In order to remove dried cement from tile, wood, glass and other surfaces, there are many commercial products available that safely do the job. Professionals also recommend vinegar if cleaning dried concrete from hands after working with fresh cement.
Commercial cleaners rely on acid to break up dried concrete and render it pliable. Once applied, the cleaners need time to dissolve the hard substance. Some cleaners require multiple applications to completely clean an affected area. Other products available use environmentally safe salts and surfactants instead of acids to dissolve dried concrete.
Heavy-duty cleaners can be used in pure form or diluted, depending on the area being cleaned. All products normally will dissolve any concrete on a surface as well as the surface itself, with an example being grout between tile or mortar between bricks.
While strong acidity is used in concrete cleaners to dissolve heavy deposits, vinegar is a milder acid that helps to clean dried concrete off of the hands without doing damage.
Other common uses for cement cleaners include cement tools, saw blades, trowels, molds, metal, marble, siding, vehicles and work surfaces.
Concrete can cause damage to skin when it is actively setting, even if it appears to be dry. The acidic quality of vinegar effectively neutralizes the active agents in concrete and is a strong cleaner.