Seeing if anyone can help me to get rid of this stain/discoloration left behind from an outdoor rug. We had this patio laid last summer and we chose to have it tinted a slightly darker grey than normal concrete. The center slab seems to be much lighter than the rest now after the rug was kept out over the fall/winter/spring and there is a definite outline. I've tried power-washing to no avail...saw some videos on using a bleach/water solution but I'm afraid of it causing even more discoloration. Will that work? Anything I can do? Thanks!

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • So which of the two colors is the patio supposed to be? Did the carpet protect the surface or hinder it?
    – JACK
    Jul 27, 2023 at 16:10
  • @JACK You can see the color of the rest of the patio and what it's supposed to be - I'm not sure why the perimeter of the rug outline has an even darker color...could be from the rain we've had or mildew from the rug. Either way, the center slab is much lighter from where the rug was which is puzzling.
    – Adam
    Jul 27, 2023 at 16:16
  • This seems like one of those problems where the best fix is to do nothing. Nature will fix it after a few months.
    – isherwood
    Jul 27, 2023 at 20:27

2 Answers 2


I would suggest that the carpet has protected the concrete. It's the rest of the concrete that had stained, abraided and scuffed.

  1. My suggestion would be to use concrete cleaner on the whole area. Try scrubbing and detergent first. If it doesnt work then look for a chemical solution at your diy store.

  2. Or use a grey concrete paint on the whole area.

Then I would seal it woth a concrete sealant.


What you have here does not look like "discolored" concrete but a buildup of oils and dirt.

I solved a similar issue in our garage using "etching" fluid. One widely available option in the United States and "clean & Etch" by Rustoleum.

enter image description here

The following materials are recommended:

  1. Chemical resistant gloves
  2. Respirator (the fumes are very heavy)
  3. Deck brush
  4. Power washer
  5. A fan if this area is very close to living areas.

Site Prep

  • Make sure that you move or cover any items that have fabric on them. Along with anything else that could be damaged from the etching chemicals.
  • Plan the one area that you will eventually spray the chemicals towards.


  • Power wash the area to remove as much dirt as possible
  • Pour the chemicals on the affected area and allow to sit.
  • After a few minutes (or as directed by manufacturer) begin to scrub with your deck brush.
  • Hose off the chemicals
  • Repeat in problem areas until you have more of an even constistency in color. Though uniformity should not be expected.
  • Power wash the area again to remove the chemicals

If you do not have a powerwasher, you can use a hose but will not be as effective.


  • Throw away gloves used.
  • Overwater the plant or grass areas that had chemicals sprayed onto them.

Painting (optional)

If they concrete is not to your satisfaction, you can look into concrete stain to get a more consistent color.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.