The Concrete Cleaner That Works Like Magic

After soaking in Poof! for three weeks, this standard 8-inch-by-16-inch building block fell apart.
After soaking in Poof! for three weeks, this standard 8-inch-by-16-inch building block fell apart.

Have you ever looked at your concrete-covered tools and wished you could just — poof! — make the hardened mess disappear?

Well, that’s the premise behind Poof!, a cleaning agent from Kover Krete Systems Inc. in Orlando, Fla.

A bottle of Poof! CleanerPoof! is a salt-based cleaning product that chemically breaks down hardened concrete. It was developed about two years ago for contractors who were tired of using muriatic acid to clean their stamping tools and mats, says Monica Stamper, president and CEO of Contract Packaging Inc., which manufactures the products for Kover Krete Systems. “We’ve improved the product (since then) and have made it even more powerful. Everyone who tries it, loves it.”

When the product has worked its magic, hardened and encrusted concrete will turn to mush that’s easily washed off with water. If concrete remains after the initial application, wait for the surface to dry and then reapply. Without any hocus pocus, Poof! will get the hardened concrete off no matter the buildup. Case in point: As a test, a concrete block was submerged in 3 inches of Poof! About two to three weeks later, the block had virtually disintegrated.

The product is designed to only work on concrete, Stamper explains, so it can be safely used on many painted surfaces without marring the finish. It also works great on tile and will take off the white-scum film left behind after grouting. At pools, it can be used to remove cream spots on cement finishes with aggregates in the mix. Just spray it on and rework the area. It also will remove concrete from aluminum handrails and screen cages around pools.

“Basically, it’ll work on anything that’s portland-cement based,” Stamper says. The only thing she cautions contractors to do is to test Poof! before coating any surface or tool that has not been proven to respond well to the cleaner. “It may oxidize some hand tools if they’re soaked too long,” she warns.

The cleaner’s material safety data sheet states that it is nonhazardous, odorless and water-soluble, and that neutralization occurs when it is combined with strong alkalites. Water will also neutralize its action.Ideally, the product, which has a viscosity similar to water, should be used in temperatures ranging from approximately 40 F to 80 F, Stamper says.

“The key to this product is you’ve got to keep the area you want cleaned wet (with Poof!) for Poof! to do its job,” Stamper explains. She recommends using a pump-up spray bottle to apply the product directly to encrusted areas.

A concrete mixer covered in concrete in need of a cleaning. Poof! Concrete Cleaner Demo - applying Poof! and wiping off the concrete. Pressure washing a mixer after applying Poof! to loosen concrete mess.

Poof! works on mortar mixers whose blades have frozen, Stamper adds. For some tools, such as concrete-caked gauge rakes, it’s best to fill a bucket with Poof! and leave the rake in the solution for an hour or so until the concrete dissolves. “If it’s regular concrete, it will dissolve pretty fast,” she says. “But if it’s decorative concrete with acrylics, it will take longer. The tool may even have to be soaked overnight.”

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