How to remove cement stains from your car


Splatters of cement and concrete might seem hard to remove from your vehicle without scratching the paint. However, you can actually get rid of cement stains right at your own home. The key is to dissolve the concrete with either a pre-made or homemade solution, wipe away any leftover cement with a clay bar and cloth, and then finish by applying a layer of wax. Read further to learn how to remove cement stains from car.

Steps on how to remove cement stains from car

Let’s first start with the steps on how to remove cement stains from car by dissolving the cement. Simply follow these steps on how to dissolve the cement so that you can readily wipe it away from your car.

  • Block off the site of the cement stains with masking tape. Apply 3-4 pieces of masking tape on all sides of the stain which serves as a safety net. Remember that if you will spray on areas without stains with the cleaning solution, it can result in damage. 
  • Utilize a special cement dissolving agent on the stains that you can find at local hardware stores. The solution dissolves the calcium from the cement, allowing any leftover residue to be safely removed. 
  • An alternative is to spray vinegar on the cement stains. Fill a spray bottle with equal amounts of white vinegar and lukewarm water. Mix the contents thoroughly. The acidity of the vinegar will dissolve the cement for easier removal.
  • Spray the solution straight on the stain to loosen it. Completely saturate the stains with a vinegar solution or commercial product. Allow the liquid to soak for up to a minute. Spray again to further loosen the cement.

How to remove the cement stains

After dissolving the cement stains, proceed with the following steps:

  • Scrape away any leftover cement with a spatula wrapped in cloth. Simply dig the spatula underneath the cement and wiggle it until it loosens and falls off.
  • After removing the big pieces of cement from the surface, lift the thin layers of cement bit by bit. Spray the cleaning solution and drive the cloth against the stains. Hold the cloth against the stains for a few minutes to dissolve the remaining cement. 
  • Saturate the site with a minimal amount of water before using a clay bar. Place the putty-like substance to the paint in a light, circular motion to lift away any fine particles or debris. 
  • Once the cement stains are completely removed, apply a small amount of wax on a lint-free cloth and rub into the car paint in small, circular motions. Make sure to only apply an even, thin coating. Buff the wax using circular motions. 

How do I get dried cement off a car?

Whether it is only a minor splash of cement or spots that have dried, you can easily remove them from your vehicle.

  • Vinegar. Because of its effective cleaning properties, vinegar can be used to remove dried cement on your car. You simply need a spray bottle, water, pure white vinegar and paper towels. Pour equal amounts of water and vinegar into a spray bottle and spritz on the dried cement. Place some paper towels onto the stain. Do not scrape or rub since it can make things worse. Leave the paper towel to sit on the stain for a few minutes. The acidity of the vinegar will reverse the hardening process of concrete and the cement will start to lift. Once this occurs, lift as much cement by adding more vinegar. Repeat the process until the dried cement is completely removed.
  • Mild acidic cleaner. Use a cleaning agent that is mildly acidic. Apply it on the stain and let it sit until you see the cement separating from the surface. Then clean it away with a sponge. 
  • Salt. For this approach, prepare a concentrated solution with salt and water. Place paper towels into this solution and let them soak. Put the soaked paper towels on the site of the dried cement. Let it sit for up to 30 minutes. With a knife or razor, scrape the cement carefully to avoid scratching your car’s surface. For leftover cement, add more solution and repeat the process.

Does vinegar dissolve concrete?

Although vinegar can be used as a cleaning agent, it does have its share of drawbacks that you should be familiar with. 

The ability of vinegar to dissolve calcium carbonate can lead to dulling of concrete, marble, travertine, and terrazzo surfaces. It might clean the surface, but it will dissolve pits into the finish and eventually dulling it. Over time, the wear that you see on the floor is extensive exposure to acid resulting in an etched surface. This is defined by pinholes in the surface where the acid dissolved away the calcium carbonate in the stone or grout. 

Does vinegar hurt car paint?

If you have been wondering whether vinegar can damage your car paint, you should be aware that it might result in etch spots. 

When cleaning with vinegar, it should be diluted. In case your car paint ends up with etching spots whether you left the vinegar too long or did not dilute it, the ideal remedy is to polish your car paint. 

Final thoughts

When your vehicle ends up with cement stains or concrete splashes, it is vital to deal with them right away. By following the methods on how to remove cement stains from car, you can safely and effectively remove them and restore the pristine appearance of your vehicle in no time.

teammichael

Michael René, consultant, is the leading stain removal expert in Denmark. Read about him and the rest of the team here

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