How To Clean Concrete Floors [Easy & Effective DIY Ways]

This is the complete guide on how to clean concrete floors with simple DIY ways. Concrete is a popular and long-lasting flooring option in the home. Maintaining the appearance of basements, porches, and living room floors requires the use of a floor cleaning product.

Having the correct cleaner on hand is essential when dealing with concrete floors. Similar to any other material, there are some cleaners to stay away from and care that must be taken to keep your cement flooring in good condition.

The easiest way to clean concrete floors is to use solutions that are specifically designed for concrete floors. Because no two concrete floors are the same, each requires a different maintenance approach.

You wouldn’t clean floors in your polished and sealed living room the same way you would clean a concrete garage floor. We’ve got some great advice on how to clean concrete floors you’ve always wanted.

Differences Between Concrete And Cement Floors

The terms “concrete” and “cement” are sometimes used interchangeably, yet they refer to two distinct materials. There is, in fact, nothing called a concrete floor.

In concrete construction, cement is a fine powder formed of crushed minerals and stones. Despite the fact that cement can be used for a variety of purposes, it isn’t strong enough to be used for flooring.

Concrete is made of cement, water, and any type of aggregates such as crushed sandstone, gravel, and more. The wet cement acts as a glue that holds everything together during the curing process.

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Two Most Common Options That Can Help To Clean Concrete

Cement Floor Cleaner

Polished concrete floors are the most durable, despite the fact that concrete floors in general are. In contrast to a glazed or sealed floor, which must be sealed and resealed to avoid deterioration, a well-maintained shiny concrete floor needs just regular care.

A concrete floor’s brilliant shine can be ruined if it’s covered with the kind of gritty particles and filth that can damage the surface.

There’s no need to purchase a dedicated cleaner, although you can find such goods in hardware stores if you do so. Instead, you can use household chemicals to clean and polish your concrete floor.

Concrete floor stains may be an exception to this rule. Finding the cause of the stain is the most effective technique to remove it from discolored concrete floors.

Commercial stain removers are available for the majority of common blemish types. Bleach or ammonia can be used instead to avoid the toxic fumes produced by professional floor cleaners. However, mixing these two cleaning products can result in a dangerous reaction.

Concrete Floor Cleaner Machine

You’ll probably need to polish the concrete flooring after you’ve cleaned them. Once every two years, you only need to polish your concrete to give it a beautiful glow and keep it from becoming too shiny.

Using a floor cleaner or a concrete polisher is considerably easier than using a buffing chemical and a microfiber cloth. Concrete polishers can be rented, or the operation can be contracted out to a concrete contractor.

Either way, it’s a relatively straightforward process. The first step is to fill in all cracks with epoxy or some other caulk that expands and fills the gaps.

After that, use a sander with a coarse abrasive to polish the floor. Abrasives of increasing fineness and decreasing coarseness should be used to refine the sanding process until the desired result is achieved. When the polishing is done, use a floor polish and let it dry.

Products You Can Use

When cleaning a concrete floor, it is crucial to know what finish it has so that you can use the correct cleaning chemicals and instruments for the job.

Generally, a pH-neutral cleaner is needed to remove stains from waxed or sealed concrete and restore its appearance. It is important to avoid harsh cleaning solutions or products such as lemon extract, vinegar, ammonia, and bleach to avoid damaging concrete.

When cleaning concrete floors in general, dust mops, brooms, and vacuums are all excellent options. Most of all, concrete flooring nowadays is either sealed or waxed, but we offer solutions for both types of unfinished concrete.

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Types Of Cleaning Concrete Or Cement

Whatever the problem, the best way to clean it will vary depending on the situation. Having many stains on your cement or concrete will necessitate a distinct treatment for each.

Before You Start

Removing stains from a soiled cement or concrete floor takes time and effort, but it is not impossible. There are a few things to keep in mind before you get started:

Do not mix different cleaning methods. Toxic gases and other health issues might result from mixing different solvents. Give the floor ample time to dry between each stain removal procedure, then repeat the process for each stain type.

