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How to Soften Concrete

Updated April 17, 2017

Concrete is softened typically before removal from tools, trucks, machinery or other surfaces where it has adhered during construction. While new concrete, that which has been left to cure or dry for less than 48 hours, can be softened, most concrete allowed to cure for more than two days cannot be softened for easy removal and will have to be broken up. Softening concrete helps to ensure fast, effective removal without damaging surfaces or machinery.

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  1. Remove all loose concrete. If there is any dried or loosened concrete on the surface of the area, tool, or machinery, remove that by hand before applying the softening agent.

  2. Spray the concrete with highly pressurised cold water. The cold water helps to clean any dirt or other debris from the concrete as well as to remove any lingering bits of hardened, loose concrete. Allow the area to completely dry.

  3. Spray with softening agent. The softening agent can be placed in a spray bottle for ease of application or the area can be soaked to help soften harder pieces. Do not dilute the softening compound unless instructed by product directions.

  4. Remove the softened concrete. Older concrete may require the use of tools to completely remove. Reapply the softening compound to continue loosening built up concrete.

  5. Tip

    Many concrete softening products can be used to help prevent build-up on tools and machinery. Soak tools and other smaller objects that have build-up on them in the softening agent for up to two days before attempting to remove the softened concrete.


    Do not attempt to immediately remove concrete after applying the softening agent. Allow it to sit at least overnight before attempting removal. Concrete softening compound may not work on fully hardened concrete.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pressurised water hose
  • Cold water
  • Spray bottle or bucket
  • Liquid concrete removal compound

About the Author

Kristin Swain has been a professional writer since 1998. Her experience includes publication in various literary magazines and newspapers, such as the "Butler Herald." Swain has edited work for network television shows "NCIS" and "seaQuest." She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Georgia State University.

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