How To Clean Fireworks Stains On Cement And Driveways
I got a question about how to clean fireworks stains on cement and driveways on the site's Facebook wall right after the Fourth of July. Here's the question:
Smoke bomb/firework stains on cement patio...any suggestions?
I love to watch fireworks, but the kind you get for your own backyard seem to cause more mess than thrills sometimes, at least in my opinion.
That is because the cool ones that shoot into the sky, and are mostly used by professionals for the professional shows, are too dangerous for us amateurs. Instead, we go with things like black snakes that are actually not very cool, but instead just make a big black stain on the driveway or concrete patio. These stains are composed of both carbon, and also chemicals from the fireworks, such as sulfur.
Prevent Stains From Fireworks In The First Place
The best thing to do for home fireworks, if you're worried about staining on your cement and concrete surfaces is to prevent the stains from ever occurring. To do this, one idea is to launch the fireworks on another surface. I know when I was a kid my Dad would sometimes wet a piece of old plywood (so less likely to catch fire) and then launch fireworks off that.
How To Clean And Remove Stains Already Present
But, if you've already got the fireworks stains, here are some ideas to try:
1) Do nothing.
Just let the area alone, and with rain and sun it should mostly fade away. As I discuss in more detail with my article on sunshine stain removal
, sunlight can be a natural bleaching agent that removes several types of stains. The
sun, plus the rest of the weather will fade many of these stains over time.
2) Power washing.
If you don't like the wait and see approach above, you can also power or pressure wash your driveway or concrete to clean up from the fireworks. You need to be careful with this method though, to make sure you don't get the tip of the pressure washer too close to the concrete or cement, or the pressure will actually chip and crack the surface! To be safe stay at least a foot back.
3) Chlorine bleach solution.
Finally, you can try to bleach away the stains using a 3:1 solution of water to chlorine bleach (a little bleach goes a long way!) To do this, pour on the solution, let it sit for a couple of minutes, and then scrub the area with a brush and then rinse with water. Please note, however, that chlorine bleach can kill vegetation and is often used as a homemade weed killer
, so if using this method you might kill the grass or other plants around this part of the driveway or concrete.
Does any other reader have suggestions for how to clean fireworks stains on cement and driveways? If so, you can share your own tips for removing concrete stains here
, or read other tips which have already been submitted.
In addition, I answered this question as part of the site where I provide stain removal help
. Feel free to ask your own questions too!Photo by bayasaa
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