Instead of using harsh chemical cleaners to wash up a concrete floor, patio or driveway, make your own safer version from borax, dish soap, washing soda and water. This homemade formula is powerful enough to scrub away basic dirt and grime, as well as lift greasy stains from the concrete.
Homemade Concrete Cleaner Recipe
Before cleaning the concrete, sweep it to remove loose dirt and debris, whether dealing with an indoor or outdoor area. If indoors, move lightweight objects off the concrete, if possible, for more efficient cleaning.
Things You'll Need
Bucket or wide container
Liquid dish soap or powdered dishwasher detergent
Large spoon or clean paint stirrer
Mop or stiff-bristled push broom
Step 1: Fill Container With Water
Fill a bucket with one gallon of water. If using a broom instead of a mop to clean the concrete, pour the water into a container wide enough to dip the broom into instead.
Step 2: Add Dry Ingredients
Add 1/2 cup each of borax and washing soda to the bucket of water.
Step 3: Add Soap
Mix in one tablespoon of liquid dish soap or two tablespoons powdered dishwasher detergent. Use a large spoon or clean paint stirrer to blend the ingredients thoroughly.
Step 4: Clean the Concrete
Clean the concrete surface by dipping a mop or stiff-bristled push broom into the liquid, then applying it to the concrete. A mop should be used only on smooth, non-textured concrete such as a basement floor. Use a shop broom for textured or rough concrete, such as a patio, walkway or driveway. A shop broom doubles as a scrubber when you clean the concrete. For badly stained areas, scrub them first with a stiff-bristled hand brush and the homemade cleaner.
Step 5: Rinse the Concrete
Rinse the soapy residue away by wiping the area again with a mop or broom dipped into clean water, or by hosing off outdoor concrete.
If the concrete suffers from rust spots, rub half a lemon over them or pour on a little lemon juice. Rinse the lemon juice way after it sits on the stained area at least 30 minutes or so. If the spot remains, rub the area with lemon again, sprinkle baking soda over it, then scrub it with a scrub brush. Rinse the spot after 30 minutes give or take a few minutes.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.