Garages, driveways, and patios are notorious for attracting those unwanted stains. Concrete must be kept up along with the rest of our cleaning surfaces. If you have unwanted stains on your concrete surface, there are many cleaning agents that are effective at removing them. Even simple household cleaners such as dishwashing and laundry detergent can be employed. Sometimes, more aggressive agents are necessary for those more resistant stains. TSP is one of them.
Trisodium Phosphate is a chemical agent that can be quite effective on harsher stains, especially more oily and greasy ones. Be sure the concrete is wet, and then sprinkle onto the offending location and allow to soak for 30 minutes. After it has soaked, scrub thoroughly with a stiff broom. After scrubbing, rinse clean with warm water.
Even though TSP is very effective, it is also a very dangerous chemical. Try to avoid using it if possible, and be sure to only use with thick rubber gloves and a ventilator mask. If it comes in contact with your skin or eyes, it can burn and cause severe damage. Be very careful not to allow the water when rinsing to wash into the soil or a storm drain. There have been many environmental concerns in recent years regarding its negative effects in lakes and food sources.
There is a safer form of TSP that is phosphate-free. It is still an effective cleaning agent, but just not as harsh as regular TSP. TSP can also be mixed with bleach to create a more effective cleaning agent. In itself, however, TSP is a very powerful cleaner.
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