How to Remove Tannin Stains From Concrete

Are you dealing with unsightly tannin stains on your concrete? Tannin discoloration is common in places like patios, walkways, and garages. Though they are visually displeasing, it’s important to remember that this type of staining doesn’t present a health risk.

How to Remove Tannin Stains From Concrete

These stains can sometimes be difficult to remove from the natural tannins in wood, plants, or leaves. Fortunately, several solutions can help you in the fight against pesky tannin stains on your concrete.

In this blog post, we will share some helpful tips for how to remove tannin stains from concrete without making too much of a mess or breaking the bank! Even if you don’t have any prior experience removing stubborn stains or think it might be overwhelming, these steps can help make the process easy and effective.

What Will You Need?

Before you get started, make sure you have the following materials on hand:

  1. A stiff-bristled brush
  2. An alkaline cleaner
  3. A bucket of warm water
  4. Protective gloves and eyewear

Once you’ve gathered the necessary supplies, it’s time to tackle those pesky tannin stains.

10 Easy Steps on How to Remove Tannin Stains From Concrete

Step 1: Scrub the Tannin Stain Away

The first step to removing tannin stains from concrete is simply scrubbing away at them with a stiff-bristled brush. You’ll want to focus on areas where the stain is most prominent, and be sure to wear your protective gear while doing so. Don’t forget to also rinse away any debris before moving to the next step.

Removing Tannin Stains From Concrete

Step 2: Apply Alkaline Cleaner

Once you have finished scrubbing away at the stubborn tannin stains, it’s time to apply an alkaline cleaner. Make sure to follow the instructions on the bottle carefully and evenly spread the cleaner with a mop or cloth. Be sure to protect yourself throughout this process as well.

Step 3: Let it Sit

Allow the alkaline cleaner to sit for 10-15 minutes. This will give it time to break down and work its magic on those troublesome tannin stains. Additionally, make sure to keep children and pets away from the area while you wait.

Step 4: Scrub Again

After the allotted time has passed, it’s time to scrub again! You can use either a brush or a buffer (depending on how stubborn your stain is) to ensure that all of the cleaners has been properly removed from the concrete surface. Don’t forget to wear protective gear here too.

Step 5: Rinse Away

Once you have finished scrubbing, it’s important to rinse away any remaining debris. Pour warm water over the surface and use a cloth or mop to ensure all traces of cleaner have been removed. If you’re still seeing some stubborn spots, repeat the process.

Rinse Away Any Remaining Debris

Step 6: Let Dry

Allow the concrete surface to dry completely before moving on to the next step. This can take anywhere from 1-4 hours, depending on how humid your environment is. You can use fans or dehumidifiers to speed up the process.

Step 7: Apply Neutralizer

Once the area has completely dried, you can apply a neutralizer to reduce the acidity levels in the concrete. Follow the instructions on the bottle carefully and evenly spread out the neutralizer with a mop or cloth. Keep pets and children away from the area during this step.

Step 8: Scrub Away Again

It’s time to scrub away again! Use either a brush or buffer, depending on how stubborn your stain is, and be sure to wear protective gear throughout this process. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to use a brush on softer surfaces and a buffer on harder ones.

Step 9: Keep It Clean

Now that you’ve removed the tannin stains from your concrete, it’s important to keep up on maintenance in order to prevent future discoloration. Regular cleaning with an alkaline cleaner and a stiff-bristled brush should do the trick. You can use a neutralizer in between cleanings to maintain the acidity levels.

Regular Cleaning With an Alkaline Cleaner

Step 10: Check For Remaining Stains

If you still see some stubborn spots, you may need a stronger cleaning solution. It’s best to check the instructions on the bottle before using any harsher chemicals, and always wear protective gear. Remember, safety comes first!

With these ten simple steps, you should have no trouble removing those pesky tannin stains from your concrete. This process should be fairly easy as long as you have the necessary materials and plenty of patience. 

