How to remove red clay stains.


How to Tackle Red Clay Stains: A Comprehensive Guide for Pressure Washing Pros

Hey guys, Southeast Softwash here with another addition to our series on specialty cleaning projects. Today, we're diving into the challenge of removing red clay stains from brick surfaces. If you're in the Southeast, you're all too familiar with these stubborn stains. Let's get into it!

The Challenge: Red Clay Stains

In the Southeast, red clay stains are a common issue, especially on light-colored bricks. These stains are tough because they combine dirt, rust, and mineral deposits, making typical house wash mixes ineffective. The red color is due to iron oxide, which requires specific cleaning methods to remove.

Essential Safety Precautions

Before we start, safety first! When dealing with acidic cleaners, ensure you have:

  • Gloves
  • Respirator
  • Eye Protection
  • Rinse Capability: Always have a working hose nearby and water in your tank to rinse off any chemicals that get on your skin or surfaces that shouldn't be treated.

Key Products for Red Clay Stain Removal

For this project, we're showcasing three products:

  1. SOUTHEAST SOFTWASH Mud May-Day Stain Cleaner: This blend of acids is designed to tackle red mud, tire tracks, and rust stains on concrete, blocks, and brick surfaces.
  2. F9 Efflo: A professional-grade cleaner specifically formulated for tough mineral stains.
  3. NMD 80 by Eco Chem: A versatile cleaner that works well on various surfaces.

We'll also mention Aluminum Brightener, although it's not specifically formulated for this purpose, it can be effective.

Step-by-Step Process

1. Pre-Wet the Surface

Start by pre-wetting the surface with a pressure washer to prevent the cleaner from drying out and to help it spread evenly.

2. Apply the Cleaner

Each cleaner has different dilution rates, so follow the manufacturer’s instructions. For our test, we used:

  • Mud May-Day Stain Cleaner: Diluted 50/50
  • F9 Efflo: 50/50 dilution
  • NMD 80: 50/50 dilution

Apply the cleaner using a pump-up sprayer, ensuring even coverage.

3. Allow Dwell Time

Let the cleaner dwell on the surface for the recommended time. Be cautious with dwell times, especially on new construction to avoid damaging the mortar.

4. Rinse

After the dwell time, rinse the surface thoroughly with a pressure washer. Use a white tip to control the pressure and avoid damaging the surface.

Comparing Results

In our test, Mud May-Day Stain Cleaner delivered impressive results, effectively removing the red clay stains. While all products showed potential, Mud May-Day stood out for its performance and ease of use.

Final Thoughts

When dealing with red clay stains, the right product can make all the difference. SOUTHEAST SOFTWASH Mud May-Day Stain Cleaner is highly recommended for its effectiveness on tough stains. Remember, safety is paramount, so always follow proper handling procedures.

For those in the pressure washing business, adding red clay stain removal to your services can be a profitable upsell. Charge appropriately for the extra work and expertise required—typically around $200 to $225 for a job like this.

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