The concrete softener has a lot of different uses. It’s not just a one-hit-wonder that only cleans concrete from pipes and conduits. Professionals use it to increase the lifespan of their tools by keeping them clean. Products like Croc-Crete revert concrete back to its liquefied state so it is easily wiped from tools.
There are two choices. Either clean your masonry tools after use or toss them away. Most masonry experts wash their tools with water but what happens when some of that concrete dries? No amount of scrubbing will help once that happens. Over time, those tools will build up so much residual concrete that their effectiveness suffers.
The solution is to use a concrete softener like Croc-Crete to remove hardened grit from tools that water won’t touch.
How it Works
Concrete softeners combat concrete by breaking it down to its base elements. In short, it turns cement back into a liquid form. This liquid is then easily wiped away. The time it takes to soften concrete depends on the size of the affected area. Small clumps of concrete found on tools only takes an hour or two.
In layman’s terms, concrete turns into a liquefied state and then washed away from the affected area.
Use Concrete Softener to Clean Tools
Use this simple six-step process to clean hardened concrete from tools and increase its lifespan.
Important Precaution: Don’t follow this process on a concrete surface if possible. If you don’t have a choice, then wet the surface with water before starting. Water neutralizes the agents in concrete softeners so following this step will protect the surface. But just avoid concrete surfaces when possible.
Step 1: Put on a pair of gloves and eye goggles for protection.
Step 2: Pour a small amount of concrete softener into a tray. Place the tool into liquid so the affected area is in contact with it. Many sources will tell you to soak the tools completely but as long as the affected area is in contact with the solution, then the concrete will soften. There’s no need to submerge the entire tool.
Step 3: Allow the solution to remain in contact with the hardened concrete for 30-45 minutes. Don’t let it sit too long of the concrete and the solution will harden and leave you with more of a mess than when you started.
Step 4: Scrub the softened concrete with a stiff brush. This removes the concrete. Be sure all of the hardened concrete is loose.
Step 5: Rinse the tool with water to wash away the solution. Then dry the tool with a towel.
Step 6: Spray metal surfaces with WD-40 and apply linseed oil to wooden handles to further preserve tools after cleaning.
Follow These Additional Tips
Avoid using Croc-Crete in the rain since water negates its effectiveness. Furthermore, excess heat will cause the solution to harden faster so take the proper care to avoid it. The ideal working temperature of concrete softeners is 70 degrees.
The type of concrete stuck on the tools will affect the efficiency of a concrete softening agent. Stronger types of concrete will be more difficult to remove. Some types will even need two doses.
Precautions for Using Concrete Softener
Products like Croc-Crete disrupt the bonds that keep concrete solid. As a result, it’s important to take certain precautions. The first precaution is to never clean tools near a concrete surface or on a concrete floor. Furthermore, do not apply water to tools before using a concrete softener. Water negates its effect.
- Read the product label before use.
- Read the MSDS (Manufacturer’s Safety Data Sheet) before use.
- Wear protective gear according to instructions.
- Protect vulnerable areas with plastic.
Make Sure you Buy Enough Dissolver
One gallon is enough to last for months if you’re using it to clean tools. Remember that you only need to dissolver if the concrete hardens on the tools. As long as you wash them with water immediately after use, a concrete softener isn’t required.
But mistakes happen. It only takes a slight moment of forgetfulness for concrete to harden. You’ll need to clean the tool immediately if that happens. Be sure you have enough dissolver on-hand.
Is it Safe to Clean Tools with a Concrete Dissolver on Tools?
Yes, it’s safe but you must take the right precautions. Concrete dissolving agents like Croc-Crete use acids to break down concrete. So be sure you take the proper care to keep it away from surfaces that could be damaged. Read the label to learn more.
The majority of mortar tools are not built with materials that are damaged by concrete dissolvers. Just be sure that they are not in contact with the dissolver for too long.
Also be sure that the concrete remover you choose is biodegradable, compliant with VOC regulations, and is free of harmful fumes.
Properly Dispose of Excess Concrete Softener
Even when you’re using a biodegradable concrete softener like Croc-Crete, do not dispose of it on your lawn or in compost. Throw the residue into a dumpster or put it in an outdoor bin.
Use the same process as leftover paint to get rid of the leftover liquid solution. Combine it with cat litter to solidify it before tossing it into the trash. Do not pour it down a drain.
Prevention is the Best Approach
Of course, the best way to keep mortar tools clean is to prevent concrete from hardening on them in the first place. Wash tools as soon as a job is complete. Keep a damp rag nearby to wipe away unwanted splatters as soon as they happen. Concrete is easy to wash away when it’s still in its liquid form.
Choose the Right Concrete Softener
Croc-Crete is the best concrete softener on the market. This biodegradable solution quickly dissolves concrete without causing damage to tools. Keeping a gallon of Croc-Crete on hand to clean mortar tools is always a good idea.
Buy a gallon of Croc-Crete today and save your tools for tomorrow.