2021 Q3 Toolbox Essentials
How to Remove Cement Stains: Cleaning up Those Sticky Spills

How to Remove Cement Stains: Cleaning up Those Sticky Spills

Whether you’re installing a concrete floor or pouring a new patio, working with cement is a messy job at the best of times. And no matter how careful you are to keep the gooey liquid contained, it has a habit of ending up where it shouldn’t be.

Hardened cement is a favorite construction material among builders for its strength and durability, so the key is to get in quickly before it sets. By acting fast and following the steps outlined in this guide, you can clean up the spillage and avoid permanent damage. Read on to learn about a handful of methods to rid your life of cement stains.

How to Avoid Cement Stains

Removing cement stains from any material requires a considerable amount of effort. And should you allow cement to set and harden, you might find it impossible to eradicate altogether.

Consequently, your first line of defense should be prevention. When working with cement or concrete, always wear old clothes you aren’t worried about preserving. That way, you don’t need to stress if you accidentally smudge the stuff on your shirt—and let’s face it, you probably will.

Also, lay down drop sheets everywhere you don’t wish to cover in cement and fasten them in place with tape.
It’ll take you a few extra minutes to prepare your workspace, but you could save yourself a major headache by avoiding inadvertent stains.

How to Remove Cement Stains

The ideal way to clean up cement stains depends on the consistency—wet cement or dry dust—and the type of material that’s been soiled. We’ll provide step-by-step cleaning tips for removing cement from the most common spillage sites.

How to Remove Cement From Shoes

There’s nothing worse than staining your slick new pair of blue suede shoes—nor your leather loafers, for that matter.

Dry cement dust will fall off, but wet cement, on the other hand, will stick in place and harden. The material is super corrosive to fabric and leather, so you need to act quickly.

  • Scrape as much of the wet cement off as possible with a knife or spatula.
  • Flush the shoes under a tap to wash off the remaining cement.
  • Soak up the excess water with a dry cloth.
  • Allow the shoes to air-dry naturally.

Pro tip: If you’ve soiled leather shoes, some Farnham Saddle Soap and a Lexol Leather Conditioner will achieve optimal results.

How to Remove Cement From Carpet and Upholstery

A woman removing stains from carpet

While cement stains on your carpet or upholstery might seem like a disaster, they’re not a big deal if you get in quick. The best way to neutralize the mess depends on whether the cement is wet or dry.

How to Remove Dry Cement Dust

Dry cement dust doesn’t pose a threat to carpet or upholstery so long as it remains dry.

But should you allow it to linger and the area becomes wet, you’ll be left with a nasty stain. What’s more, cement dust is hazardous to your health, so it’s best to get these microscopic toxins cleaned up quick smart.

How to Remove:

  • Vacuum the affected area thoroughly.
  • Vacuum the area again to ensure you’ve cleaned up all the dust.

How to Remove Wet Cement

If you’ve smeared wet cement onto fabric, the stain will take a little more effort to remove. The faster you act, the better your chance of success, so spring into action the second you spot the stain.

How to Remove:

  • Use a butter knife or plastic spatula to pry as much wet cement off as possible.
  • Be careful not to rub the stain with your tool, as you’ll only mush the cement further into the fabric.
  • Apply a few drops of a ForceField Dry Cleaning Solvent onto a cotton cloth.
  • Firmly rub the solvent into the affected area.
  • As the cloth becomes sullied, apply more solvent to a clean part of the cloth and continue rubbing.
  • Repeat the process until you’ve removed the stain.
  • Blot the affected area with a clean damp cloth.
  • Blot the affected area again with a clean dry cloth to soak up excess water.
  • Allow the fabric to dry naturally.
  • If dry activated cement remains, pry what you can away with a spatula and vacuum any leftover dust.

Pro tip: For long-haired carpets, it’s easier to snip a wet concrete stain away with a pair of scissors.

How to Remove Cement From Clothes

If you’ve brushed up against wet cement or accidentally sprinkled dry dust on your clothes, then don’t despair—there’s a good chance you can restore your prized garment to its former glory.

How to Remove Dry Cement Dust From Clothes

Thankfully, dry cement dust is easy to remove from clothes.

The most important thing to do is avoid wetting your clothes until you can be sure they’re completely clean. Even just a drop of water will turn the dry dust into a gooey clothes-staining substance (A.K.A. wet cement).

How to Remove:

  • Thoroughly clean all the dust from the fabric with a thick-thistle brush.
  • Clean the other side of the fabric to ensure all the dust has been removed.
  • Wash the garment in your washing machine without any other clothes.

How to Remove Wet Cement From Clothes

Wet cement is a little trickier to get rid of and requires urgent action. Acting quickly is essential because the goop will seep further into the fibers with every passing minute.

How to Remove:

  • Use a butter knife or plastic spatula to pry as much wet cement off as possible.
  • Be careful not to rub the stain with your tool, as you’ll only mush the cement further into the fabric.
  • Apply a few drops of a lime-based product such as Lime-A-Way to the stain.
  • Rub the area gently with your finger while wearing rubber gloves.
  • Immediately rinse off the cleaning agent with water.
  • Add more solution and rinse again, if necessary.
  • Wash the garment in your washing machine without any other clothes

Pro tip: Lime-removal products can cause colored fabrics to fade. Only apply a small amount to the affected area and rinse it clean immediately after rubbing.

How to Remove Cement Stains From Tiles

A man using liquid cement to lay down tiles in the bathroom

Although a tiling project is rewarding work, it can get a little messy, especially if it’s your first time round.

Thankfully, tiles aren’t particularly porous, so a stray smear of wet cement is relatively easy to clean. But as always, you need to act fast.

How to Remove:

  • Pour one cup of Heinz White Vinegar into a bowl.
  • Soak a clean cloth in the vinegar for a few minutes.
  • Lay the vinegar-soaked cloth over the cement stain.
  • Allow the cloth to sit for two hours to give the acidic solution time to loosen the bond.
  • Remove the cloth from the stain.
  • Scrub the affected area with a scouring pad to remove the loosened cement residue.
  • Continue scrubbing until you’ve removed all the cement.
  • If necessary, lay down another vinegar-soaked cloth, let it sit for two hours, and scrub again.
  • Clean the area with a damp sponge.
  • Wash the tiles with a liquid dishwashing detergent.
  • Mop the tiles with fresh water to clean off the detergent.
  • Allow the tiles to dry.

How to Remove Cement Stains: Final Thoughts

The best way to remove wet or dry cement depends on the affected area, and we’ve given you tips on how to clean the most common spillage zones in your home.

But remember: if allowed to harden, a wayward cement stain can ruin just about anything—and that’s why it’s so crucial to get in quick. The second you spot some stray cement, follow the steps in our guide, and you’ll get the area cleaned up in a jiffy.