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. If the tannin stain is still wet, a pressure washer may help remove the stain.
  2. To prevent further staining, apply a sealant to the concrete after removing the stain.
  3. If the tannin stain is too stubborn to remove with a pressure washer, scrub it into the affected area with a 1:1 mixture of bleach and water.
  4. Oxalic acid may be used as an alternative to bleach for removing adamant tannin stains from concrete surfaces.
  5. For mild cases of tannin staining on concrete, using a chemical cleaner specifically designed for cleaning concrete may help to remove the stain effectively without damaging the surface.

Removing tannin stains from concrete can be challenging, but following these tips will help ensure success in restoring your concrete surfaces to their original, stain-free state. If you need additional help, a professional concrete cleaner can be hired to remove the tannin stains from your concrete fully.

Professional Concrete Cleaner Can Be Hired

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Avoid using harsh abrasive cleaners or scrubbing too aggressively, as this can cause damage to the concrete.
  2. Do not use a power washer if the tannin stain has already dried, as it may cause more damage to the concrete.
  3. Do not leave any cleaning solutions on the surface of the concrete for an extended period, as this can lead to further staining.
  4. Do not use products that contain hydrofluoric acid or ammonium hydroxide, as these are too harsh and can cause irreparable damage to the concrete surface.
  5. Avoid using acidic cleaners such as muriatic acid or vinegar, as they could cause more staining on your concrete surface.

By following these tips, you should be able to effectively remove tannin stains from your concrete surfaces without causing any additional damage.

How Do You Identify Tannins?

Tannins are a type of organic molecule that can be found in plants, food, and drink. They’re often associated with tea, coffee, and other beverages, but tannins can also come from plants such as oak and eucalyptus. Tannin stains on concrete can often appear as dark brown or black spots or streaks.

If you’re ever in doubt about whether the stain is tannin-related, it’s best to consult a professional that can help you accurately identify the source of the stain before attempting to remove it.

Will Vinegar Remove Tannin Stains?

Although vinegar may be effective at removing some types of stains, it is not recommended for removing tannin stains from concrete. Vinegar is an acidic cleaner and can cause further staining on the concrete surface, making it more difficult to remove the tannin stain effectively Use a cleaning solution specifically designed for concrete surfaces or a 1:1 mixture of bleach and water for the best results.

If the stain persists, hiring a professional cleaner may be necessary to remove the tannin stain from your concrete fully.

In summary, when attempting to remove tannin stains from concrete surfaces, always use products specifically designed for concrete. Avoid using any harsh abrasive cleaners or acidic solutions, as these could cause further staining or damage to the concrete surface.

What Softens Tannins?

Tannins can be softened by applying a water-based solution such as vinegar or baking soda to the affected surface. Additionally, a mixture of 1:1 bleach and water can be used to soften tannin stains on concrete surfaces. For best results, allow the cleaning solution to sit on the stain for several minutes before scrubbing and rinsing thoroughly with clean water.

It is important to note that acidic cleaners are not recommended as they could cause further staining or damage to the concrete surface. Products specifically designed for concrete or a mixture of bleach and water are generally more effective in removing tannin stains from concrete surfaces.


Congratulations on finishing your brickwork project and becoming a skilled bricklayer! You should now feel confident about tackling any project that involves stacking bricks.

Installing a new walkway, reinforcing walls, or renovating an outdoor area can all be done quicker and easier if you approach it with the knowledge you’ve gained from this blog post. Remember to take regular breaks for safety purposes and ensure the bricks are aligned properly to ensure maximum stability.

Finally, don’t neglect the importance of properly mixing cement with sand and other materials according to instructions – it is an integral part of the bricklaying process. With these tips in mind, there’s no limit to what you can do with stack bricks!

Hopefully, the article on how to remove tannin stains from concrete has helped you understand the process and provided some helpful tips and tricks. Removing tannin stains from concrete can be tricky, but following these steps will ensure your concrete surface looks as good as new!

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