If you have a concrete patio, you’ll want to take special care when using the space as an outdoor kitchen. While concrete is able to withstand severe weather conditions, it can be extremely difficult to get out any grease stains that have been allowed to set in. Here’s how to get grill grease off concrete without damaging the surface.
An Ounce of Prevention
Of course, it would be preferable not to let any grease stain your concrete in the first place. The best way to do this is to apply a sealer to the concrete surface before you set up your grill. This will make it easier to clean up any spills that might occur afterward.
You’ll need to make sure the patio is free of any dirt, yard debris, or existing stains before applying the solution. For a visual demonstration, take a look at this video tutorial.
Once the concrete has been properly sealed, a measure of vigilance is still required. Because concrete is porous, any spilled grease will soak in quickly, making it even more difficult to clean.
Clean up any spilled grease or food residue immediately to prevent stains from setting in. It’s a good idea to keep a supply of old towels nearby for this specific purpose. Just make sure the stack of towels isn’t too close to the open flames.
How to Get Grill Grease off Concrete
If the grease or oil is still wet when you start to clean it up, first apply a thin coating of sawdust or cornmeal to the affected area. Let it dry for at least two hours, then sweep it away with an old broom. Next, you’ll want to try one of the following methods to get the stain out.
Method #1: Baking Soda
This inexpensive household ingredient will draw out any stains while preserving the integrity of the concrete.
To use this method, apply a thick layer of baking soda over the stained areas. Let it sit for at least half an hour.
Next, scrub a small amount of dish soap into the baking soda using a damp nylon brush. Keep scrubbing until the grease stain disappears, applying more soap and water as needed. When you’re finished, rinse the area well and allow it to air dry.
The concrete should be spotless when you’re finished, but you can repeat the process if necessary. Remember that the longer you wait to apply the baking soda, the more difficult it will be to get the stains out.
Method #2: Trisodium Phosphate
This is a good way to tackle any old grease stains that have been allowed to set in. Trisodium phosphate (or TSP) is an inorganic compound that produces an alkaline solution when water is added.
A few more supplies are required if you use this method. In addition to the TSP, you’ll need some sawdust, a large bucket, protective eye wear, and a sturdy set of rubber gloves. Also, note that the process takes longer, as the mixture should be allowed to set in overnight.
First, use the bucket to dissolve one cup of TSP in a gallon of water. Add a few handfuls of sawdust, enough so that the mixture is about the consistency of peanut butter. If necessary, you can stir the mixture with a stick until you achieve the desired texture.
Spread the mixture over the stained areas and allow it to sit overnight. In the morning, the residue should be dry enough for you to sweep it away easily with a broom. For obvious reasons, this method is more effective if it doesn’t rain.
Method #3: Vinegar
Another common and inexpensive ingredient, vinegar has many uses around the home. It’s also an excellent way to get grease stains out of the patio.
In a large bucket, mix 1/2 cup of washing soda (not baking soda) with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar, a small dollop of liquid dishwasher detergent, and 2 cups of water. Scoop or dump the solution onto the stained areas and use a stiff nylon brush to scrub it into the surface. Rinse and repeat as necessary, until the stains disappear entirely.
Method #4: Cat Litter and Cola
Yes, it’s a bit strange, but this method works as well as any. We wouldn’t go out of our way to buy these supplies, but if you have them on hand anyway, you might as well put them to good use.
Pour a modest layer of cat litter across the affected areas. Wearing a pair of old shoes, walk across the surface to grind the litter into the stain. Once you’ve done this, sweep the litter into a bag and place it in your trash receptacle.
Pour a generous amount of generic cola over the stains and work it into the surface using a stiff nylon brush. Let it sit for about 20 minutes, adding more cola as needed to keep the surface from drying out.
Use a hose to rinse away the soda. There should be grayish patches where the grease stains were.
Next, mix one cup each of powdered ammonia-free laundry detergent and chlorine bleach with a gallon of hot water. Using protective gloves, work the mixture into the concrete with the stiff brush until the stain disappears. Rinse the surface with fresh water.
Method #5: Acetone
This is similar to the baking powder method, but it allows you to step away for most of the process.
This poultice remedy shows you how to remove cooking grease from concrete using baking soda. By adding another key ingredient, you will be able to remove grease from the concrete with ease. Baking soda also works well as a carpet stain cleaner, too, if you have some grease on the carpet.
Start with about 2 cups of acetone, then mix in baking soda until the solution is about the consistency of paste. Depending on the size of the stains, you might need more or less acetone in order to fully cover the affected areas.
Spread the solution onto the stains, then cover tightly with plastic. Tape down the edges and allow the mixture to sit for 24 hours. Then take off the plastic wrap and wait for the solution to dry out before sweeping it away.
Now that you know how to get grill grease off concrete, you can keep your outdoor kitchen in prime condition for many seasons to come.