How to clean concrete floors

How to clean concrete floors

Cleaning concrete floors is one of the mundane tasks of keeping up any concrete floor space. While you may not notice beforehand that it needs to be cleaned after the process is over you will notice a fresh, new appearance. Read on to find out more about general cleaning tips as well as stubborn stain removals, too.

If your concrete floor has just a bit of surface dirt, chances are that a soft and nonmetallic brush and a bit of water should do the job. If it is a bit more than that, you can take a pail of soapy water to try to handle the grime. These ingredients should handle the dirtiest concrete floors.

Unsealed concrete floors

For unsealed floors, some stains can be fairly difficult to get out. For example, grease stains are one of the toughest to get rid of, and cat urine smell as well. One of the best ways to remove a grease stain is by taking a stiff, wire brush and scrubbing with hot soapy water.

This procedure, if done long enough and hard enough, should remove the grease spot from the concrete at least partially. If the stain is not grease-related, you can use a mixture of soapy water and ammonia to bleach the concrete into a state of shiny whiteness.

Sealed concrete floors

Sealed and polished floors are much easier to maintain. While they are usually stain-resistant, they can absorb stains if the stain is left on the concrete long enough. Because of this, be sure to wipe up spills quickly after they happen.

As long as you can do this, these floors are fairly easy to maintain. They basically need only a quick sweep and sometimes a mopping with soapy water to keep them in pristine condition.

To be sure that you are leaving no streaks of dirty water behind, wash your floor in small sections. Mop, rinse out the mop head, rinse, and repeat in the next section. Using this basic procedure will keep your floor streak-free and shiny.

Polished concrete floors

If you have a polished concrete floor, you can purchase special products that are designed to clean the floor and shine it in the same mopping pass. They eliminate the need to buff the floor and can easily help you cut down on time while keeping your floors looking fantastic.

If you decide not to use these kinds of products, you can always rent a high-speed buffer machine that will put the shine back on your floors with just a little extra effort.

Garage concrete floors

For garage floors, you will generally need to power-spray the floor after you have swept off all the dirt and debris. Most home improvement stores have garage floor cleaners that can be applied to get the floor as clean as possible.

If you have a pure concrete floor in your garage, you might want to read this article about different options for garage floors. I use my garage a lot for different projects and easy to clean surface is a must sometimes as oil and other chemicals really leave a mess.

Stained concrete floors

The first rule for maintenance of concrete stained floors is to make sure there is a walk-off mat or at least a mat to remove dirt and especially sand from the feet of all who enter your home or place or business.

The reason for this is that sand especially will scratch the surface of the concrete stained floors and the sealer used to protect the color and finish of the floor.

Other than that, the cleaning is pretty much the same as polished concrete as both of these should have a sealer on the surface. Then it doesn’t matter what’s below as the surface that matters is the top layer.

Best mop for concrete floors is most often microfiber

Extra steps to protect sealed concrete floors

Now the cleaning of concrete floors is really simple. Most often you just need a good mop and you’re ready to go. There is one more step that we can take to protect the surface itself.

Most of the concrete types here are sealed as indoor concrete should be. Polished concrete can be sealed as well, even with the already resistant surface, and stained concrete should be sealed as well to protect the stain.

To take it one step further, we can apply protection to the sealer so that it will be protected from dirt and other types of wearing.

Using acrylic floor finish or wax

The best method (and least costly in terms of time and expense) of protecting the sealer used is to apply two to three coats of acrylic floor finish to the sealer after the sealer has been applied during installation. There is also the option of using wax, but it needs a waxing machine.

Where this simple method of prevention has not adhered to you may see a very visible wear pattern on the floor. This may include scratching of the surface to even complete removal of the color from the floor.

Acrylic floor finishes are notoriously durable and easy to maintain. Several manufacturers recommend a paste wax for application to stained floors, but acrylic floor finish can be easier for a regular homeowner to apply as it can be done with a microfiber mop.

Some people also might not like the maintenance frequency or the results from the paste waxes.

As stated before, acrylic floor finishes are very easy to use; simply mop on with a finishing mop or microfiber mop. I have to admit I’m a bit lazy in things like this so it’s a solution that would work for me.

The frequency of reapplication really depends on the environment; in a home maybe twice a year and for a restaurant it could be once a quarter.

Whether you use paste wax or the easier method of acrylic floor finishes the benefits of simple maintenance go a long way to providing you with a floor to die for and keeping it in sparkling condition for many many years to come.


How to clean concrete floors varies based on the kind of floor that you have. Most floors look wonderful after a quick scrubbing with a simple soap and water mixture.

Sometimes a special product is needed to help out with extra stubborn stains or with grease spots; other times, a cleaner with extra buffing power may be just what you need to get that floor super shiny and super clean.

Also, to provide more protection it might be a good idea to have some protection on top of the sealer. It would depend on the decoration and style when it’s worth it to see the trouble, but with more expensive concrete floors – definitely.