How to clean your cement mixer drum (effectively and properly)

The following steps have been outlined to give your the best results when you need to know how to clean cement mixer drum effectively.

Any cement mixer must be kept in superb condition if it is to last for a long time, and if you want to be able to use it properly.

If you simply ignore the build up of old cement the machine will quickly lose it’s performance.


For best results make sure you are thoroughly consistent at washing out the cement mixer drum as soon as you are finished with it.  This way it will be a lot more easier to clean.

If you do it straight away the materials won’t have dried onto the inside surface and will come off easier.


For the easiest way to keep a well loved cement mixer clean, follow the following steps:

  • Start out by making sure you are in a shaded area so any hot sun isn’t drying things out
  • Ensure you are not near to any drains or rivers etc where contaminants may spill
  • Turn on the mixer so the drum is rotating round
  • Place a wheelbarrow (with a bucket sat inside the wheelbarrow) directly under the drum
  • Use another bucket and throw some water into the drum while it is turning.
  • Ensure water is carried right around all of the inside surfaces, even at the back.
  • Let this spin until it seems the materials have been washed off
  • The next step is to tip the cement mixer out, and the water should run out and fall into the bucket underneath (the one inside the wheelbarrow).
  • One clean cement mixer
  • No mess on the floor
  • Stop the mixer and inspect the inside for cleanliness.
  • If there are any small remaining pieces of cement etc. stuck anywhere inside, you can use a stiff brush to scrub off any last bits of stuff, and then splash some water in again, rotating the drum before tipping out again.
  • Having concrete stuck in the mixer is not something you want to be drawn into.  It’s time intensive, annoying and simply makes life more difficult!

You can also use a Splash Stoppa (available here on Amazon) to seal the mixer drum opening for a totally clean working area around the cement mixer, or use an old dustbin lid for the same kind of results.

splashstoppa 1670N Cement Mixer Lid, Black and Yellow



How to clean a cement mixer that has a lot of dried on cement on the inside

Pretty much the same as the list above, but with a subtle difference

  • Start out by making sure you are in a shaded area so any hot sun isn’t drying things out
  • Ensure you are not near to any drains or rivers etc where contaminants may spill
  • Turn on the mixer so the drum is rotating round
  • Place a wheelbarrow (with a bucket sat inside the wheelbarrow) directly under the drum
  • Use another bucket and throw some water into the drum while it is turning.
  • Now get some gravel or small crushed rocks and throw them in.  The idea is that when these are spinning around they will be thrown around the drum scraping off any old materials
  • You can use an old dustbin lid placed over the mouth of the cement mixer to stop splashes of watery cement hitting you or dropping on the floor (or you can go for a splashstoppa that snugly fits most cement mixers where the mouth of the drum is between 385 and 420mm wide)
  • Tip out the mixture and inspect things again
  • If you managed to get your cement mixer clean then job done
  • Stop the mixer and inspect the inside for cleanliness.


How To Clean Cement Mixer Drums That Are Heavily Ground With Cement

If you have been through the above steps, trying to clean your cement mixer then the next step is to get a bit more hands on.


There are a few options to consider here.


1: A hammer and chisel.  Or you can choose powered hammer chisels.

Use these tools to simply chisel away at dried on cement for as long as it takes.  It will be messy and dusty, so you might want to wear a dust mask and eye protection at this stage.  Just keep chiselling away inside the drum to get as much of the stuff off as you can.  It might take an hour or two, but time served here will mean a better experience down the line.

If you own an SDS drill, then a hammer chisel set like this inexpensive one on Amazon will make life so much easier.


2: Chemicals

There are chemicals you can use that will help, but when using these you have to be aware of the damage and destruction that can be caused to both your own health, skin eyesight etc., but more to the environment.

Watered down brick acid will help, so pop some in, along with water and some small stones.  Bostik Cementone brick and mortar cleaner has a good strong concentration of acid.

This video will give you a few tips:


3: Using Bricks in cement mixer

One way that works to get rid of the bulk of died on compo is to simply turn on the mixer with some water in and (up to half brick sized bricks).  Let it run for at least half an hour and this should break off most of the bigger stuff.  You don’t want to be using anything much bigger than half bricks in case it causes damage to the drum or the paddles inside.

Once you’ve done this, take something long and heavy like a piece of scaffold tube and give the drum a few good whacks, but be sure to start out gently and watching to make sure no damage is done. So no Herculean efforts at this stage!


4: Using fire

The following video will give you an idea on how to go on using fire to help clean up your cement mixer drum.  The audio is very poor so you’ll have to watch it.  In essence the heat should make the drum expand and contract help some of the old dried on cement to crack and then should be easier to break off.

The downsides is you could cause damage to the drum, and paint could come off.  But might be worth it as a last resort.





Why do we have to keep it clean?

Well, your cement mixer will only keep performing at it’s best if it is kept in as best a condition as possible.  If you leave it to get crudded up with crap then pretty soon it’s going to get gunked up in all the wrong places and simply “grind to a halt”, so to speak.

Additionally, you might be performing different mixes using different materials at various times.  So you don;t want any cross contamination to happen.  So be sure to give it a good clean out each time you have finished a mix, or are switching to a new mix.


What is the safest way of keeping it clean?

The best way is to keep it clean regularly.  This means cleaning after every use thoroughly.  15 minutes at the end of each day will help it to last far longer.

The safest option is just water, while the next safest option is to use some gravel with water (casing the least amount of damage).  Just doing this and letting it run for 15 minutes at the end of the day should help keep it super clean.  It’s just a case of getting in the habit of making it a routine thing every day.


How can we restore it back to new?

With time, anyone can end up with a mixer that struggles to be kept clean.  If you have to resort to chemicals, bricks or even a fire you could end up damaging the drum with dints, paddle damage or paint work coming off.

If the damage isn’t too bad then you can just carry on using the mixer, but at some point you might need to repair it.  This might mean welding paddles, or getting some suitable paint to paint the drum again.  Acrylic paint like this one on Amazon is fashioned in Belle Orange colour and will give it a new freshness.


Finally, if you just can’t be bothered with any of these shenanigans, we also wrote a lengthy write up on some of the best cement mixers right here on our site.


Shaun Baird

By: Shaun Baird If you ever wanted someone to help you, Shaun would be your man. He has spent most of his life helping others, often without realising, and used this passion to drive the 10 Warriors brand forward. This unnerving dedication to always help people has become the seamless channel for Shaun to dedicate his efforts to helping a wider community. "On a personal basis, family come first - happiness and knowing you've done a good job bringing up your kids is my main priority!"

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