How to Remove PVC Primer Stains From Concrete

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Things You'll Need

  • NIOSH multipurpose safety or vapor protection mask

  • Safety goggles

  • Gloves

  • Nail polish remover (acetone-base)

  • Cloths

  • Water

  • Detergent

  • Soft-bristled brush

  • Mop

  • Acetone (optional)

  • Paint stripper (optional)

  • Clear PVC primer/cleaner (optional)

  • Concrete grinder/polisher (optional)

  • Vacuum (optional)

  • Sealant or paint (optional)


If nail polish remover doesn't remove the stain, blot the stain with pure acetone, a paint stripper, or clear PVC primer/cleaner to dissolve it. If you still can't remove the stain, try to sand/grind the stain using a concrete sander/polisher. Follow the sander/polisher instructions for your type of concrete. When finished, dry vac and clean the concrete. If your stain-removal method also removes sealant or paint from your concrete, refinish the surface as needed.


Always ventilate any interior rooms where you're working with PVC primer and/or chemical cleaners as the vapors not only pose a health hazard risk, but also a fire risk as the highly flammable vapors can ignite easily in confined spaces. Always test a small area of your concrete with the nail polish remover or other solvent before attempting to remove the PVC primer stain as solvents can damage concrete and/or remove sealants or paints used on the concrete. Always dispose of absorbent materials and/or cleaning cloths containing PVC primer and/or flammable chemicals in a metal container with a lid to reduce accidental ignition. Dispose of the container per your local or regional disposal guidelines/regulations.

Image Credit: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

PVC primer prepares PVC surfaces for PVC cement welding—typically pipe fitting—via solvents that clean away dirt and debris from the PVC. The primer then dissolves/etches the top layer of each surface to make room for cement application. PVC primer comes in two primary forms—clear and with purple dye. Although either can discolor/stain concrete by trapping dirt or dye into the concrete surface, removing a stain caused by PVC primer isn't impossible as long as you use another solvent to break up and pull away the trapped dirt and dye.


Step 1

Put on your safety goggles, NIOSH multipurpose safety or vapor protection mask, and gloves. PVC primer and the chemicals used to clean it from concrete contain solvents that can cause bodily injury—not only eye and skin irritation, but also organ failure and damage to the upper respiratory system and nervous system.

Step 2

Open windows and doors if removing PVC primer from concrete inside your home to reduce vapor build-up.

Step 3

Pour an acetone-based nail polish remover on a cloth.


Step 4

Blot your PVC stain(s) with the wet cloth. The acetone, a solvent, should dissolve the PVC primer and/or purple dye in the primer. Repeatedly blot and add additional nail polish remover as needed until the stain fades.

Step 5

Scrub your concrete with water and detergent using a soft-bristled brush. Soak up the dirty water with a cloth or mop. Rinse your concrete surface, then air dry.



Irene A. Blake

Based in Southern Pennsylvania, Irene A. Blake has been writing on a wide range of topics for over a decade. Her work has appeared in projects by The National Network for Artist Placement, the-phone-book Limited and GateHouse Media. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University.