Good ventilation is essential. Open the garage doors if you’re working there. You should open the windows if you’re working in an enclosed space. Irritating dust and other contaminants will be released into the air as a result of your work.

Ensure the health of your lungs by taking the necessary precautions. Wearing a mask is also a good idea if you suffer from allergies or asthma.

Dirty Cement Simple Cleaning

Cleaning the entire surface should be done before attempting to remove cement stains.

  1. Debris can be removed by using a push broom on the surface.
  2. Half a cup of baking soda, one gallon of lukewarm water, and enough liquid dish soap go into a bucket. Spread it throughout and scrape dirty areas with a hard brush or a push broom. Let it air dry after rinsing.
  3. Rewet the area and apply oxygenated bleach for stubborn stains. There is no risk of damaging your lawn or driveway using oxygen bleach, unlike chlorinated bleach. Scrub the area once more with the broom’s bristles, then leave the oxygenated bleach on for 10-15 minutes to do its work.
  4. Then, use clean water to thoroughly clean the area and your broom. Both should be allowed to air dry completely.

Removing Mildew, Mold, Or Moss

Mold, moss, and cement cannot be removed from organic materials simply by sweeping. Cleaning mold stains from cement requires killing the spores that are responsible for the discoloration.

  1. Mix equal quantities of hot water and distilled vinegar and apply to the moss stain on your cement.
  2. After spraying, use the push broom to thoroughly clean the area.
  3. Allow the area to dry thoroughly after rinsing with fresh water.

Make a solution of oxygenated bleach and hot water in a 1.4:1 ratio to remove very persistent mold or mildew stains from cement.

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Grease Stains

If you have a concrete floor, you may want to keep an eye out for oil stains caused by lawnmowers, cars, or other machinery. Because cement is porous, you can discover that the oily sludge has penetrated deep into the surface, leaving a permanent mark.

Getting rid of these oily cement stains can be done, but patience is required. In other words, elbow grease is the most excellent technique to remove grease stains from your cement. Here are the steps:

  1. Sprinkle cornstarch, baby powder, clay, diatomaceous earth, cat litter, on the spilled area to soak it up. They’re all incredibly absorbent and can remove oily smears from cement with ease. You’ll need about a half-inch thick coating, though.
  2. To remove the oil, leave the powder in place for at least 24 hours. Keep an eye on it and add more powder if the top layer begins to show signs of greasy buildup. Sweep up and dispose of the mess at the end of the day.
  3. Pour 1 quart of hot water with 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap into a bucket, and mix thoroughly.
  4. Using a brush or broom, scrape the mixture into place. After thorough rinsing in hot water, allow it to air dry.

Rust Stains

You can use white vinegar to rub with a hard brush to remove rust stains from cement that are still fresh. To avoid etching, use fresh water to rinse the area thoroughly after using an undiluted vinegar solution.

When dealing with older or larger rust stains, dampen the area and then sprinkle it with oxalic acid. Mild enough that it cannot create scratches on concrete, yet with the capability to dissolve rust. Scrub the stain thoroughly using a stiff brush, and then rinse thoroughly.

Special Cleaning Method For Sealed Concrete

Cleaning concrete can be difficult because grout lines, fissures, and/or saw cuts can collect dirt and bacteria, making for an ugly appearance.

As a result, it’s critical to look for and remove any visible dirt lines on the floor. In either case, it’s best to do it just after you’ve finished cleaning the remaining floor; otherwise, some of the dirt will be removed during your usual sweeping and mopping.

This makes it simple to spot-clean the fine lines. Concrete floor cracks and saw cuts can be cleaned with an old brush and a less powerful cleaner. Using the procedures below, you can clean the remaining floor thoroughly to remove grime and stains.

  1. To begin, use a static broom or a microfibre dust mop to remove any dust or debris from the surface. The effectiveness of this particular cleaning equipment in removing dust explains why they are recommended. For those who don’t have a proper brush with long bristles to cover the metal section or beater bar of the vacuum cleaner, it is strongly recommended not to use this method because it can leave scratches on the concrete finish.
  2. Moisture should be kept to a minimum even while using a pH-neutral cleanser. Use a damp microfiber cloth and a mild cleaner to clean your concrete floor on a weekly basis. Dust and debris should be vacuumed off your concrete floor every day, and stains and marks should be cleaned using a moist mop.
  3. The stained concrete floor will require periodic buffing to restore its former luster. Depending on the sort of finish you have, a commercial product is recommended for this task.

