If you used a wheelbarrow or some other object as a place to mix concrete and do not clean it up right away, you are in for a nasty surprise within a few hours. The concrete that you mixed in the container is now absolutely caked on and dried. It is as difficult to remove as the concrete that you just laid for a sidewalk or a patio is going to be. Here are some steps that you can follow to remove the concrete from the vessel without damaging it.
1. Fill the Vessel With Water
First, you are going to want to take the vessel in which you mixed the concrete outside. Turn on the hose and fill the vessel up 3/4 of the way with water. Have someone slosh the vessel back and forth regularly in order to get all areas of the vessel.
2. Tap the Vessel
While your friend or family member is sloshing the bucket, take a hammer and carefully tap lightly all around the bucket or other type of vessel. This will loosen the concrete from the outside and even cause the concrete to break off the walls of the vessel into chunks. You want to be sure that you don't accidentally dent your vessel, so make sure that you increase the strength of your taps carefully.
3. Use a Chisel
Next, pour out the water into your garden and take a chisel to your bucket. There will be room underneath the concrete now to be able to get the chisel under and pull off the remaining chunks. There will still be a thin layer of cement on the inside of your bucket.
4. Put Acid on the Remaining Concrete
Put on gloves and safety goggles in order to keep yourself safe from the hydrochloric acid. Using a separate bucket, dilute the hydrochloric acid so that it is one part acid to every two parts water that you put in. Pour the acid into the water and not vice versa or else the bucket will be exposed to pure acid and will be damaged. Once you've diluted the acid, add the mixture to the vessel. Slosh it back and forth carefully, being sure that it doesn't touch your hands in order to get acid all over the inside of the vessel.
5. Clean Up
As soon as the acid has gotten rid of the concrete, get rid of the acid safely by contacting your waste management department in your area. Rinse out the bucket and you are good to go.
For more information, talk to a company that specializes in ready-mix concrete (such as Hi-Grade Materials Co).