Nearly every home has concrete flooring installed in basements, garages, or even on driveways. Whereas the unmatched durability of concrete cannot be disputed, it is porous in nature and can easily absorb liquids, leading to the development of stains over time.
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You must learn the best way to clean concrete floors in bid to keep them stain-free and enhance your home’s décor and functionality. In this blog post, we’ll take you through everything there is to know about how to clean concrete floors.
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- How to Clean Interior Concrete Floors
- How to Clean Polished Concrete Floors
- How to Clean Painted Concrete Floors
- How to Clean a Sealed Concrete Floor
- How to Clean Unsealed Concrete Floors or Exterior Concrete
How to Clean Interior Concrete Floors
- Stiff brush
- Hot water
- Dust mop or vacuum
- Wet mop with bucket
- Dishwasher detergent
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Steps to Follow
Remove all Surface Obstacles
First, clear the floor of any obstacles including rugs, furniture, shoes, decorations and anything else lying on the surface. Make sure your floor is devoid of any object that could force you to constantly move it around to get a clear path.
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Remove all Fine Particles & Dust
Get your broom and sweep the floor to remove all large particles and debris laced on the surface. If a vacuum is available, use it to make the process faster and more efficient. Go over the surface again with a duster to get rid of fine particles and dust. Dust your concrete floors daily and sweep or vacuum weekly.
Check out our review for the the Best Floor Sweepers in 2020.
Spot Clean the Stains
Regular stains like food and beverage are easy to clean by simply scrubbing the spots with hot soapy water. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of a mild dishwashing soap with a half a gallon of hot water. Mop the floor with the solution. AVOID harsh cleaners (like ammonia or vinegar) as they might break down and dull the sealant.
For tougher oil-based stains, wet the spot with water and cover it with dish soap. Then scrub the area with a brush dipped in warm water to work up lather. Using a rag or towel, blot the suds and rinse it down with clean water.
Dry the Floor
Rinse away the soapy residue with clean water and leave the floor to air-dry.
How to Clean Polished Concrete Floors
- Neutral stone cleaner
- Castile soap
- Mild dish soaps
- PH neutral detergents
Steps to Follow
Mix the Cleaning Solution
In a large bucket, mix one gallon of warm water with about one-quarter cup of PH neutral cleaner or mild soap. Measure the solutions as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Dunk the Clean Mop into the Cleaning Solution
Dip a mop into the cleaning solution until it becomes saturated with water. Remove the mop from the solution and wring it out to release excess water. You only need to use a slightly damp mop on the floor so that it can dry quickly.
Mop Small Sections at a Time
Mop the floor in small sections. You can start with one corner of the room and move your way toward the other corner. Frequently re-dunk the mop in the cleaning solution and wring it out properly as you continue mopping. If you have an oscillating fan, turn it on to blow air into the room for expeditious drying.
Remove the Excess Cleaner or Soap
After cleaning the entire floor, pour out your cleaning water and rinse both the bucket and mop. Then, refill the bucket with clean warm water. Go over the floor once more the same way you did with clean water, frequently dunking and wringing out the mop thoroughly. Mop in small sections starting from one corner and moving toward the other one.
How to Clean Painted Concrete Floors
Painted concrete floors can be available in two forms: sealed or unsealed surfaces. The best way to clean painted concrete floors is to protect the paint and the sealant. Therefore, harsh chemicals or acidic cleaners should be avoided at all costs as they can damage the finish.
How to Clean a Sealed Concrete Floor
- Mild all-purpose cleaner
- Vacuum or dust mop
- Microfiber mop
- Bucket or sink
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Steps to Follow
Vacuum or Dust Mop
Dust mop or vacuum the painted concrete floors to get rid of surface grit and soil. Loose particles lying on the surface can scratch the painted finish.
Mix the Cleaning Solution
Once you have vacuumed, mix an all-purpose cleaner with warm water to form a cleaning solution. Dip a microfiber mop into the cleaning solution and wring it out. Excessive moisture on the mop can dislodge the paint causing it to peel, so make sure to use a slightly damp mop to clean the painted concrete floor.
Rinse and Dry
Using a mop dampened with clean water, rinse the painted surface to remove any soapy residue. Allow the floor to air-dry before you can step on it.
How to Clean Unsealed Concrete Floors or Exterior Concrete
Garage floors, patios, and sidewalks are easy to care and look better with a good cleaning.
- Stain removers
- Trisodium phosphate
- Shop vac or stiff-bristled broom
- Garden hose or bucket
- Pressure washer (optional)
- Rubber gloves
Steps to Follow
Sweep Away Debris and Dirt
Remove anything sitting on the concrete and sweep away loose debris and dirt. You can use either a shop vac or a stiff-bristled broom for this process.
Clean the Surface
Using a pressure washer filled with a mixture of water and trisodium phosphate is the easiest way to clean the exterior concrete. Wear rubber gloves and follow the manufacturer’s mixing directions.
If a pressure washer is out of reach, you can wet the concrete using a garden hose, and then use a stiff-bristled brush to distribute and scrub away the trisodium phosphate. Rinse the floor thoroughly and let it dry.
Food and Beverage Stains
For regular stains like food and beverages, dilute two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid in one quart of water. Apply the mixture onto the stains and scrub thoroughly using a stiff brush. Rinse well with clean water and let it dry.
For more stubborn stains, sprinkle the spot with a layer of dry kitty litter. Leave it seated on the stain for about three days to fully absorb the oil. Unsealed concrete is porous and oil spills can seep deep in, which is why you must leave the kitty litter seated for this long. Finally, vacuum away.
For light rust stains, apply the distilled white vinegar directly onto the stain. Leave it there for about 30 minutes to work on the stain. Then, scrub the stain with a stiff brush and rinse with plain water. For large and dark rust stains, use a commercial rust remover containing oxalic acid.
Wet the area and spread an over-the-counter degreaser over the stain. Leave the degreaser seated on the spot for at least four hours. Then, scrub with a stiff brush and rinse.
With proper cleaning and maintenance, concrete floors can last a lifetime. Although some of the above cleaning methods are time-consuming, they guarantee stain-free and grime-free concrete. Try some of these concrete cleaning techniques and tells us your experience.