How to safely remove leaf stains from concrete

With autumn in full force, now is the perfect time for concrete driveway maintenance. Fallen leaves abound this time of year and with strong winds to blow them about there’s no doubt some will land on your driveway. You’ll likely wish just to ignore them, but it’s best to sweep them away as soon as possible. Stains left by organic material like leaves are among the toughest to deal with. The longer they’re left to sit on your concrete, the more likely--and more deeply--they are to stain.

As a longtime concrete contractor in Surrey, we’re often asked how to deal with leaf stains. You can try dishwashing detergent for light stains, or use laundry detergent with bleaching agents or ammonia. OxiClean is a good one. Granular detergents tend to be more beneficial because of the friction applied with scrubbing. These cleaners are not likely to harm your concrete, but you may wish to do a spot check on an out-of-the-way area if you’re concerned. We recommend cleaning the entire slab, rather than just where the stains are so you don’t get a patchy look.

Steps to safely remove leaf stains from concrete

  1. Sweep or pressure wash all leaves from the concrete.

  2. Wet the entire surface so the cleaning agents can penetrate more deeply.

  3. Apply the detergent and let sit for a few minutes, then scrub in a circular motion with a stiff non-metal brush or broom.

  4. Rinse all the soap away. 

If this doesn’t remove all the stains, you can repeat the process. Removing organic stains is a slow process so wait 24-48 hrs before trying again. 

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