A lot of people struggle with cleaning the sidewalks or other types of concrete. Various substances can trickle into concrete’s tiny pores and leave a stain that becomes very difficult to clean. Having whistle-clean concrete in your patio shouldn’t be just an aspiration. With the proper equipment, it can become a reality. One of the most common substances that get stuck on concrete is old chewing gum. Your patio or driveway can become quickly littered with used chewing gum.

Ugly black smudges that can be found on sidewalks everywhere are the remnants of the gums that were once thrown away. Business owners often use common sense and hire special crews to take care of this problem. Customers shouldn’t be deterred from entering your building just because the sidewalk is dirty. This substance is tough to remove from concrete because of its hazardous nature. Gum is hard to remove when it’s still fresh, but it gets even worse after time. 

Concrete is the kind of substance that has lots of extremely tiny pores. Chewing gum can seep into these pores and become a nightmare to deal with. That’s why the smartest solution is prevention. There are various ways to prevent old gum from sticking to the surface of the concrete. However, if you have a hunk of concrete with a lot of gum that’s stuck on it, don’t lose hope. As hard as it may be, it is still possible to take care of your gum problem.

There are various methods for removing this kind of litter from concrete. When choosing the best solution, consider how old the gum is and how ingrained it is to the concrete’s surface. You should also consider the age, porosity, density, and other characteristics of concrete. 

Applying an immense amount of pressure on concrete will make old gum remnants go away, but it might also etch the surface. You should also consider the number of spots that need to be cleaned up. If it’s just a couple of instances of gum, a manual solution like a scraper might get the job done. If there are many instances of gum that need to be removed, you might want to look for more efficient solutions. Also, when you use a scraper, you might remove most of it, but some gum will remain, leaving an ugly stain. You can use certain chemical compounds to remove the stain left by an old gum.

The Best Way to Remove Old Gum From Concrete

The problem of old gum sticking to concrete is widespread all over the world. Hence, there are many solutions to this problem. In some cases, a particular method for removing old gum from concrete might work, but it might also fail in other instances. Its effectiveness depends on various factors, such as gum’s age and how deeply it has edged itself into the concrete.

One of the most common ways of removing old gum from concrete is power washing. This method entails applying pressure on the gum until it is dissolved and vanished from concrete. The great thing about power washing is that it usually doesn’t involve any chemicals so it is safer. The downside is that if the pressure is too high, a concrete surface might get damaged. If you’re doing a power wash on your patio, you should be careful when wielding the machine, and you must keep it away from the plants. Etched concrete is hard to fix, so be careful when choosing the power washing pressure. Also, because of the pores in concrete, the surface might still have stains after removing old gum. There are some additional products you can use to remove these stains.

If the gum on your sidewalk or patio is not too old, it can be easily removed by freezing. You can spray a freezing agent on chewing gum, which will cause it to become hard and brittle. In this condition, the gum will be much simpler to remove from the surface. Place a scraper under the gum, and it should come off easily.

In case the gum has seeped into the concrete, and simpler methods don’t work, you can use chemical acids to clean the concrete. It is recommended to start with the safest chemicals, such as detergents. Before using these products, you must thoroughly clean the surface. Afterward, locate the spots where gum needs to be cleaned, apply a detergent on them. Detergents aren’t very heavy-duty products, so the stain might be less visible, but it is unlikely it’ll disappear entirely. After applying the detergent, you can try to apply power wash at a moderate level of pressure for more effective results.

If this doesn’t seem to do the trick, you may consider more powerful chemicals. Concretes are usually cleaned with three different types of acids. If you’ll be cleaning concrete in a public place where there are a lot of people, use the least dangerous acid or wait until there are very few people around. These chemicals can fairly dangerous so it is your responsibility to avoid spills as well. However, there are compounds such as Sulfamic acid, which are relatively safer to use. If you’re not a professional, it is probably a good idea to start with such chemicals.

When you’re trying to clean the concrete indoors, then using phosphoric acid is the best option. It produces fewer fumes and therefore doesn’t damage metals in the room. In any case, it is recommended to properly air out the room where phosphoric acid was used.

Muriatic acid is one of the most dangerous acids commonly used for cleaning concrete. It should only be used by professionals if no other option works. Muriatic acid is not compatible with being used indoors, because it produces strong fumes as well.

When dealing with chemicals, you can protect your health by wearing protective gear like rubber boots, vapor-proof goggles, and special gloves. However, the best protection is to stick with safer chemical compounds when cleaning the old gum stains in the concrete.

Best Chemical Products for Removing Old Gum from Concrete

When cleaning the concrete, it is smart to start with the safest chemicals and if it is insufficient, try more heavy-duty products as needed. Still, some of the chemicals like Trisodium phosphate are too dangerous to be used on any occasion. If the surface of the concrete is covered in grease, it might need to be degreased before the concrete can be cleaned.

Prosoco Sure Klean 600

While it is safer than Muriatic acid, Prosoco Sure Klean 600 is no less effective than the dangerous acid. It can remove old gum stains from concrete effortlessly. Use this product to get the job done while protecting the safety of those around you.  

The brand also offers a light-duty concrete cleaner, which might be useful for removing gum that isn’t too attached to the surface of the concrete.

Editorial Contributors
Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield is an experienced writer specializing in home improvement topics. He has a passion for educating and empowering homeowners to make informed decisions about their properties. Matt's writing focuses on a range of topics, including windows, flooring, HVAC, and construction materials. With a background in construction and home renovation, Matt is well-versed in the latest trends and techniques in the industry. His articles offer practical advice and expert insights that help readers tackle their home improvement projects with confidence. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned professional, Matt's writing is sure to provide valuable guidance and inspiration.

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