How to Remove Efflorescence from Your Paving Stones

Cleaning paving stones covered in efflorescence

Efflorescence is a deposit of crystalline salts that are normally white. You can often find this substance on the surface of concrete, bricks, clay, and other natural stones. Porous substances are more likely to form efflorescence. These salt deposits are normal and won’t cause damage to your paving stones, but they are not pretty to look at.

Here’s how to remove efflorescence from your paving stones to keep them looking immaculate!

Clean Your Patio

When your paving stones are dry, thoroughly sweep or use a leaf blower to remove any dirt or debris. Grab your garden hose, attach a spray nozzle and have it out and ready to use.

Prepare Your Cleaning Mixture

Mix muriatic acid with water in a plastic watering can. Use approximately a light solution of a 12:1 ratio of water to acid, or 10 ounces of acid for every gallon of water. Be sure to wear protective gloves and do not use metal containers when working with acid, or the acid will destroy the containers leading to loss of property.

 Begin the Cleaning Process

Quickly coat a small surface area of your stones using the acid mixture. The acid will score the surface if you leave it on the paving stones for too long. Break your entire hardscape into small, manageable treatment areas. You need to be able to coat and rinse each area quickly so that the diluted muriatic acid doesn’t sit for long. It’s important to remember that while the muriatic acid won’t kill plants or grass, try to keep the mixture within the confines of your hardscape.

Rinse-Off the Area

Wait exactly three minutes for the muriatic acid to break down the salt deposits on your stones, and then immediately grab your garden hose and rinse them down. Ensure to wash off all your hardscape thoroughly so that there isn’t any remaining acid residue.

Continue treating your hardscape in small areas. Wash, rinse, and repeat! If your paving stones have heavy deposits, they may still show efflorescence, and you may need to repeat the process on your entire hardscape a few times.

At VistaPro Landscape & Design, we can enhance your outdoor spaces with various brick and natural stone options. From outdoor patio designs to brick driveway construction, we can assist you in designing your dream home.  

Call us today at (301)805-0119 to learn about our hardscaping construction services!