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Special Cleaning Method For Unfinished Concrete

Many people don’t give it a second thought when the unfinished concrete around your home is significantly stained by exposure to the elements. It’s also possible to find grease marks and tire tracks in garages.

Ordinary and pre-maintenance cleaning methods must be distinguished before discussing how to clean unfinished concrete floors.

A more thorough cleaning is recommended if you intend to seal, wax, or polish the floor. Here’s what you need to do if you have unfinished concrete flooring that needs regular cleaning:

  1. Using a hard-bristled broom, sweep the floor and collect the dust in a dustpan. Use a leaf blower to remove the fine dust from the floor, and then hose it down to remove any remaining residue. Even if you only do this, your unfinished concrete will look far tidier.
  2. Start with a moderate cleaning agent like a pH-neutral product and a non-wired brush to remove stains from unfinished concrete. Apply the cleanser and rub in circular motions to the stained area. If necessary, repeat the process when the floor has completely dried.
  3. There may be times when industrial stain removers like bleach or degreaser are needed to remove stains that have been there for some time.

Tips To Prevent The Cement From Staining

Preventing stains is always preferable to waiting for them to occur and hoping that cleaning would be enough to remove them. To avoid the common stains, follow the advice provided below.

Sealants

The use of a sealer on your garage or any other concrete surface floor will maintain it stain-free and preserve the new appearance of the concrete. It’s a great idea if you plan to put your house on the market in the next few years.

It is recommended to reapply DIY sealants every two to three years. It is possible to get a transferable warranty on professional penetrating concrete sealants, which can last up to 20 years.

Moisture Protection

Moisture should not be allowed to etch or discolor concrete. Downspout extensions can help you redirect rainfall away from your home’s concrete foundation and into your lawn instead.

In addition, be sure to remove debris like leaves others following storms or throughout the fall season. The moisture trapped in fallen leaves can lead to mildew and mold stains on your patio.

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Liners

Stain-resistant cement should be protected with a waterproof, removable barrier. When it comes to protecting your garage floor, this means using oil drip mats.

Look for one that is easy to clean and will keep oil and other car fluids from ruining your floors. Protect your outdoor furniture by placing rugs or mats underneath it.

To prevent water damage, use outdoor carpeting made expressly for that purpose. Mold and mildew can form on your patio if water is trapped beneath outdoor rugs and mats.

Avoid placing flower tubs directly on your patio or on your front step. Drip trays should be used beneath planters to prevent dirt and water runoff from staining. It is important to empty the tray after heavy rainfall to not attract mosquitoes.

How To Clean Concrete Floors

Using a power washer is the ideal technique to clean concrete if you have an outside patio or porch constructed of cement since it eliminates oil stains and any loose dirt with ease.

Add detergent replacement to your cleaning solution to get the best results. Use a garden hose with a low water setting to add the ingredients to the concrete.

Use the soap on the concrete by scrubbing the floor with a firm brush. Once the cleaning solution has been entirely removed from the floor, use a power washer to rinse it off.

Power Washer Detergent Substitute

Trisodium phosphate is a wonderful cleaner to use when power washing. This cleanser is excellent in removing oil stains from the exterior of your home.

Always wear gloves and a face mask while using this cleaner to avoid direct contact with it. You should follow the same procedure for utilizing it as you would for cleaning with a cleaning detergent.

Mix the trisodium phosphate and water to remove oil stains and then scrub the area. With your power washer, wash away any remaining cleaning solution.

Use Of Bleach

Because of its porous nature, concrete is more able to hold moisture than most other construction materials. mold and mildew can grow on unsealed concrete if water doesn’t get completely dry on the surface. Chlorine bleach cleaners are a fantastic technique to get rid of mildew and mold.

