To clean new concrete or not?

Hey everyone. Yes I’m new. And I have read up on the subject In the search function on this forum for the past few hours. Found some good info but alot of it contradicts each other.

Basically Im being asked to do concrete cleaning for post construction on a new restaurant. They want walk ways, curbs, front parking lot and drive through all cleaned… was only poured a few weeks ago.

Company doesn’t want me to use chem or acid

I know you can damage the concrete and take the cream off when using pressure. So I thought maybe dial my SC down with my ball valve but I have read thats no no too.
I’ve also read that you can downstream SH And other chem and just soft wash and rinse. But like I said they don’t want chem or acid used.

Rock and a hard place. This would be my first new concrete cleaning / new construction cleaning. Lost my full time job because of covid so Im trying to run my biz full time now and need the work.

Also this construction company has horrible reviews on Google for not paying their contractors so ther is that too. Last thing I need is to damage the concrete and have them come after me for expenses. But I am insured.

Don’t know if I should walk away or go for it.

Any help would be great.

I walk away when someone tries to tell me how to do my job, No chems? The only chance you have at it is by soft washing it… And clearly you can’t because they say so…

Sometimes you just have to learn to say no and walk away, I know you might be a little desperate… Been there but avoid trouble… just my .02

And if they have a bad rep of not paying that gives you enough reason to RUN! :running_man:‍♂


I agree with you, I feel like soft wash is the way to go from what I’ve read and maybe I could talk them into it but I’ve never soft washed new concrete either so hopefully I wouldnt screw that up after telling them thats how it would have to be done…

Sound like I might need to walk away, just sucks though I really need the work. Got a mortgage and a 2 month old baby boy.

If you really need the work, cash isnt flowing and leads arent coming in get on your feet and start going door to door offering deals to people it’s not easy and it’s not fun but it’ll help pay the bills


Dial down the pressure with the nozzles on your surface cleaner. The other guys here are better sources of info than me, but you may get by with 800psi. You just need to consult the nozzle calculator.

Or, just make an educated decision and pass.:+1:

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The problem with fresh concrete or any concrete for that matter is that there’s no way of knowing if you’ll damage it with pressure until you’ve damaged it. Replacing it is the last thing you need. If they won’t allow you to attempt to do it the safest way by softwashing then it isn’t worth pursuing any further. Some customers are allergic to being educated.


I sympathise with the situation you are in. The cons seem to be heavily outweighing the positives.
You may think you can’t afford to do this work, but what I try to tell myself is that you really can’t afford for it to go wrong either. Their problem becomes your problem, they’ll talk bad about you, you’ll have to pay for insurance to replace it, you’ll stress about it.
The positive side is you convince them to let you use chems, you do a flawless job and they still might not pay you like the other contractors before you.

I don’t envy your position

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green tip curbs and walkway from a distance, low pressure surface clean the parking lot. that’s literally the only way to clean it with their “preference” of no chems plus the new concrete. it may not make sense to us but people don’t hire us for no reason, our job is to clean to their satisfaction and if they’re limiting you by not allowing chems you have to tell them. Either go with no chems and risk it or persuade them to do otherwise. if you tell them and they decide to not have it cleaned because god forbid you lay chemicals on their concrete, then you probably just saved each other a headache.

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I feel that you’ve received enough responses to make an educated guess, but here are a few more points to consider from the prospective of a business owner, as Im still very new to the pw side of a cleaning business.

  1. The main issue for you is you need work, so as someone else said, go knock on doors. Offer a deal, say on housewashing or driveways that is hard for people to pass on, but stick to your guns on everything else. Some people will want more than one thing cleaned, so at least you’ll make normal revenue on one part of the job.

  2. This company wants to hire you, and tell you how to run your business. Not cool when they tell you not to use a safe method.

  3. This company doesn’t have a vendor they prefer, and this is likely my biggest point that I havent seen posted yet. Many companies that value high quality work will have a vendor they prefer and trust, especially one that has been in business long enough to develop a reputation. This is absolutely no discredit to you, but they could probably tell your new and are hoping to get a deal, which may mean they got a deal on the concrete pour and its not high quality, so it could have issues anyway. I don’t like companies that do this, as sometimes they want a deal and perfection.

  4. They have a rep of not paying. This is a very serious issue. You need work, and you will lose time and money that you could have been making out giving deals to people. The deals may be discounted, but it least it would be cash flow.

  5. If you do this job, get a waiver out the wazoo that you won’t be held responsible for damage to the concrete.

  6. I wouldnt take this job.


If you’re short on cash already and these guys have a reputation of not paying their vendors not to mention all the other items, why are you considering this? If they won’t give you a deposit due to their poor payment history you need to walk. Use the time to find paying jobs even if you have to discount them to pay your bills. Good luck


Thanks everyone i appreciate the advise. I’m just going to walk away. There are way to many cons.


I have done a ton of new construction cleaning here in Ga. I have always gone to HD, got muriatic acid and pump sprayed a 1/10 mix onto the concrete with a verrrrry light surface clean. As low as my machine will go almost. Always comes out wonderfully. The acid gets rid of the dirt stains by lightly etching, but nothing that takes the cream off or messes up the drive. There’s a different method for polished concrete like garages.

Also, no pay, no work. Wise to walk away from someone telling you how to do it. Tell them to get brain surgery but tell the surgeon to not cut on them. :joy::rofl: tell a builder not to use nails. Tell a driver he can’t hit the gas. It’s all the same. We rely on our chemicals.

What do you do for polished floor garages?

Ahhhhhh, trade secret.

Just kidding. I usually will go much stronger on the muriatic acid mix depending on the mess from the painters and drywallers. Scrape the drywall with a 5-1 painting tool, spray down a mix as weak as possible, but could be as strong as a 1-3 muriatic acid. Hit with the surface cleaner (may need a bit more pressure), then use the dual lance and green tip to rinse down and do final cleanup where paint is still adhered. Just remember, use the weakest acid solution you can. After doing it a while, you’ll get a good idea for how strong to go in which garage depending on the mess. I always see the garages a couple days after and they shine so nicely. The acid doesn’t haze it over and doesn’t compromise the polish. I’ve seen jobs I did years ago and they still look great.


How old are reviews on payment? If recent, like in past year or so, talk to them about. You can surface clean at reduced pressure, usually around 1500-1800psi. Put in proposal that about 90% removal w/o chemicals.