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Cleaning the Concrete Flooring in Your Home

by Sally Smith on Aug 25, 2014

When you think about cleaning the floor, concrete is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. A concrete driveway, garage, porch or patio, however, is a part of many homes, and concrete is becoming increasingly popular as an indoor flooring choice. Here is a simple guide for how to clean the concrete floors in your home.

Let's start with the indoor concrete flooring. First, you should sweep the floor to pick up any loose dirt, dust, and other small particles. Move any furniture out of the way if needed. You can choose to vacuum in place of or in addition to sweeping.

Next, mop using an all-purpose cleaner. Do not use bleach, ammonia, vinegar, or any strong or specialty-chemical cleaners. These can damage the floor as indoor concrete flooring tends to be polished concrete. The process of concrete polishing involves texturizing, leveling, polishing and sealing the concrete floor, often adding a decorative touch. Concrete polishing will make a concrete floor harder to stain than unpolished concrete, yet at the same time it is requires more caution when cleaning. You do not want to risk ruining the finish of a polished concrete floor with any non-recommended cleaners.

concrete flooring

The last step is probably your least favorite: scrubbing. You'll need a detail cleaning for any spots the mop cannot catch. Particularly for the concrete floors that easily collect dirt due to a variable texture, scrubbing is necessary to get inside the “cracks” and clean them out. If you've ever cleaned linoleum flooring, you know how crucial it is to use a scrub brush to get to every bit of surface area of the floor. Fortunately, because your polished concrete floor may have a very smooth finish, this part can be relatively quick and painless.

Now, moving onto outdoor concrete. Cleaning outdoor concrete is a little simpler. Your best course of action is to use a hose, some bio-degradable detergent, and a large sweeping brush. Sweeping outside isn't as crucial as it is for sweeping inside since you have the ability to wash everything away, and you're probably not overly concerned with cleaning every nook of surface area in your driveway.

For outdoor concrete, you can also rent a power washer. A power or pressure washer will do most of the work for you, but it's also a lot more expensive than the old-fashioned way. For tough stains, such as grease stains, Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) can be used if detergent doesn't get the job done. TSP can be purchased at most hardware/home center stores. As a last resort, solvents or Muriatic Acid can be used to clean any persistent concrete stains; however, these chemicals require a lot of caution and should only be used as a last resort. A good scrubbing with a sweep brush and detergent should eliminate most of the dirt and stains that might appear on outdoor concrete in your home.

It may require a bit of elbow grease, but as with any other flooring in your home, you should take care of your concrete flooring. Whether you have beautiful concrete flooring inside your home, or just a slab of gray concrete in your driveway, regular cleaning can keep your floors in excellent shape for a very long time. You can learn more about how to take care of your concrete floors from My Floor's blog.

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