Removing Firework Residue from Concrete

June 20, 2017

Now that you’ve had your fun celebrating our Nation’s Independence, if you kept the excitement close to home- you may be noticing a bunch of unsightly spots and stains on your concrete. Here are some tips for cleaning firework residue that we hope you find useful!

Good news, sometimes sunshine can act as a natural bleach and clean concrete stains without you having to lift a finger. The sun mixed with natural elements like rain will probably return your driveway or sidewalk back to normal with time.

If you want the spots gone now and they aren’t that bad, you can try to remove them with dish soap, or washing soda and water. Just pour some of the liquid together with water and then let it soak into the burnt exterior for about 10 minutes before scrubbing.

If the spots are harder to remove, you can try using a diluted concrete-safe alkaline degreaser to help remove carbon based stains like the ones that appear after lighting off fireworks. First sweep the surface well, follow the directions on the cleaner, and scrub with a brush or broom before rinsing. You can repeat this process a few times, if the initial wash doesn’t completely remove the stain.

You can also scrub the area with a small amount of bleach (a 3:1 water ratio is recommended) and then rinse the chemical off. Be careful not to get the bleach on any plants that you want to keep alive, though as bleach can be used as a weed killer.

If you want to avoid the chemicals altogether, you can pressure wash the surface to clean the concrete. Just be careful to keep about a foot away from the concrete surface to avoid chipping.

Next year, you can plan to prevent stains from fireworks by lighting them off on another surface, like a wet piece of plywood, or a large rock that you don’t mind getting residue on. (Caution: don’t use paper, or other types of materials that are likely to catch fire.)