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How to clean concrete floors with vinegar and baking soda
Many of us have stained concrete floors because they look great in our houses. However, how to clean them isn’t always obvious. The steps for cleaning stained concrete floors with vinegar are as follows:
Use a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and warm water to clean discoloured concrete floors. However, undiluted vinegar can be used to remove difficult stains, and baking soda can be mixed with vinegar for moderate cleaning and whitening. If not wiped off right away, undiluted vinegar can etch the concrete. It’s not always easy to know what to use when it comes to cleaning. This is especially true of floors that have been sealed with a water-based sealant or that have been waxed.
Maintenance of Concrete Floors
To keep concrete floors in good repair, they should be cleaned at least once a year. Remove any items from the area before you begin—if it’s an outside patio, this includes all potted plants, furniture, and ornamental items. To guarantee that your procedure will not create any more discoloration or damage to your concrete, perform a spot test in an inconspicuous area.
Cleaning a concrete floor in your basement may require transferring everything from one side of the room to the other and then switching back to complete the work.
Before commencing the cleaning procedure, inspect your flooring for cracks or chips and make any required repairs.
Concrete Cleaning Procedures
You’ll need a broom, a leaf blower, or a vacuum cleaner.
- Nylon brush, stiff
- Bottle for spraying
- Vinegar, white
- Soda (baking)
- Detergent for laundry
- Protective eyewear
- Use a pressure washer
Step 1: Clean Up Any Loose Dirt or Debris
With one exception: if you have a mould or mildew problem in your basement, sweep or vacuum loose dirt from the surface of your concrete. To deal with these potential household toxins, follow the steps outlined below.
Remove and treat any weeds that have invaded crevices while cleaning a patio or driveway.
Step 2: Treat Stains on the Spot
Spot-treating stains with liquid laundry detergent and water is one of the most cost-effective methods. Pour the soap directly into the stain; scrub the area with a stiff nylon brush (avoid wire-bristle brushes as metal can harm the concrete), rinse with water, and allow to dry.
Step 3: If necessary, repeat the process
If the stain persists, add a boost of white vinegar and water, or baking soda and water, to your cleaning solution and attack the stain again, rinsing it thoroughly.
Step 4: Enlist the Services of a Power Washer
Use a pressure washer if the discoloration remains. You may purchase attachments to turn your garden hose into a power washer or rent one from a hardware shop. If you rent a machine, gradually increase the pressure as needed to avoid damaging the concrete. Remember to put on your safety goggles and protect your windows, plants, and other valuables from the water pressure.
Follow this guide for more specialized concrete stains:
If a stain persists, add additional baking soda (if you don’t have any, use powdered laundry detergent) and scrub the spot with a nylon brush and a small amount of water. If the oil stain is old or has permeated the surface, use a degreaser and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to help remove any remaining grease stains.
Removing rust stains from concrete, even those that are decade’s old, using white vinegar and a little brushing is a very successful and eco-friendly method. If a stain persists, add additional baking soda (if you don’t have any, use powdered laundry detergent) and scrub the spot with a nylon brush and a small amount of water. If the oil stain is old or has permeated the surface, use a degreaser and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to help remove any remaining grease stains.
Then, using clean water, thoroughly cleanse the area. Allow to dry before repeating if necessary. If the stain remains, an industry choice for eliminating rust stains from concrete floors is Singerman Laboratories’ Concrete Rust Remover.
Mold, mildew, and water stains
Cleaning mould or mildew-infested concrete floors in a basement is not the same as cleaning a mold-infested concrete patio. If you have a mould or mildew problem on your basement floor, don’t sweep it up—you’ll disperse mould spores all over the place, making the situation worse.
While cleaning, open any windows and allow fresh air to flow. Scrub the issue area using a brush and a solution of mold-killing detergent and water (or a combination of bleach and water if you’re not concerned about discoloration), then rinse with a clean wet mop.
Examine the area once it’s totally dry to see whether you need to repeat the process.
Use a hose or pressure washer to remove water, mould, or mildew stains from concrete patios and driveways. If the stains continue, make a solution of one-quarter bleach to one gallon hot water and scrub the area with a brush, making sure to wet down neighboring foliage first to avoid runoff damage.
Concrete Stains That Refuse To Go Away
There are a handful of last-resort solutions to be aware of before calling in a pro or scraping the concrete in a final effort to erase stains: Trisodium Phosphate with Muriatic Acid (TSP).
Muriatic acid should only be used with extreme caution because it can inflict severe burns and harm your skin, eyes, and lungs permanently.
Use a sealant to protect your floors.
If you have an unsealed concrete floor, you’ve already exposed it to the possibility of harm. Sealed concrete floors are easier to clean and do not retain water as effectively as unsealed concrete floors. Your floors will be more resistant to stains, corrosion, and mildew growth if you apply a sealer to them.
A paint roller is one method of applying sealant. To provide a smooth, equal finish, roll the roller along the cement flooring.