vinegar, Allow it to sit as long as you can then draw it out with plenty of dry paper towels.

    And those paper towels can then be used in your compost bin or around the base of citrus tree to keep pests at bay!

  • Shirley Riggins Shirley Riggins on Jun 26, 2017

    Try Borax! It does a lot of different things!

  • Sheila Spencer Porter Sheila Spencer Porter on Jun 26, 2017

    Did you try TSP?

  • Cori Widen Cori Widen on Jun 26, 2017

    I would also try Borax...

  • Barbara Heller Wajbel Barbara Heller Wajbel on Jun 26, 2017

    Since mayonnaise works on furniture maybe it might on concrete. Guess it can't hurt to try.

  • Claire Betone Claire Betone on Jun 26, 2017

    Vinegar and baking soda or vinegar and borax I would make it into a paste and let it sit for a while and scrub it

  • Try mureatic acid. Cover it with burlap or cloth and pure a little every hour for 5 hours. Then remove cloth and rinse.

  • MsL7556155 MsL7556155 on Jun 26, 2017

    Maybe try a little paint to match concrete, and blot in a little at a time. You also, may have to thin paint out. Looks like the color has been rubbed out of the concrete. Hope this helps. Anything else properly will wash it out more.

  • Gary Jones Gary Jones on Jun 26, 2017

    Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply to my question. I will surely find a resolution to my problem with so many good suggestions. Thanks again!


  • Deb Deb on Jun 27, 2017

    I haven't tried this technique on regular cement, but I have tried this to remove stains on terrazzo floors, which are made of marble chips mixed into Portland cement, polished to a very smooth finish.

    I found the following technique after pouring through countless internet blogs - and it worked perfectly for my terrazzo floors.

    First, I thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed the floors to remove old waxes and sealers.

    I purchased a powdered hair bleach and crème developer at a hair supply store and mixed the two together into a paste, as you would if you were to bleach your hair.

    I then applied the hair bleach paste very thickly onto the stains and applied heavy-duty plastic over the hair bleach solution and taped it to the floor. The airtight plastic over the hair bleach paste slowed the drying process of the bleach solution, so that it worked as a poultice to draw the stain out of the Portland cement into the bleach.

    After about 5 to 7 days, the bleach paste was dried to a powder - full of the former stain! If the stain has not vanished completely, repeat the process again. I remember having a couple of large stains that weren't completely gone after the first treatment.

    This worked a miracle on my terrazzo flooring. They were a beautiful, stain-free creamy color when I finished bleaching the stains

    After the stains were gone, I applied many coats of a high traction sealer, then a finishing sealer (also high traction) to keep the floors slip-proof, stain-free and glossy. (Unfortunately, I was unable to find a diamond polisher to rent and again had to be resourceful.)

    As luck would have it, after I worked very hard to restore my floors, best I could in an amateurish way, I learned about a nearby company that would have professionally restored them in the proper way...

    If all else fails, you could try this technique, but I don't know how it would work on regular cement.

    • Stella Stella on Aug 13, 2017

      Your post got me thinking...  I had a couple of rings on my concrete countertop and I couldn't get rid of the rings. I don't even know how I got these rings on my countertop. I even re-stain the concrete, but it didn't work. It only made my overall concrete countertop made darker and the pattern of the rings still shows. I am going to try using the hair products to see if I can repair it. I've tried just about anything else, so I've got nothing to lose at this point!

  • Cynthia Gilster Cynthia Gilster on Jun 27, 2017

    Just cleaned a garage floor, utility room floor and a shop floor with all kinds of stains. Muriatic acid worked best. Got it at Lowe's Home Improvement store. Be sure to have the area well ventilated while using it. I had a oscillating fan going and a hose ready to rinse area afterwards. Cleaned all spots.

  • Ramon Ramon on Mar 25, 2023

    Don't ever use clr on stained concrete. I ruined my floor doing that.

  • Mogie Mogie on Apr 03, 2023

    Spray the water spots thoroughly with the vinegar solution, saturating them completely. Let it sit for five minutes.

    Scrub the stained areas with a nylon-bristled scrub brush to remove the stains. Spray more vinegar solution if it dried up.

    Rinse the concrete with plain water.