How to clean unsealed Concrete Floors

How To Clean Unsealed Concrete Floors? [Useful Tips]

The unsealed concrete floors have been around for quite a while, from strictly garage floorings to driveway. With attractive designs and patterns, people now consider them suitable for flooring their homes. The durability and easy-care properties can be why people prefer to use unsealed concrete to make countertops and floors look stylish.

However, they are porous and prone to stains, especially mildew, grease, rust, mold, and even beverage spills. Since most of us don't consider the unsealed concrete-floored areas, those unfinished basements, garages, sidewalks, and basements as part of the main areas, we also don't regularly clean them.

The unsealed concrete surfaces may be difficult to clean, but instead of continually neglecting those floors, you can carry out this task and get it done with some simple cleaning routines.

How can you clean unsealed concrete floors?

textured concrete floor

Even though the unsealed concrete floor surface is not prone to lots of physical damage, it quickly absorbs liquid and becomes stained. Most stains require the first job to work the stain off the surface before completely eradicating it. Cleaning as often as once a week can also help you reduce old stains before they become permanent.

There are different options and ways you can clean unsealed concrete floors. You only need to consider the type of stain or reason for the cleaning to achieve the right outcome. With the following outlined process, you can clean your unsealed concrete floors.

 Before we proceed, here are the things you will most likely need:
  • Sawdust
  • Dust mop
  • Push broom
  • Vacuum
  • Mop
  • Mop bucket
  • Towel
  • Powdered dish detergent

Sprinkle sawdust on the surface

Sprinkle sawdust on the surface

To get the stain off faster, you should begin by sprinkling sawdust on the floor. This is even more effective when oil or grease stain creates spots on your floor. When the sawdust has been distributed evenly, you should let it sit for up to 12 hours such that it sucks up the oil-based and grease stain thoroughly.

For this step, you can set a timer. This is an excellent way to get stains that are soaked and causing coloration out of the surface of unsealed concrete. You can also skip this step if you do not have stains of this sort.

Sweep with a broom

Sweep with a broom

After the elapsed 12 hour wait time, you can use a study push brush to sweep the sawdust off the floor. This process removes the loose dirt off the concrete floor and prepares it for vacuuming, mopping, or other steps. It's better to do the sweeping right. Even if you have skipped the first step of spreading sawdust, sweeping breaks up large particles or grits on the concrete and simplifies the cleaning job.

Dust mop or vacuum the floor?

vacuum the concrete floor

Sometimes, the stain spot remains visible, requiring vacuuming or dust mop to eradicate the stain and keep it looking good. This step takes out all the leftover fine dirt particles and grits off the floor. While vacuuming, you should use a suitable brush attachment for a thorough cleaning process.

Remember that you may have less oil and grease dirt, but the dirt stain spots may still be visible even at this point. You need to proceed to the next and ensure all the stains are gone.

Use Detergent and Water

Detergent and Water

While some stains are easy to come off, others require more work. Some spots need moistening with water and the application of detergent to the surface of the floor. Pour the water directly on the stains and let the detergent sit on the floor for at least one hour for proper penetration.

The properties of the detergent are powerful enough to break down and remove the stains. It makes the oil and grease stains easier to come off.

Scrub spots with a brush and boiled water

Scrub spots with a brush

A further step you can take is to pour boiling water on the stained spots and scrub to get the stains left out. Scrubbing allows the brush to get through the tiny openings and access the porous surface of the unsealed concrete floors to eliminate the stains. It's not extremely necessary to brush so hard, but you can do it thoroughly.

Use baking soda solution, then mop

Use baking soda solution, then mop

Get 2 ounces of baking soda and pour into one gallon of hot water in a mop bucket. Mix the solution rightly and dip the mop into the solution and clean off the residue from the step above. Clean the entire floor and repeat this process until every area has been touched.

Rinse and dry!

Finally, use a clean cloth or dry towel to wipe the surface of the floor. Then leave it to dry correctly.

How to clean unsealed concrete floors inside the home?

Inside the home, food stains or beverages may be found on your unsealed concrete floors. You should go ahead and prepare a mixture of one quart of water and two or three tablespoons of dishwashing soap. When the combination is proper, dip a brush into the solution and scrub the concrete surface.

If the food stain is too oily, you can pour the mixture over it to sit in for some hours and scrub the surface until you see no more spots left. You should rinse the surface with clean water.

Your case may not be food stains. It would be best if you began by taking out as much dust as possible with a stiff broom, even for routine cleaning. Clear up the large particle while it's still dry. Proceed to use a shop vac to clean up any residue or debris to suck out the debris from the cracks and catch all the finer dust. It will also take out all the cobwebs that could have been formed in the home. It's now you should add water to clean and dry thoroughly.

You can even do a better job with cleaning agents like trisodium phosphate, vinegar, or cornstarch. Just choose the appropriate one to treat the specific type of stain for the area. Regardless of your cleaner agent choice, it would be best if you allowed the floor to dry thoroughly. You have to be sure your home is well ventilated to avoid irritation. You can also use a stiff brush to scrub out stubborn stains like oil, grease, rust, or efflorescence.

How to clean unsealed concrete floors outside?

unsealed concrete floors outside

Cleaning the unsealed concrete floors outside is almost the same as cleaning the ones indoor. There are only a few differences.

Clean water can be applied using a water hose and brush to scrub the stained surface. The hose releases a tremendous amount of pressure that can soften and break up coloration on your floors and make it easy to clean out.

Difficult stains may require a mop and heavy commercial duty concrete floor cleaner as a better alternative. This way, you are sure that all the tough stains are out of your floors.

While some spots pile up several stains, the pressure cleaner is suitable for this sort of removal.

How to clean stained or painted concrete floors?

stained or painted concrete floors

The main point you need to have while cleaning painted concrete floors is to avoid using harsh or acidic cleaners that can damage the finish.

Some of the supplies you may need include:

  • Dust mop
  • Vacuum
  • Mild all-purpose cleaner
  • Water
  • Bucket

Now, your first move should be to sweep the surface of the concrete floors to clear away any large pieces of debris. Next, you should use a microfiber cloth or other dust-catching cloth to get every stray bit of hair or dust your broom may have missed. For a perfect job, go over the entire surface with a dust mop or vacuum to remove the soils or surface grit that can scratch the painted surface.

You should now proceed to mix a cleaning solution of warm water and your mild cleanser or all-purpose cleaner in a bucket. With a slightly damp microfiber mop, damp the cleaning solution, but ensure you are not s excessive such that you break down the paint and cause it to peel.

After cleaning, do not forget to rinse and let it dry. With plain water, remove the soapy residues and let it air-dry.

Can I use vinegar to clean unsealed concrete floors?

vinegar to clean unsealed concrete floors

Of course, you can use vinegar to clean unsealed concrete floors. But you should avoid using full-strength vinegar since it can cause stains that you might have to avoid dealing with later. Dilute your vinegar with water and mix the solution adequately such that the water and vinegar are of equal parts.

After preparing the solution, you can apply it with a scrubbing brush and leave it to sit and penetrate the floor surface. Then you can now clean the solution off with a clean cloth dipped in warm water.

 Also, you can mix baking powder with your vinegar solution to help you whiten the floor. The baking soda also plays the role of a neutralizer and helps reduce the chemical concentration. Because of its lack of toxic emission properties, vinegar is a great cleaning agent and even more remarkable than other products.