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We have a brand new paver stone walkway/patio. To my dismay, I noticed that their were leaf and acorn stains from the oak tree in the front yard. I've learned my lesson and I'm going to try to keep the walkway swept more regularly.

Will these stains go away with enough rain & time? If not, what's the best remedy for removing these stains? What's the best mode of prevention?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The tannins from oak leaves will leave stains behind. I would suggest not worrying about it. Those stains are just character, part of nature. Choose to appreciate nature.

You could probably bleach them out (using simple chlorine bleach or oxalic acid), but why? Why introduce harmful chemicals into the area that may hurt you or damage your plants? Besides, the bleach may not get everything consistently the same color as it was. So you may just leave yourself with another problem to solve.

Sunlight will cause them to fade over time anyway, and as other stains occur, the pavers will become randomly stained, eventually all to the same color.

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2  
Call it "patina" and your house value will go up! –  Jay Bazuzi Nov 11 '10 at 3:20
    
I'm accepting this because I've come to see the leaf stains as kind of pretty. The other answers are great though and this is a purely subjective choice. –  Doug T. Nov 11 '10 at 20:13
    
The bleaching left by attempted stain removal was worse than the actual stains, so I've learned to leave it alone myself. –  Fiasco Labs Nov 3 '12 at 17:57

You could try an oxygen bleach like StainSolver. Its not harmful to the environment. I don't have any association with it other than being a customer.

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I have the same thing on my driveway. A good power washer can remove the stains. Once cleaned, use a concrete sealer to seal the pavers and that should take care of it.

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Try oxalic acid first as this is reasonably mild - look for rust and bore stain remover in your hardware shop. If this doesn't work then try hydrochloric acid (can buy fairly cheaply from a pool shop and is pre-diluted to about 32%). Before applying any acid make sure the paving is saturated with water, this avoids the paver sucking in the acid which will damage the paver. Follow manufacturer instructions for oxalic acid or apply hydrochloric acid and leave for a couple of minutes then wash down with plenty of water. If the stain is still there then you may need o leave the acid a bit longer. Always test an inconspicuous area first and wear safety gogggles and gloves. Not sure, but I have read that chlorine bleach can actually darken the tannin stains - be careful. Once fixed then seal the pavers after allowing to dry out a couple of days.

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I have a huge concrete patio - and oak trees. I just mix bleach and water in my sprayer and spray the stains. Let it sit a few hours, rinse and they disappear. The reason I came to this site is to find out how to prevent the stains in the first place - saw this question and thought I'd at least contribute what I have observed on the cleaning part of the question.

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