Do you still find your concrete basement floor damaged even after all the regular and lengthy cleaning you do for it? You need to ponder over whether or not you really know how to clean the concrete basement floor. Because it’s highly likely that you are making some mistakes while doing the cleaning.
Concrete floors are low maintenance and extremely durable plus, a warm and welcoming extra space in the house. For your concrete basement floor to last as long as you expected them to, they do require some maintenance, and they definitely have a proper cleaning method.
How To Clean Concrete Basement Floor
It’s alright if you didn’t know till now unless, of course, the oblivion has cost you some irrevocable damage to your basement floor. Hopefully, this article has found you just in time. It covers all that you need to know to not repeat the past mistakes you have been making while cleaning your concrete floor. Keep reading to know the right method on how to clean concrete basement floors, what common mistakes to avoid, and other important tips and knowledge.
Step 1: Vacuum or Sweep Away the Dust and Debris
Before you start to vacuum the floor, it’s best to remove everything from over the floor, or the debris that can get under something and leave some areas uncleaned. After that, begin vacuuming, thoroughly remove all the dust and debris from the floor. Otherwise, any leftover dust will form sludge after mixing with water later.
It’s recommended to use a concrete floor vacuum cleaner rather than the carpet vacuum cleaner. The hardwood floor vacuum will clean up the dust from the concrete floor more easily.
Step 2: Clean the Stains
The next step is to clean any stains on the floor before you do the overall cleaning. The way to tackle the stains depends on the type of stain you are dealing with. The possible stains that you might encounter can be efflorescence, rust, oil, or others. The cleaning agents that can deal with them also vary.
If there is a deep oil stain, use a dishwashing detergent mixed with a quarter cup of ammonia. Moisten the stained area with a cloth before applying the detergent and let it sit on the stained area for about an hour.
Cleaning Agents for Different Types of Stains
If the floor has rust stains, those can be dealt with either lemon juice, white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar. Use whichever one is available to you at the moment, let the substance soak into the stain for a couple of minutes before scrubbing it. For rust stains, you can also use dry cement, sprinkle the dry cement over the stain, and rub it with a flagstone piece. The abrasion will remove the rust, which you can then sweep away or vacuum both rust and the cement.
Other cleaning agents that are able to remove tough stains without damaging the concrete floor include ordinary soaps. Those have sodium hydroxide, or caustic soda, which makes one of the best cleaning agents for cleaning concrete floors.
If you are looking for a way to remove stains which don’t involve nasty chemicals, baking soda makes a great alternative. Mix half a cup of baking soda with a gallon of warm water and a mild detergent like a dish detergent. You will have a chemical-free yet strong cleaner that can remove strong stains.
Step 3: Scrub the Floor
Now that you have chosen the right cleaning agent to use on the stains on your concrete floor, the next step is to scrub it. For scrubbing, use a wire brush to work the cleaner and remove the stain from the concrete. Using a metal wire brush is a terrible idea; the tiny metal fibers can break and get stuck in the floor, which will rust with time, thus ruining the floor.
Step 4: Rinse the Concrete Floor
After you have scrubbed away the stains from the concrete floor, the next step is to rinse the floor thoroughly to remove all the cleaner that you used from the floor. That way, the cleaning solution will take away all the dirt and debris with it while you rinse it. Also, cleaning residue, if left uncleaned, can be toxic.
To remove the detergent or any cleaning solution that you have used, washing soda or sodium carbonate is effective. Mix two ounces of washing soda into a gallon of water and then mop the entire floor with it. That will remove all the detergent or cleaning solution residue, taking the dirt along as well.
For rinsing, you can also use a power washer. After that, rinse the mop and wash the floor using clean water, which will remove the washing soda mixture, and the floor will be clean of any and all solution or detergent. The next step is to dry the floor.
Step 5: Dry the Floor
The last step is to dry the floor thoroughly. The trapped moisture can cause mold and mildew on the concrete floor; water can seep into the floor, damaging it. So, make sure that you have dried the floor properly, without leaving any of the moisture behind, before moving back any of the items on the floor. You can use a wet or dry vacuum or towels also, to dry the floor.
Sealed and Unsealed Concrete Floor
The cleaning procedure for both sealed and unsealed concrete floors is the same for the most part, though there are some precautions you need to take for an unsealed concrete floor. Cleaning sealed concrete is much easier since it has the sealant, a waterproofing agent that prevents water or any spill from soaking into the floor. So the floor is protected from that kind of water damage.
You can use water adequately to clean a sealed concrete; power washing can be used. Still, you do need to ensure proper ventilation and drainage so the floor dries quickly; otherwise, it risks the formation of mold and mildew. Also, be careful while using the power washer, so it doesn’t break through the protective sealant.
Unsealed concrete floor requires much more careful dealing since it lacks protection from water; any spill can seep into the floor and can form stains. So for unsealed concrete, you need to minimize the amount of water used for cleaning as much as you can. That way, the water will dry out quickly, preventing any possibility of its residue ruining the floor.
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So you see, cleaning concrete floors is not a difficult task, all you gotta do, actually, all you gotta know is the right way of doing that, again, which is not difficult. There are some small mistakes, which are not so small actually for your floor, that most people tend to make commonly. Those are all addressed above, along with the right way to clean the concrete basement floor. Following this step-by-step procedure, you can keep your concrete floor clean, shiny, and as good as new.