Nowadays, thanks to new techniques and more style options, concrete flooring isn’t just for the garage. Concrete flooring can denote a great level of elegance and provide your home with a welcoming air about it.
Customization and Concrete Floors
The style and design options in concrete flooring are endless. You can stain or color your floor in any shade of any color you chose. You can choose a faux finish to have your floor look like marble if you wish. With the use of stencils, you can even imprint wood or other textures onto your floor. If you wish to add stenciled borders or other graphics on your flooring, that’s an option too.
It’s no wonder that concrete flooring is growing in popularity. It can be as fancy or as simple as you wish. Berkeley’s Center of Evaluation for Global Action found that even in poorer neighborhoods in Mexico, concrete flooring was an affordable option to help families do away with dirt flooring. The versatility of this floor type for people of all sorts of incomes is staggering.
Because there are different types of concrete flooring out there, you’ll want the right tips for how to clean concrete floors. When it comes to decorative concrete floors, you’ll find that sensitivity to the floor’s finish will prove useful in extending the life of your beautiful floor’s finish.
A general guide on how to clean concrete floors
To keep that beauty alive and long-lasting, it’s important that you know how to clean concrete floors. Every floor carries its own maintenance routine, regardless of how sturdy or long-lasting the material appears. Concrete flooring, with its high level of hardness, is no exception to this. The amount of regular care and maintenance is dependent on how much floor traffic your concrete sees. In areas where the traffic is high, you’ll need to attend to it more often.
Cleaning stained concrete flooring
Regular sweeping will go a long way in picking up dirt that may serve as an abrasive if left unattended.
Fill up a bucket with cool water and add a little environmentally friendly cleaner into the bucket. Using a mop damp with the mixture, clean the stained concrete floor. Rinse out your mop and bucket, and then fill it up with clean water. Clean your floor with the freshwater to pick up any leftover soap residue. You don’t want to create a hazardous slippery surface!
Cleaning stamped concrete patios
For a nice outside look, stamped concrete patios give your patio a lovely look without the upkeep that goes into maintaining wood.
First, you’ll want to remove debris such as grass and dirt off of your flooring. While you’re sweeping, keep an eye out for cracks that could use patching up. Repair these patches with a concrete patch so as to avoid eroding the concrete over time.
Next, it’s time to pull out the pressure washer for some easy but intense cleaning power.
Be careful that you don’t damage your stamped effect. A medium pressure with a mixture of water and non-toxic cleaner should do the trick. Keep the nozzle moving, you don’t want to wear down your concrete if you hold the nozzle over one spot for too long. Safety goggles are recommended should any debris go flying into your face.
Finally, you may rinse the entire patio with a garden hose and allow to air dry.
Cleaning garage concrete flooring
Your garage floor probably sees more oil, dust, and dirt than you can shake a stick at. So it’s time we roll up our sleeves and give it a good scrubbing down.
For a thorough cleaning, you’ll want to remove everything off the floor and out of the garage. Ideally, you would choose a sunny day with no rain in the forecast so you can leave all your things outside while you clean.
To evade damage that can occur from getting water on your electrical outlets and drywall, we suggest covering the bottom area of your walls with cheap plastic drapes. These drapes may be purchased cheaply at the local home improvement store. Water damage or electrical damage are problems you don’t want to bring upon your house!
Mix a non-toxic degreaser in a bucket of warm water. Use a deck brush to scrub the degreaser into the concrete which will help break down dirt and grime. Note, a deck brush is not the same as a push broom. Push brooms are not the best for scrubbing due to their longer bristles.
Scrub and let the solution set for about ten minutes. After some more scrubbing, pull out your water hose and rinse down the floor with a high-pressure nozzle. We suggest working section by section as you don’t want the concrete to dry before you’ve rinsed off the solution. This enables you to work faster.
For a deeper clean
If you need some extra cleaning power because going at it with a deck brush is just not cutting it, we recommend making use of a pressure washer. They can be rented or purchased at most home improvement stores. Pressure washers save you a lot of time with their intense water pressure. It can quickly get at dirt more effectively than scrubbing with a deck brush. If your floors haven’t been cleaned for some time, then perhaps going straight to the pressure washer is a better idea.
Before taking the pressure washer to your floor, soak your floor with the same cleaning solution mentioned above. Let it sit for about ten minutes and work in sections. When you’re ready to use the water pressure, wet the floor some more and then pressure wash the solution and dirt away.
Keep your pressure washer nozzle moving so you don’t wear down your concrete.
In an imperfect world, accidents happen. But that doesn’t mean there is no way to remedy or lighten the effects of these accidents. In this section, we’ll take a look at different ways you can tackle those unsightly concrete stains. It’s worth noting that taking fast action to mop up any spills is an important step towards mitigating stains on your concrete floors.
Degreasing and dealing with average stains on outdoor concrete
With the floor area wet, add your non-toxic degreaser to the problem area. Taking a brush, give it a good scrub and allow it to sit. Stains that have been on the floor for a while may leave a light mark on your flooring.
Laundry detergent mixed with warm water is an excellent degreaser for your concrete. Add in some vinegar and baking soda to the bucket and get to scrubbing.
If you’re dealing with some exceptionally stubborn stains, don’t hesitate to pretreat them with baking soda. Leave the baking soda on the stain for ten minutes and then add your homemade degreaser. The baking soda and vinegar will react, making it easier to clean up the grease.
Rust stains are another problem for many garage owners.
Removing rust stains from outdoor concrete
An eyesore and nuisance to the cleanly homeowners, rust stains are sure to make their way onto any family’s garage floor. Metal and moisture are all factors that are inevitable rust makers to be found in your garage and cause stains on the most pristine of garage floors. You’ll be relieved to know there is a way to remove the rust stains from your floor.
First, you’ll want to find the source of your stain and remove it. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time.
Next, remove debris from the affected area and prepare to apply your homemade solution.
Your rust removal solution requires lemon juice or vinegar, undiluted. The acidic nature of lemon juice or vinegar will penetrate and deal with the rust. Pour it directly on to the stain and let it sit for about ten to fifteen minutes. Now take out your shop bristle brush and give it a good scrubbing. Rinse the area off with a hose.
As an added caution, take care that you don’t get any of the cleaner on your plants. It’ll damage them and you certainly don’t want that to happen!
Removing stains from decorative concrete floors
Colored concrete floors require special care so as not to damage the concrete finish.
When it comes to grease, you may use soapy water and a soft-bristled brush to pull it out of your colored concrete floors. If you’re not sure about your floor’s finish taking well to a cleaner, you may test it out in a hidden away area. Dish soap is very effective but it’s not safe for use on all finishes. Rinse with water and buff with a soft cloth.
For decorative concrete floors, it’s suggested you make your own degreaser. Two parts baking soda to two parts coconut oil works well to get the job done. First, scrape off any gunk with a plastic or wooden spatula. Scrub in your mixture and let it sit for ten to fifteen minutes and then buff it into the concrete with a clean rag. Apply more solution as needed, taking care to rinse with clean water and dry at the end.
Your concrete floors will be looking like new in no time!
With the right tools and solution in hand, now you know how to clean concrete floors. After you apply our tips, you can say goodbye to a rusty greasy floor and hello to an almost new floor! Want to try some homemade cleaning solutions for other flooring materials? We’ve got you covered!