Add bleach to every gallon of water you use to mop your floors. Rinse mold and mildew-infested areas with a gentle scrubbing brush. Not recommended for polished or stamped floors.

Use Of Vinegar

Clean concrete with white vinegar, a natural all-purpose cleanser that removes persistent stains occurred by oil or mildew. Vinegar can also be used as a stain remover and spot treatment.

It can also be used to eliminate rust stains! For this DIY concrete cleaner, use equal parts vinegar and warm water. A soft brush can be used to scrub the vinegar-soaked area after ten minutes.

Wash your hands thoroughly afterward. If the stain is still there, pure vinegar can be used instead of diluted vinegar. Glue on the concrete floor can also be removed using this method.

Vinegar can be used to remove glue residue from concrete after removing old carpet. To get rid of the glue, you may need to use heat.

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Commercial Cleaner

If you don’t want to deal with the difficulty of making your own commercial cleaning product, go for the available ones in the market. This concrete cleanser’s citric acid and sodium carbonate make it a safe cleaner for your flooring.

Finally, this reduces the necessity for numerous cleaners without costing more. Simple Green deodorizes and eliminates oil and grease from the floor with just one cleaning solution.

In addition, it can be used to clean practically any surface, from upholstery to carpets to concrete. Add to a mopping solution, spray bottle, or carpet cleaner to get the desired results.

Use Of Cat Litter

As a result of automobiles and power tools, your garage floor accumulates a significant amount of oil and grease. Kitty litter can be used to absorb oil as a solution to this problem.

That’s exactly what I’m saying! Litter for cats. Using cat litter to remove oil residue from concrete garage flooring is an excellent method to keep your floors clean and odor-free.

Spread a thin coating of litter on the stained area and let it soak overnight to remove oil stains from the concrete. After that, clean up the area with a mop. Oil stains that don’t go away may require additional treatment. Relax and enjoy the new look of your floors.

Muriatic Acid

To remove efflorescence or mineral deposits, you need a vigorous procedure that also removes rust from cement. One option is muriatic acid.

Most people recommend utilizing this powerful cleaning product only on a professional level. If you must work with muriatic acid, make sure you’re well protected with gloves, goggles, and a mask to protect your face.

A solution with muriatic acid requires that the concrete floor be kept wet throughout the whole application. Wait ten minutes after spreading the acid evenly on the floor.

Rinse the floor as soon as the acid stops bubbling, but don’t wait until it’s completely dry. The acid should be rinsed off with a lot of water, and any remaining substance should be neutralized with sprinkled baking soda.

Use A Sealant At Last

The risk of damage to your floor is increased if it has an unsealed concrete subfloor. Cleanability and water retention are two of the main advantages of sealing concrete floors.

If you coat them with a sealant, your floors will be more resistant to stains, corrosion, and mildew growth. A paint roller can be used to apply sealant.

Run the roller over the cement to guarantee a smooth and even finish. Grout should also be sealed in case there are cement tiles.

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How Frequently You Should Clean Cement Areas

Maintaining your outside spaces is something you should do all year round. During the summer months, sweep concrete steps, patios, and sidewalks regularly and at least once a month in the winter. Once a month minimum, clean out your garage.

When you discover a spill on concrete, please clean it up immediately and use the dryer to quickly dry any wet cement in your home. The most straightforward technique to avoid stains on cement and concrete is to clean them regularly.

Final Verdict

So. this was all about our details guide on how to clean concrete floors without calling the professionals. Concrete is a porous material, and that’s why stains can often sit stubbornly on it.

Using just water may not help you here to remove the stains. You can make maximum clean the dirt and dust by water. Here in this article, we have covered all processes and materials that can be used to make your concrete surface dirt and stain-free.

Follow the guidelines and the material instructions to get the best results. All the best.

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Shelley Stevenson

Shelly Stevenson is the full-time editor responsible for painting, flooring, bathrooms & home climate coverage at StyDomIo. She is a home improvement expert with an eye for design and the skills to get the work done. She knows what turns a house into a home and has the advice and ideas to make upgrades easy and fun.

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