what chemical to use when pressure washing concrete

Clean concrete is important for all types of businesses – whether you are worried about your retail storefront, your corporate headquarters, or an apartment complex you own. 

It isn’t just about sending the right message to all who visit – it’s about protecting your concrete for the long haul. And, there’s no better approach to keeping your concrete clean and pristine than pressure washing concrete.

But, we see a few common questions asked about this process – like what chemical to use when pressure washing concrete. Today, we’ll give you our advice on the best chemical for pressure washing concrete so you can unlock the safest, fastest, and most effective cleaning solution possible.

You have so many options to choose from here at Hotsy Equipment Company – the #1 choice for all things pressure washing in San Antonio. But really, the right chemical for your job will depend on what type of mess you are dealing with. We’ll help you make the right choice below. First, why does choosing the best chemical for pressure washing concrete matter so much? 

The Importance of Using the Best Chemical for Pressure Washing Concrete

There are two reasons finding the best pressure washing soap for concrete should not be overlooked. First and foremost, it speeds up the cleaning process by helping you make quick work of even the toughest messes. But beyond that, it protects your workers, the environment, and the concrete itself.

Speed Up the Cleaning Process Dramatically

Learning how to use a pressure washer with detergent will dramatically speed up your cleaning process – helping you reach peak productivity. But, this benefit is only attained through careful detergent selection. 

The right chemical for cleaning oil stains off concrete will vary greatly from the right choice for concrete that’s covered in just leaves and debris. If you don’t make the right selection, you will end up fighting an uphill battle. On the other hand, having the perfect chemical will allow you to blast through even the toughest messes effortlessly.

Keep the Concrete, Operators, and Environment Safe

What is in pressure washing soap matters more than you think. It’s not just about quick, effective cleaning. It’s about protecting the surface being cleaned, the operators, and the environment itself.

Some chemicals do a great job cleaning – yet, they’re dangerous. Here are a few examples of that in common detergents:

  • Phosphates: They can cause excessive growth of algae and other plants in bodies of water, leading to oxygen depletion, which can harm aquatic life.
  • Sodium hydroxide (caustic soda): It can cause skin and eye irritation, and if ingested or inhaled, it can cause severe damage to internal organs.
  • Chlorine bleach: It can be harmful to aquatic life and can also cause skin and eye irritation, as well as respiratory problems if inhaled.
  • Petroleum-based solvents: They can contaminate soil and water, harm aquatic life, and cause health problems if inhaled or ingested.
  • Sodium hypochlorite: It can release harmful chlorine gas when mixed with other chemicals, and it can cause skin and eye irritation, as well as respiratory problems if inhaled.

The good news? There are chemicals you can use while cleaning that are 100% safe for the environment. Not only that, but these detergents allow you to use less water when cleaning – so you can really do your part to protect the climate. And, you’ll enjoy this level of cleaning with no compromise in efficacy or efficiency. 

Ready to discover the best chemical for pressure washing concrete? Keep reading…

What Chemical to Use When Pressure Washing Concrete

So, what chemical to use when pressure washing concrete makes the most sense for your unique situation? First, consider the specific type of mess you are dealing with. Then, compare your situation to the recommendations that are to follow.

Consider the Mess on Your Concrete Along With the Type of Concrete Itself

Are you just doing a routine cleaning to get mud and dirt off your concrete sidewalks? Or, are you looking to clean years of grease off a concrete shop floor? This is an important consideration because the specific mess you’re looking to clean will influence the ideal chemical for your cleaning process.

Some common chemicals used for cleaning concrete include alkaline cleaners, acid cleaners, and enzymatic cleaners. Alkaline cleaners are effective for removing general dirt and grime, while acid cleaners are used for removing rust stains or mineral deposits. Enzymatic cleaners are effective for removing organic stains, such as those caused by food or mildew. 

But it’s not even about the type of mess in question – you also need to consider the type of concrete. For example, colored or stamped concrete may require a gentler chemical than plain concrete.  

Here Are a Few of the Best Chemicals for Pressure Washing Concrete…

So, what soap to put in the pressure washer is right for your unique situation? At Hotsy, you’ll find the best chemical for pressure washing concrete no matter what type of mess you’re facing. 

