Want to find out how to clean concrete? It’s actually a lot easier than you might think. I remember when I was really young; I actually enjoyed cleaning our concrete driveway. I know – it’s kind of weird, but it was really fun!
Over time, your concrete driveway, patio or floor will get covered with leaves and other debris. There is something that is almost magical about removing all of the debris and admiring the beautiful concrete that lies beneath.
One of the greatest benefits is the fact that concrete isn’t viewed as a delicate material. You can put it through some serious abuse when you’re trying to get it clean. As is the case with most types of flooring, you have several cleaning techniques at your disposal.
How to Clean Concrete
The technique that you use depends on what you’re cleaning. If it’s a patio, driveway or outdoor slab of concrete, then you can get away with using a pressure washer. However, if it’s an indoor concrete floor, then you’ll need to go with something that is less aggressive.
First, we’ll discuss cleaning driveways and patios. You’ll want to get a pressure washer and some biodegradable detergent. Instead of paying a couple hundred dollars, you can always find somewhere to rent the pressure washer.
The detergent and water will remove spilled paint, mildew, dirt and many other types of stains. One of the biggest problems with concrete flooring is that it’s porous, so it likes to harbor all sorts of debris.
If you’re trying to remove serious oil stains and similar stains left over from years of automotive work performed in the driveway, it can be difficult. You’ll find that a pressure washer alone won’t do very much.
You’ll need to scrub the stains with TSP and rinse with water. If that doesn’t get rid of the stains, your last resort is something called muriatic acid. You can also use this acid to remove dried mortar and grout smears.
Always be extra careful when cleaning anything with powerful acids. When cleaning anything, you should always start with the least toxic cleaner you can find and work your way up as needed.
That is really all there is to cleaning concrete patios and driveways. All you need to do is sprinkler on some biodegradable detergent and pressure wash the whole slab. As mentioned, you can apply some stronger cleaners if you’re dealing with serious oil stains and whatnot.
Cleaning Indoor Concrete Floors
If you’re cleaning an indoor concrete floor, which might even be your garage, you’ll want to grab some mild cleaner, warm water, a bucket, wet mop, dust mop and broom. The first step is sweeping all of your floors to make sure you remove all of the loose debris.
Next, use the dust mop on the floor to capture all of the fine dust particles. Grab the bucket and fill it with one gallon of warm water. Add a bit of mild cleaner to the water.
You can even use dish soap if you want. Make sure you don’t use vinegar or ammonia because they can damage the finish on your concrete if it has one.
Next, dip your wet mop into the cleaning solution and wring it out. Mop small sections of the concrete at a time, making sure to wring and rinse the mop frequently.
To rinse away leftover soap residue, refill the bucket using warm water and do a quick mop over the floor again.
If the concrete floor, patio or driveway doesn’t have a finish, you should really consider applying one. A coat of finish will help to protect against stains. Also keep in mind that concrete floors occasionally need to be rebuffed to keep their shine.
Concrete should also be resealed at least once every three to four years. While you can certainly try to do the resealing yourself, it’s usually better to call a professional. These techniques work well for polished, decorative and stamped concrete in the basement, garage, sidewalk, porch and more.
They even work well for countertops. You can remove rust, mildew, mold, oil and grease from any concrete surface in and around your home.