Ask the Experts – Foliage “Leaving” a Problem

The Cleaning Experts at  A Clean Streak answer your toughest cleaning questions.

Cleaning stained concreteJillian from Whidbey Island asks: I just LOVE autumn – the trees around our house turn such beautiful colors! But once those leaves start to fall, they create a huge problem for me. With all the rain we’ve been getting, I can’t seem to keep up with the endless cycle of raking and sweeping, and the leaves are staining our concrete sidewalks and steps. Any pro tips you could share with me to get rid of the stains?

A Clean Streak, The Window Cleaning Experts answer:  Hi Jillian.  You’re absolutely correct that the best way to deal with stains left by leaves is to keep those leaves off the concrete in the first place… but we understand that our wet weather can make that task pretty much impossible. Luckily, with a little know-how and a little elbow grease, it is possible to get that concrete clean again.

cleaning concreteFirst, gather your materials. For this project you’ll need:

  • A broom
  • A garden hose with nozzle (or a pressure washer – if you’re a skilled user)
  • Powdered eco-friendly detergent (or an equal mixture of baking soda, borax and Epson salts)
  • A stiff brush (NOT a wire brush, as the wires can scrape up the concrete)
  • Gloves and eye protection

After donning your safety gear, sweep all loose debris from the area. Then, spray the area with your hose using high pressure. If you have a pressure washer and choose to use it, be sure to select a wide nozzle and low pressure, as high pressure with a pinpoint nozzle can damage the concrete surface.

This first spraying should remove the majority of the stains, but if you encounter a stubborn stain, sprinkle your powdered detergent over it liberally. We recommend using a powder over a liquid soap because of the abrasive advantages, and we always recommend (and use) eco-friendly products – not only are these products better for our own health, but at A Clean Streak, we’re committed to reducing toxins introduced to the environment.

Finally, get down to business on those stains with your scrub brush. Then, give the area a final rinse. In order to avoid blotchy looking sidewalks and steps, you’ll probably want to give the concrete without the leaf stains a good washing too!

Thanks for contacting us Jillian. We hope we didn’t “leave” you with any other questions! And if this project sounds a bit overwhelming, we invite you to give us a call today at 360-395-5748 for a fee project estimate. At A Clean Streak, we clean more than just windows…we’re your go-to company for pressure washing, deck and roof cleaning, and gutter cleaning too!

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If you have a question for us, EMAIL the pros at A Clean Streak or call us at 360-395-5748 today.