Vinegar is known to be a versatile kitchen product, so what are the extent of its abilities? When it comes to removing paint, you can use vinegar for the job, but will it remove paint from harder surfaces such as concrete?

Vinegar will remove paint from concrete. All you have to do is take a half cup of vinegar and heat it. Apply the hot vinegar to the paint and let it soak for 15 minutes. After it starts to bubble, remove the paint with a paint scraper. Rinse the area with water after.

This article will describe how vinegar can remove paint from concrete and lay out the exact steps you need to follow. Furthermore, we will discuss why vinegar is a better option for removing paint than paint strippers on the market.

Does Vinegar Work as a Paint Stripper/Remover?

Vinegar has been used for years in households as a cooking ingredient. Homeowners also use it for a variety of other jobs such as pickling and cleaning. The versatile uses do not stop there, though. It may come as a surprise to some people that vinegar can remove paint from many surfaces, including concrete, metal, and wood.

Main Reasons to Use Vinegar as a Paint Remover

Since there are so many paint stripping products in stores, you may be wondering why you should use vinegar in the first place. There are a few reasons why vinegar is a better option than store-bought products. Let’s take a look: 

  • It is more affordable. Store-bought paint remover will normally cost around $25 to $40, while a bottle of vinegar is around $10 to $15, depending on the size of the bottle you get.
  • It is multipurpose. Another reason why you should use vinegar as a paint remover is that vinegar is multipurpose. When you buy a bottle of paint remover, you can only use that for one thing. If it is one or two paint stains, you probably won’t even use the full bottle and will possibly waste some product. However, it will be hard to waste vinegar since you can use it for so many things.
  • It is eco-friendly. One of the main benefits of using vinegar is that it is environmentally friendly. It does not contain any dangerous fumes or toxic chemicals. Compared to other products, you won’t have to worry about inhaling harmful chemicals while applying them to the paint.  

What Type of Vinegar Should You Use?

This question is good to ask since there are many different types of vinegar, such as apple cider, balsamic, white vinegar, malt, and more. There are also two main types of vinegar: organic and non-organic.

Organic vinegar comes from organic grains and fruits. Manufacturers follow organic guidelines while producing organic vinegar. Since organic vinegar is not as processed as other vinegar, you might see some floating residue from the ingredients.

On the other hand, non-organic vinegar is clear and contains no ‘floaties.’ They have been pasteurized and strained. These processes remove all bacteria from the liquid.

While many prefer to use distilled white vinegar, every type of vinegar will be just as effective as the next. However, organic vinegar is better for the environment since it contains no synthetic ingredients or genetically modified grains. Manufacturers also do not treat ingredients with pesticides. 

How to Remove Paint From Concrete With Vinegar

Now that we know the many benefits of using vinegar, let’s see how we can use vinegar to remove concrete paint:

  1. Deep clean the concrete. If you have time before you start the process, make sure to clean the concrete surface deeply. You can do this by vacuuming the surface to remove any dust and debris. You can also use a wet rag to get in there and remove stubborn dirt or dust.
  2. Heat the vinegar. The first thing you will do is put half a cup of the vinegar of your choice into a pot. Then you will put the stove to medium heat and heat the vinegar until it is hot but not boiling. You can also complete this step in the microwave with a microwave-safe bowl.
  3. Use a sponge to scrub the vinegar with. After the vinegar has heated, you will take a sponge or a paintbrush, wet it, and apply it to the surface. After you have applied a good amount to the paint, scrub the concrete further, making sure to saturate the entire surface.
  4. Let the vinegar sit for 15 minutes. After you have saturated the paint, leave the vinegar on for 10-15. Doing this will allow it to break the paint’s bond and loosen it from the concrete. If you do not see bubbling of some sort after 15 minutes, apply the vinegar again. A lack of bubbling is a sign that the process has not worked yet.
  5. Remove the paint with a paint scraper. After the paint has loosened, use a paint scraper to remove the paint. After most of the paint has come off, take a wet rag and wipe the area down. Wiping the surface will remove any leftover paint or vinegar residue.
  6. Clean the surface down with water. The last thing you will want to do is wipe down the wall with water and let it dry.

All of the Materials You Will Need

To wrap up, let’s take a look at all of the materials you will need. If you don’t have some items, now would be a good time to purchase them for a current project or future projects:


You can easily remove paint from concrete using vinegar. Use any vinegar, and heat it in a pot. And apply it to the paint and wait about 15 minutes. If the solution starts to bubble, that means it’s working. You will then scrape the paint off and clean the surface with a wet rag.

The materials you will need to remove paint from concrete will be vinegar, a stovetop pot, a cleaning sponge, a cleaning rag, and a paint scraper. Using vinegar to remove paint is a great option since it is affordable, easy to use, and environmentally friendly.

Related: How to Remove Rust With Vinegar and Baking Soda

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