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DIY acid wash stain concrete floors


Acid Wash: Simple but Great Way to Make Your Concrete Floors Better than It Was

September 9, 2016

Do you think your concrete floor inside your home looks boring? Do you also think also about replacing it with something else with fancier look?

If so, it seems you need to know further about acid wash concrete floors first before taking other decision since these maybe something you will love even better.

What Is Acid Wash?

acid wash concrete basement floor DIY


From its name, perhaps you think acid wash as a method of cleaning for concrete floor. In the simplest explanation, that is correct. However, acid wash is not as ordinary as just a way to clean any concrete floor, especially a part of home interior.

The type solution used in acid washing, which is also known as acid etching, belongs to the category of acid. Of course, not all types of acid can be used here. It is only muriatic acid that can be used in acid washing for concrete floor.

As for the result of the washing, clean concrete floor is not the only thing you will obtain. There are more advantages offered by this washing method and those are also the reasons why you should not immediately remodel your concrete interior flooring with another flooring type just because it looks boring. We will discuss about those advantages later in this post.

What about Acid Staining?

kitchen with acid stained concrete flooring


When discussing about acid washing designed especially for concrete floor, people often get confused because there is another thing called as acid staining. Since this method is also used for concrete floor, many think it is exactly the same method with acid washing. As a matter of fact, it is something different.

Acid staining is a method done to concrete floor so it will have non-ordinary stained look. The stained look as the result of the method makes any concrete floor to look way different than any regular floor with concrete as the main material.

staining is also applicable to outdoor concrete countertops


If being asked about what the relation between acid washing and acid staining, certainly there is something can relate the two. Simply, the staining can be explained as a more advanced part in the steps done in acid washing.

The purpose is, as explained earlier, to create a different look on the dull concrete floor. Even the washing can be done without any staining process, still it is recommended to do because of the aesthetic benefit it offers.

acid wash concrete floor colors


About the color variations offered in the staining process, there are a lot of colors can be obtained in the end of the process, started from modern grey color to contemporary coffee color.

In order to know about this, you can consult the local dealer providing the staining solutions. This way you can get the best color suitable to your personal interior taste.

The Advantages

acid wash stain concrete garage floors


From the very beginning of this post, advantages of acid wash for concrete floor is always mentioned and this may get you curious more and more as you read the article further.

So, here are the major advantages you need to know when you acid wash the concrete floors in your living place, no matter whether it is the concrete floor in your garage, living area, or any other room in the house.

Acid Wash, How to's (DIY)

dark grey color acid wash stain concrete floors


Hiring professional in doing the acid wash method may sound like a very tempting decision because you will be able to get the best result without having to go through the long and tiring washing process.

Even so, do you realize about how much money you need to prepare in order to be able to hire people to do the washing and perhaps also the staining for you?

The crucial information you need to know here is that acid wash is a method everybody can do as long as they know about the right step-by step of it. Certainly, you can also do it as long as you want to. This way, you can really safe a lot of cash since there is no need of hiring anybody in washing concrete floor by using muriatic acid.

If you are interested in doing the DIY project of concrete floor acid wash, you can follow all the steps mentioned below in sequence.

  1. The first step you need to do in acid washing concrete floor is hosing down the area in which the floor is about to be washed. If needed, you can also wet any surrounding surfaces down, including the walls too, in order to avoid those from being exposed to the acid solution used and damaged. If you are not sure, you can make the room empty first and remove all furniture in there.
  2. Next is the mixing process of the acid solution. Even it is already told to use muriatic acid for the washing process, it does not mean you can only use it without being mixed with any other substances since this will make the acid too strong and the result will be bad. In this case, you need to mix the acid with water in plastic bucket with the amount ratio of 3:1 for the water and muriatic acid. The reason to use plastic bucket here is that it will not get damaged easily by the acid.
  3. The third step is pouring the mixture you have made in a plastic sprinkling can or plastic spray bottle. When done, immediately scrub the area you have sprayed or sprinkled with the mixture manually or with machine and remember to keep the floor wet during the whole process. If needed hosing down the area once in a while is fine to do.
  4. After that, you need to neutralize the acid by using a special solution that is usually already included in the package when you buy the muriatic acid for the washing. The way to neutralize the floor is the same with the way of spraying acid told in the previous step. Of course, you also need to include the scrubbing here.
  5. The last but not least step is rinsing the floor thoroughly. You can repeat it several times until the floor is totally clean from acid. After rinsing, you need to gather the water in an area so it will be easy for you to vacuum it and place it in safe plastic storage, like bucket or something else. Do not dispose the waste in any random places since it can be hazardous, especially for the environment.

Other Important Things You Need to Know

chemical safety gloves for acid washing process


Basically, there are three important things you need to know here other than any information has been told previously in this article.

The first one is quite simple. Here you only need to use safety gloves in doing the whole process so you can avoid being exposed to the acid solution that may be harmful for your skin. If wanted, you can also wear safety glasses while doing the project.

chemical safety goggles


Other important stuff to remember is related to acid staining. Many people think the staining process can be done directly to untreated concrete floor and the beautiful result it gives also makes people want to jump directly to the staining process. The question then is; can this really be done so?

Factually, acid staining is a method cannot be done without you doing the acid washing first. The washing is very helpful in guarantying the result of the staining. Therefore, whenever you want to give any beautiful stains to your concrete flooring, you need to remember doing all steps of the concrete floor acid washing first.

The next important thing to know is as factually asked by many people who are interested in doing acid washing and staining. It is about the surface roughness of the floor after the two methods are done. Many people wonder about whether or not the methods can reduce the smoothness of the concrete flooring in the end of the process.

The answer of the question is yes. Depending on the amount and strength of muriatic acid used during the washing process and also about how long the acid left before being washed away by using clean water, the smoothness of the flooring finish may change.

When the amount of muriatic acid used during the process is too much, there is a big possibility for the flooring surface to be rougher than before. The same thing is also applied when the acid is left for too long without being washed by clean water.

If you remember the basic characteristic of acid, it has the ability to ‘eat’ some types of material, including concrete. This is the reason why the flooring surface can be rougher when the acid is left on it for too long.

In other words, time management is rather important here. Before starting the whole process, it is important for you to think about anything thoroughly so every step needed to be done can be done rightly with the right timing too.

acid wash waste could be hazardous corrosive and even toxic


The last but not least important thing to remember is related to the waste resulted from the whole washing and staining process. As you can see, acid may be a substance harmful to the environment and of course you cannot dump the waste in any way you like it.

If you do it wrongly, there is a chance for you to have business with local fine and penalty and you certainly do not want this. Therefore, before doing the DIY project, it seems better for you to find out further about local regulation related to disposing acid waste.

Good luck in trying the acid wash and stain method and make your home interior looks even better than it was!

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