Stained concrete floors can give lasting beauty to a room, but homeowners may be confused about the best way to maintain the appearance of concrete floors. Cleaning methods that work on plain concrete can affect the color, durability or design on stained concrete, so homeowners should be careful when cleaning these types of floors.
Concrete is porous, and stains should be removed quickly so that they don't soak in and permanently stain the floor. Cleaning products can also affect the look of stained or colored concrete, so use the appropriate cleaning product. For grease stains, pour baking soda over the area and allow it to absorb the stain, then use a cleaner meant for grease. Dirt, rust or mold stains can be removed by scrubbing, and steam cleaning can remove other surface stains.
Basic Cleaning Methods
Concrete floors can be cleaned by mechanical, chemical or steam cleaning. Mechanical cleaning involves a brush and an abrasive cleaner to scour the surface of the floor. Chemical cleaners are formulated for concrete, but use only products that are rated for colored or treated concrete. Steam cleaning can power away stains on the surface of concrete floors as well as disinfect concrete, though floors should always be thoroughly dried afterward.
Regular Cleaning Methods
For regular cleaning, concrete floors don't need elaborate cleaning methods. Water and a brush is usually sufficient to remove most everyday grime or stains. Cleaning products for everyday cleaning of concrete floors include ammonia, vinegar and liquid soap. A long-handled brush is best for working cleaning products into the floor. When cleaning stained concrete, always start with a mild soap and water. If this is not sufficient, then use soap and ammonia.
Sealing Concrete Floors
Home improvement stores sell clear sealing products for concrete that can provide a smooth finish and extra durability to colored or stained concrete floors. Homeowners can also seal colored concrete using regular floor wax. Once concrete is clean and dry, apply an even coat of floor wax and allow it to soak in overnight. Apply floor wax two or three times after cleaning, and then reapply biannually to maintain.