10 Things You Never Knew About Cleaning Concrete

Home ownership comes with many responsibilities. Some of the upkeep tasks can be a bit perplexing, especially if you are a first time home owner. It will take some time to grasp the ropes of the routine tasks. One of the many jobs that comes with maintaining a house is keeping concrete in the best possible shape.

When people think of concrete, they most often think of a concrete driveway. While it’s true that cleaning a driveway may be the most common of concrete cleaning tasks, there are some other concrete cleaning jobs that may be more surprising. So, what do you need to know before setting out on the job?

Concrete is porous and can accumulate a surprising amount of dirt if homeowners do not clean it on a regular basis. It’s one of the most important things you can do: keep up with it! If you’re like a lot of us, it’s easy to procrastinate.

We’re here to help give you the tips you need, so you can get through these tasks in the most efficient manner possible. We’ve put together ten tips for getting your concrete as clean as possible.

Before you start your labor, you should consider the following suggestions:

#1 Upon starting to clean your driveway, it’s important to do the proper preparation. Obviously, it’s necessary to clear everything out of the way before you begin.

After clearing everything out of the way, evaluate if any of your surrounding plants need to be protected by a tarp and then cover accordingly. Nobody wants their plants harmed by chemicals!

Finally, be mindful of safety concerns. Ask yourself, are there any exposed electrical outlets? If so, make sure that they are properly covered. An electrical accident is the last thing you need when you are cleaning your driveway.

#2 It’s helpful to have the right equipment organized before you begin your concrete project. Some items you might need include safety goggles, a measuring cup, a dust pan, rubber gloves, garden hose, tank sprayer and rubber boots.

These are just a few suggestions as you decide how you will approach your particular concrete cleaning project. Being prepared cuts down on frustration in the long haul.

#3 The simplest way to clean your driveway is to use a bleach and water mix in a tank sprayer. Regular Tide detergent is also another tried and true product to use on a concrete driveway.

Make sure the area you are working on is thoroughly coated with your solution of choice and allow it to sit for 20 minutes. Once the time is up, use a long brush to scrub.

Make sure to scrub thoroughly and concentrate on working with the brush in an even manner, so the driveway doesn’t end up looking blotchy.

#4 Another important thing to remember is to wash away the solution with water before it begins to dry. Always use a high pressure nozzle if using a garden hose to rinse the solution off the driveway.

Pouring boiling water over the stain once it has soaked can also be helpful. Once the floor dries, take the time to inspect more closely and then do any necessary spot cleaning for the best outcome.

It’s important to take the necessary time in order to achieve the best possible results. Old stains may take several cleanings before seeing improvement.

#5 Another possible approach for oil stains is using very hot water in conjunction with an alkaline degreaser. The hot water lifts the oil from the driveway and the degreaser emulsifiers stains and grime.

Many professional cleaners prefer this method and most use at least a little bit of degreaser for a job. For rust stains, oxalic acid is most effective.

#6 Still not working on your tough stains? Do you need an even stronger approach? You might need to consider poultice to get the job done. Poultice is a combination of a liquid solvent and an absorbent powder.

Sprinkling cat litter or sawdust down can also help serve this purpose. The solvent is absorbed into the concrete and the powder draws out the unwanted dirt and grime.

#7 Cleaning paint from concrete can be difficult. The process is similar to stripping paint from wood. A methylene chloride–type stripper is recommended.

The fumes from this product can be harmful and it is critical to only use this product in a well-ventilated area. Let the stripper do most of the work, but it might be helpful to use a scraper while it is working on the paint.

#8 Concerned about toxic chemicals? As we get more knowledgeable about the effects of chemicals on our bodies and on the environment, more and more people are becoming committed to safer options.

There are a number of eco-friendly options. Some possibilities for cleaning solutions include using vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.

#9 Maybe you’re not into making your own natural cleaners, but you’d be willing to shell out the money to use products made by companies who are committed to using earth friendly ingredients.

#10 General maintenance tips: For more decorative concrete, a good sealant is always advisable. It helps with prolonging the life of the concrete and it also enhances the aesthetic appeal.

Also, in areas that are frequently walked upon, it may be helpful to lay down floor mats to reduce wear and tear on the concrete floor.

Knowing the basics of concrete cleaning and maintenance and regularly tending to these duties will definitely improve the look of your concrete and it will also save you time and money in the long run.

If you’ve invested time and money already, why wouldn’t you want to do everything you can to extend the lifespan of your concrete.

Whether it is the more functional kind or the more decorative kind of concrete, it’s a smart investment of time and money. We hope that your home looks even better as a result of these ten tips. Best of luck on your endeavors!

Assigned category: Concrete Service

About the Author:

Laura Bierman is a home improvement enthusiast, who has been in the industry for more than 15 years. Her passion is to share her expertise through writing on a wide range of home improvement topics. Laura is a director of editorial content and an Editor-in-Chief at YouthfulHome.com, a rapidly-growing, North American homeowner and contractor portal.