Our detergents are safe for the climate so you can enjoy peace of mind using them. And they’re cost-effective because they’re super concentrated – less is more. Meanwhile, you’re enjoying the fastest, most effective cleaning solution possible. Our soaps also save your equipment from the problems that can arise from using cheaper detergents or even homemade pressure washer soap.

The best part, though, is that we have over 50 different chemical solutions on hand – you won’t have to worry about finding the right choice at Hotsy. Here are some recommendations for different circumstances:

  • Shop Floor Cleaner: Specially designed to break up and lift petroleum-based, greasy soils commonly found in equipment repair shops. It won’t harm epoxy finishes either.
  • Floor Wash: Designed for use as a floor cleaner for food, automotive, and manufacturing industries.
  • Fat Cap Graffiti Remover: If you’re pressure washing graffiti off a concrete commercial building exterior or another concrete surface, this is the solution for you. It’s deep penetrating and fast acting for loosening spray paint from a surface.
  • Breakthrough!: You can use this for general cleaning purposes, but it still has the ability to tackle crude oil and caked-on grease build-up on a variety of surfaces. 
  • Ripper: A versatile choice for heavy-duty cleaning and degreasing needs. It can remove tough grime and grease from all sorts of surfaces, including concrete. Petroleum, plant & animal-based grease, and oil all stand no chance against Ripper I or Ripper II!

Still not sure what chemical to use when pressure washing concrete? Don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts here at Hotsy – we’ll give you a personalized recommendation!

More Tips for Pressure Washing Concrete With Chemicals

Now that you know the best chemicals for pressure washing concrete, the only thing left to do is get yours and get to work! Below, we’ve provided a few more tips for getting started if you’re not confident in your next steps.

We have a complete guide on how to actually put detergent in the tank of your pressure washing machine – but it’s fairly straightforward. You should also consider the right soap nozzle for pressure washers – as this will help you spray the detergent in an efficient pattern and maximize its potential.

Of course, if you don’t know how to use a pressure washer, we recommend you do a bit of research on the basics here on our blog. You can also explore some of these more advanced pressure washing tips and tricks to perfect your craft. From there, just follow this advice:

  • Prepare the area: Remove any furniture or debris from the area that you want to clean. Cover any plants or delicate items nearby with a plastic sheet. Get on the proper pressure washer clothing and any other PPE you need. This is a key aspect of pressure washer safety.
  • Sweep the surface: Use a broom or leaf blower to remove any loose dirt, debris, and leaves from the concrete surface.
  • Connect the pressure washer: Connect your pressure washer to a power source and attach the appropriate nozzle to the wand. A 25-degree nozzle is recommended for most concrete surfaces.
  • Test the pressure: Before you start washing the surface, test the pressure washer PSI and pressure washer GPM on a small, inconspicuous area of the concrete to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage.
  • Apply the detergent: Apply a concrete cleaner or detergent to the surface. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and let the detergent sit on the surface for several minutes to loosen any stubborn stains or dirt.
  • Start washing: Hold the pressure washer wand at a slight angle and move it back and forth across the concrete surface. Keep the nozzle about 6-12 inches away from the surface and work in small sections to ensure the detergent doesn’t dry out.
  • Rinse the surface: After washing the surface, switch to a 40-degree nozzle and rinse the area with clean water. Start at the highest point of the surface and work your way down to prevent streaking. Repeat if necessary.

Now, maybe pressure washing by hand makes the most sense for you. But if you have a large concrete floor to clean, we recommend investing in an automatic floor cleaner – this will dramatically speed up the process. In fact, this is one of the best pressure washer accessories. Investments in productivity and effectiveness are always worth it!

Wrapping Up Our Guide on What Chemical to Use When Pressure Washing Concrete

We hope you feel more confident in choosing the best chemical for pressure washing concrete after reading this article. Now that you know what chemical to use when pressure washing concrete, it’s time to head over to Hotsy and get the detergent you need to get the job done! 

You can also find the best commercial pressure washer selection online – with hot water pressure washers for sale and cold water pressure washers alike! We even have pressure washing trailers for sale for those remote cleaning jobs. And if you aren’t sure about investing in your own unit at this time, that’s ok – we have commercial pressure washer rental options too.

So, visit one of our South Texas locations today and supercharge your concrete cleaning process with the help of Hotsy chemicals and machines!