How to Clean Concrete with Vinegar

Vinegar is an all-natural solution for cleaning concrete. It kills mildew and mold, removes grime, and helps treat set-in stains.

Before cleaning concrete with vinegar, it’s essential to dilute it so you don’t affect your sealer. Here’s what type of concrete to clean with vinegar and which types to avoid.

How to Clean a Concrete Patio, Pavers, or Sidewalk with Vinegar

How to Clean Concrete with Vinegar

It’s not uncommon for concrete patios and sidewalks to develop mildew or layers of dirt over time. Vinegar will kill the mildew and cut through the grime and dirt.

You can use vinegar to clean your concrete patio or sidewalk, with or without a pressure washer. Be sure to choose a day with mild temperatures. If you try to clean during a hot sunny day, the vinegar can dry to the concrete before you have a chance to rinse it off.

How to clean a concrete patio or sidewalk without a pressure washer:

  • Use a leaf blower or broom to remove debris from the concrete
  • Mix a solution of half vinegar and half water in a garden pump sprayer
  • Thoroughly coat the patio with the mixture
  • Use a long-handle soft-bristled scrub brush to clean the area
  • Rinse with a garden hose

How to clean a concrete patio or sidewalk with a pressure washer:

  • Use a broom or leaf blower to eliminate debris from the concrete
  • Mix a solution of half vinegar and half water in a garden pump sprayer
  • Apply to the concrete and let it sit for fifteen minutes
  • Rinse with your pressure washer

Note: Vinegar can kill your plants. While it’s less likely to cause harm when diluted, you should still take precautions to cover flowers and bushes before washing your patio.

How to Remove Cat Urine from Concrete with Vinegar

An enzymatic cleaner will work best for dealing with any type of pet urine stain. Unsealed concrete is porous; therefore, cat urine can seep into it. An enzymatic cleaner contains enzymes that feed off the bacteria in urine, eliminating rather than covering it.

But, if you’re in a pinch and vinegar is all you have, you can use it to treat the cat urine stain on your concrete.

  • If it’s a fresh stain, soak up as much as possible with a paper towel or rag.
  • Mix half white distilled vinegar with half hot water
  • Pour on the stain and scrub with a soft-bristled brush
  • Rinse with your garden hose
  • Dry the area with a towel
  • Sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda over the area and allow it to sit overnight to help absorb the remaining moisture and smells.

How to Clean a Concrete Basement Floor with Vinegar

It’s best to clean your concrete basement floors with a PH-neutral cleaner, but if they have rust stains or efflorescence (white powdery substance), you can remove it with vinegar. 

To remove efflorescence from your concrete basement floor, apply a mix of 50/50 white vinegar and water, scrub with a soft nylon brush, and rinse away. 

Two Types of Concrete You Shouldn’t Clean With Vinegar

There are two types of concrete you should never clean with vinegar: concrete countertops and polished concrete floors. Both require a PH-neutral concrete cleaner like dish soap and water. Using vinegar can strip away their top coat, leaving them dull and porous.

Discover more ways to clean with vinegar: 18 Household Items You Can Clean with Vinegar