How to Dissolve Concrete : Easy Step by Step Guideline

What is the very first thing you see after opening your eyes in the morning?

Your smartphone?

NO! It’s your ceiling or the concrete-made wall, isn’t it? From our own homes or pavements to those skyscrapers, we are just surrounded by concrete.

In short, engineers just love concrete for construction. Statista reports that the cement consumption in the USA reached 120 Million metric tons in 2020.

We also tend to use concrete for different tasks. But the problem arises when we leave dried concrete on tools or surfaces. It becomes very stiff and almost impossible to diffuse. So, how to dissolve concrete from those surfaces?

In this blog post, I’m gonna show you the easiest yet the most effective process of dissolving that stubborn concrete.

How to Dissolve Concrete?

Dissolving concrete requires a little bit of patience, precautions, and a perfect biodegradable concrete dissolver or some acids.

In this article, I’ll show you the step-by-step process of dissolving concrete both by using a dissolver and acid. So, let’s get prepared and start gathering our required tools.

Required tools

  • Safety glasses
  • Work gloves
  • Concrete dissolver
  • Plain water and
  • Clean towel

Let’s start dissolving concrete.

Step-by-Step Process of Dissolving Concrete

Did you already manage the required tools? If so, let’s start the dissolving process together.

Step #1: Choose the perfect location first

In a point of fact, you can dissolve concrete anywhere you want. But, it’s a good practice to do it in an open area. Try to perform this dissolving process outdoors.

If you have no other choice than do it indoors, keep the windows open. Make sure there are enough lights and proper ventilation in the area.

Remember, most of the concrete dissolvers work best within temperatures between 40º F to 80º F.

Step #2: Clean the surface

Clean the concreted surface area by using plain water or a stiff brush. Make sure you have removed the extra filths from the affected area. You can remove concrete from metal, wood, plastic, or paint surfaces without spoiling the paint or surface.

After cleaning the surface, it takes time to dry. By the way, there’s no exact timeframe to dry up the surface. Different surfaces require a different amount of time to fully dry up. You just have to make sure the surface has been dried. That’s it!

Step #3: Spray the dissolver

Now it’s time to get your concrete dissolver and spray on the surface. Most of the concrete dissolver comes with an attached sprayer head. If your chosen dissolver doesn’t come with a sprayer head, you should get one.

Spray now and check the surface closely. At first, the surface will turn white and become foamy. After a few minutes, the surface will start changing its color into a darker shade. At the same time, the foams will also start disappearing which is completely normal. Don’t worry about that.

However, you must keep the surface wet with the concrete dissolver throughout the entire dissolving process. Making the surface by using water won’t do any good. Because dilution will drastically reduce the efficiency of a product.

Step #4: Dissolving the concrete

The concrete will start dissolving around 20-25 minutes after spraying the dissolver. So, get a towel or a piece of clean cloth to remove the melted concrete. If you are dissolving from a rigid surface, you might need a stiff brush to apply the chemical.

By the way, the total amount of concrete might not be dissolved at the very first attempt. In that case, you will need to apply the dissolver once again to get rid of those remaining sludge. Repeat the process till the complete amount of concrete has been dissolved.

Step #5: Deactivate the chemical process

The dissolving process is done by now. But, there will be some invisible chemical residue on the surface. Simply wash it thoroughly with clean water. Water will deactivate most of the chemical residue from the surface.

That’s the in-depth process of dissolving concrete with a concrete dissolver. However, you can also do it by using acids. The acidic process is described below.

How to Dissolve Concrete with Acid?

Dissolving concrete with acid requires comparatively more health and safety precautions than using a dissolver. You should proceed with this process only if you are well familiar with the acidic cleaners.

You will need a few additional components along with the acids for the dissolving process. Here’s the list –

  • Apron
  • Plastic tarp
  • Plastic bucket
  • Putty knife
  • Baking soda
  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Muriatic acid etc

Let’s directly jump into the cleaning process.

Step #1: Prepare the dissolving area

Answer a question first. Do you want to dissolve concrete clay or remove concrete from a surface?

For dissolving concrete clay, you will need baking soda. It will help you by neutralizing the accidental spills of acid. You know, even the weakest acids can damage your eyes, body, or the surrounding badly.

However, you will have to use the plastic tarp while removing concrete from the surfaces like wood, car paint, etc.

Step #2: Spray the mild acids

Before spraying the mild acid aka the Trisodium phosphate, you have to prepare the mixture. Mix the manufacturer’s recommended amount of water with this acid and spray it onto the concrete.

Remember, this is a mild acid. So please don’t expect that it will diffuse all of the concrete from the surface. But, it will dissolve a decent amount of concrete after spraying for the first time.

Step #3: Scraping concrete

The concrete will become weaker just after one minute of spraying the water and Trisodium phosphate mixture. Then you have to start scraping the weaker concrete by using a stiff brush.

You can also use a putty knife if required. But, make sure that you have chosen a sharp knife. However, don’t pressurize the surface too much while scraping. It might damage the original surface if the concrete layer is thicker.

Rinse the area properly with plain water after you are done with the scrapping process. Now inspect the concreted area and check for any hard leftovers. If you find any stubborn residues, proceed to the next step where we learn about preparing and applying tough acid on the surface.

Step #4: Prepare and apply muriatic acid

Get the plastic bucket and wash it properly with plain water. Now mix plain water with an industrial grade of hydrochloric acid aka muriatic acid. The proportion of water and acid will be in the 10:1 ratio.

However, always pour the acid slowly into the water. Pouring water into acid might splash the acid. Being a tough acid, it will cause huge damage to the surrounding area.

Once you are done with the preparation, apply it again as you’ve done with that mild acid. Then let the surface soak for a minute. After that, start scraping again with the putty knife and remove all of the remaining concrete.

Step #5: Clean the surface

You have successfully dissolved concrete using acids. Now, rinse the surface for the last time.

Safety Precautions:

  1. Always wear hand gloves, goggles, and high-quality aprons to protect your body from acids.
  2. Clean all other acids thoroughly before using the muriatic acid on the surface.

Final Words

If you undergo all of those steps properly, you will successfully deliquesce the concrete. I hope this post can answer all of your queries about how to dissolve concrete properly.

However, if you are still facing any issues with the dissolving process, shoot your issues via the comment box below. Our experts will reach you asap.

Until then, have a good day!

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