Need info on cement...


Headache !
Aug 12, 2006
Michigan ???
This is a weird one. One of the Crabapples that I pruned today was right over a brand new, white-as-white cement sidewalk. Some crabapples got smooshed onto the cement when I did my clean-up & left deep blue stains. My customer tried scrubbing them with a Brillo pad & I told him to try bleach ? I really didn't think too much about it, but the customer called me this evening in an absolute tizzy !!! I told him I'll come by tomorrow (grrr) & have a look-see.
He's paying by Visa, by the way... & I had already told him to call me in the a.m. with the #, etc.
I don't think he'd stiff me, but it certainly has me motivated to make his precious sidewalk all white again.
Any help out there ??? Will bleach do the trick ? I've never encountered this.
Amway made some stuff that worked good on concrete . I would think a pressure washer might do the job also . You might also try some Era detergent .It has an enzyme that attacks organic matter .
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Thanks, Al. I'll give that a 'go'. Era.
And bleach...:/:
Its called 'concrete'. (sorry just had to say it).

Go to a car parts store. Around here we have Kragen, Pep Boys, etc. Ask for the stuff to clean oil off of concrete driveways.

Failing that, pour bleach on it.
It is extremely difficult, if not impossible to completely remove a stain from new concrete. Best you can probably hope for is to lighten it up, but to make it like it was never there, sorry.
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Its called 'concrete'. (sorry just had to say it).

Go to a car parts store. Around here we have Kragen, Pep Boys, etc. Ask for the stuff to clean oil off of concrete driveways.

Failing that, pour bleach on it.
"Hey, look Uncle Jed !!! They'z a ce-ment pond in the back yard !!!" :|:
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It is extremely difficult, if not impossible to completely remove a stain from new concrete. Best you can probably hope for is to lighten it up, but to make it like it was never there, sorry.
Wes, please tell me you're joking ? My customer was making noises like I have to replace the cement... ahem... concrete. No frikkin' way.
There's $320 I can kiss good-bye. No-get-paid, me thinks.
If the common cleaners don't work I would suggest muriatic acid. Follow all of the suggested safety measures on the bottle. Nasty but effective.
plain old pressure washing will sometimes do the deed. Acid sure is some nasty stuff to deal with. Always cleans the fireplace soot very well though.

I mashed some pecans and was able to get up the mess with plain old high powered water.
Plain old water will certainly be easier on the surrounding vegetation.
I suppose a person could etch the sidewalk and paint it purple .That way it would all match . I somehow though don't feel that is what Ms T is asking .:|:
Mr. Customer, I'm sorry that you are upset about the stain on your new concrete. I've gone to the trouble of trying to clean it up right away because I care. I would like to point out that ultraviolet rays from the sun destroy all pigments over time and are especially effective on plant based stains. This will fade---and your concrete will darken over time. That is how things work out. I would really hate to start using acids or harsh chemicals that might actually damage the concrete. Mr. customer I don't want to seem flippant or rude but I would like to point out that gravity was/is going to get your concrete anyway---see how the crabapples hang over the sidewalk? If you want to remove the tree that will be an additional fee for the extra work but I hate to see you destroy a good landscape tree- the crabapple mess will not last long. In any case I really need to get paid and go to my next job.
Thank you, have a nice day.
Have to be careful with muriatic acid, as it will etch away the concrete.

TC, there is pretty good information on the internet concerning removing fruit stains from concrete, a few different methods explained. I couldn't find anything specific on crabapples.
I was going to point out the fallacy of getting all worked up over a scuff mark on the driveway, but I see Stumper has already posted. 8)
I think you're gonna probably hafta chalk this one up to experience Theresa, and write the whole thing off. I learned about picky customers, leaky bucket trucks, and stained driveways the hard way, too. It SOX!!!
If you try the acid to eat off a layer and get into pores; i'd then neutralize with baking soda after the acid did it's work. Or, else the surrounding vegetation/ grass and possibly clothes(wearing high rubber boots when applying and rinsing etc. anyway) and eyes could take a beating when powering off, especially with pressure cleaner.

Stumper makes some good points, and i doubt if you did pay for the concrete, that the customer would then want to personally guarantee you that the crabapple would never be allowed to stain the concrete, and said concrete would all ways be pristine. So with that point, he is just trying to be a one-way-willie and work ya for something he isn't ready to provide himself! Take a picture of it now, and compair in 6mos; ask'em what the deal is with his revered concrete if he hasn't paid then....

Concrete is a porous substance, thin oils can seep deep, especially when the concrete is green. i used to be softer on this kinda thing; until i was working over a new house lot and overheard one rich owner (heard them very well as they had to stand in the kz under me, stopping work and movement for safety reasons) schooling the new neighbor (also having a house built) on how he hard nosed and twisted this or that out of about every workman that came thru (grass, block, plumber, foundation, trash dumpster, port a potty etc.) as part of the 'take' on being own contractor that he worked on every day when he came by after work. i was subcontracting under someone else for tree work then. We were doing both lots as 1 job, and tried to upsell trimming such and such branches off their trees as they would be in the way of the roofs etc. No Sale, then mentioned it again when i was in said trees, no sale. Even offered to cut 1 large for free, cuz i knew it wouldn't look right etc. and i was right there and it would be tough to get back to, not acceptable. Then, when doing the neighbor's trees and finished, they both refused to pay until we then went back and trimmed the other branches for free. The guy i was contracting from buckled and put all the free labor on us. The inside of the porta potty then got a sign inside of it warning all workers. Also, somehow magically, the uncapped block walls got lots of dead fish in them the day before they were topped off, the bad karma continued thru the lawn getting a salted(sod layers were already shorted and gone), water left on every spigot another time etc. like karma found a new hobby. When working across the street weeks later, i eared carpet layers talking about a bad smell permeating the place. Man i felt bad, a fresh new house and it couldn't be aired out enough.
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Seriously, the customer was really nice and was very happy with the work. 2 crabs, 2 purple leaf plums. One of the crabs is a weeping jade & also over the new sidewalk, but the fruit just left clear-ish stains. The first one (don't know what kind ?) has pink-ish fruit & the stains were originally pink, but turned navy blue after a few minutes ?
It doesn't make sense to me that he's so worked up about it, but I guess retirement might have given him too much time on his hands or something ? Couldn't the mail carrier or UPS guy step on fruit and make a stain, or just the rotting fruit all by itself ?
Can you feature me in my first small claims law suit ? Blows.
I want my $.:cry:
Just try hot water and laundry soap with a stiff scrub brush, that was one recommendation I saw. Even if it doesn't improve very much, he might chill after seeing you trying to ease his anxiety :roll:

Hope you get payed.
Ya know T, you can always spray paint graffiti all over his new concrete in the middle of the night. :/:

When you come back the next day to clean the crab stain his tune might change.

Now offer to clean the sidewalk with the power washer but you want to be paid first for the trim before you start a new job!!!;)

Just a thought!