Drawing on concrete driveways with colorful chalk and washing it away eventually at the end of the day could be one of our most vivid memories of our childhood. So often, we rode down those concrete driveways on our bicycles or gathered our friends to play after school. Driveways hold a special place in our hearts and our childhoods.
Driveways, like cement pavements, tend to get worn out over time. As much as we would want them to look as good as they looked when they were first put into place, the stains and spills over them degrade the overall appeal of the concrete. There are several ways to clean up the concrete and make it look as good as possible. It is a concern to keep the concrete looking as good as possible throughout the passing years and wearing down. Like any other surface, concretes can be cleaned and turned new using the right cleaning agents.
A good cleaner for concrete is a specialized product that is designed specifically for use on concrete surfaces. It is formulated to remove dirt, stains, and other contaminants from concrete surfaces and restore the concrete’s original appearance. Cleaner for concrete are typically liquid and can be applied using a mop, brush, or pressure washer. Some concrete cleaners may also be available in powder or gel form.
Concrete cleaners may contain various ingredients, such as surfactants, solvents, and acids, designed to penetrate and break down dirt, stains, and other contaminants on the concrete surface. Many concrete cleaners are also formulated to be biodegradable, and some do not contain harmful chemicals, making them safe for the environment. Using concrete cleaners can help maintain the appearance and condition of concrete surfaces, making them look clean and attractive for long periods.
To begin with, there will be several things that you will need to start with the whole cleaning process. A broom, dustpan, mop, bucket, scrub brush (not metallic), spray bottle, gloves, and cat litter are a few things that you will need to begin the whole process. Although, keep in mind using a scrub brush to remove the stains from your concrete gently. A metallic brush can break off some metal bits that can rust over time and stain your concrete even more badly.
Consider these some of the essentials you might need to start the whole cleaning process, and while the use of these may vary at different times and with different kinds of stains, most of these tools will come in handy. It starts with the standard cleaning process, such as sweeping the area and ensuring that no loose debris or trash lying on the surface is cleaned.
If there is any liquid on your concrete, be it grease, oil, wine, etc., you can pour some cat litter or baking soda on top of it and let it soak up all that extra moisture and liquid. Once the cat litter or baking soda has soaked up all the liquid, you can sweep up and dispose of it. The process of cleaning your concrete then follows.
There are several concrete cleaning products that you can use to bring back that beautiful and clean concrete you first installed.
Detergent Washing Away Your Stains
Detergents are often found lying around in our homes. They can be best used for cleaning up smaller grease or oil stains. You can pair stronger detergents with water and use a brush and sponge to clean up those stains in no time. As much as detergent may seem tedious and old-fashioned, it can be a quick and easy fix to those stains.
Soda Bubbling Away Those Marks
Do you love fizzy and bubbly sodas? Well, there is so much more to those fizzling sodas. As crazy as it may sound, these can be used to remove grease stains. Carbonated water or carbonic acid, Phosphoric acid, and Citric acid in the soda make all the magic happen. All these working together help tackle the grease and stains on your concrete floor. Our favorite drink, coke, is one of the best options for this method, but you can look at the ingredients list on any other soda, and if it contains any of these, then it is also good to go.
So how does this cool fizzy drink tackle stubborn grease stains on the concrete? It is pretty simple. Start by pouring the soda on the stains and letting it sit for 15-30 mins. Remember that the older the stain, the longer you let the soda sit. Then, follow that up with scrubbing and mopping away the rest. You won’t need to put much pressure in most cases since the coke would’ve already done its job.
Cleaner For Concrete And Degreaser All The Way
Concentrated alkaline soap is one of the main ingredients in concrete cleaners and degreasers. They help break down the oil grease, making it one of the easiest ways to eliminate such stains. But mind you, they don’t work as well on older stains. Concrete stained for a long time becomes difficult to clean using this method. This method works rather best on more porous concrete.
Kitchen Ingredients Like Vinegar and Baking Soda Come to the Rescue
There are so many great cleaning options that can be natural and found right in your kitchen. Vinegar and baking soda can be the best natural cleaners that are cost-effective and efficient at their job. Remember that these are great natural cleaners but have been proven toxic for plants. If the concrete patio, driveway, or sidewalk you plan to clean is surrounded by plants and flowers, be mindful of this one thing.
All you have to do is fill a spray bottle with equal parts water, vinegar, water, baking soda, and a little liquid dish detergent. Spray this homemade concrete cleaner mix on your concrete surface with stains and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Follow this by scrubbing and rinsing. This is an easy DIY cleaner for concrete and can be made with things that you can find in your home even right now!
Bleach Those Stains Away
This is another hidden gem from the household that can come to the rescue if you have larger areas to clean. Bleach is a strong cleaning agent that serves the purpose of not only giving your concrete a good clean but also helping kill bacteria simultaneously. This is your best shot if you want to clean a larger area at once.
The process is rather simpler and hassle-free. Start by filling a bucket with warm water and add ¾ cup bleach. Use this and start mopping your concrete. Once you cover all the areas you’re planning on cleaning, let the bleach solution sit for a few minutes. After a few minutes, use a bucket with plain water and mop up the bleach solution clean. Be sure to wear gloves, take all precautions, and not mix bleach with other cleaners. It is a powerful cleaner and must not be mixed with other cleaning products for whatever reasons.
What All to Keep in Mind to Choose the Best Cleaner for Concrete
Like any other surface that would need cleaning in the home, concrete and pavements need cleaning as per the kind of stains, how old they were, and where they are. Based on these things, you can choose what concrete cleaner to use. Different concrete cleaners are supposed to work differently on different stains. Here are a few things to remember while picking a concrete cleaner. Analyze the area you plan to clean based on these few criteria, and then make your choice;
Type of Stain
Different kinds of stains can be found on concrete floors. Their presence outdoors makes them far more prone to getting spoiled and stained over time. There are different stains, therefore, that require different approaches too.
Biological stains, or natural stains, are caused by living organisms such as mold, moss, and algae. They can be distinguished as very obvious green streaks, film, or cushiony growth over a broad area on concrete surfaces. They mostly develop on those parts of the concrete that stay damp and repeatedly come in contact with water or moisture. This can be a visible problem in humid areas that are almost present yearly. In such a case, the best way is to have an immediately acting, long-lasting solution.
These cases often get recommendations for several home remedies in case you don’t want to use any heavy concrete cleaning machine, hire professional concrete cleaners or use strong chemicals. Scrubbing with bleach or white vinegar is often recommended as a DIY solution, but another way to do the same is by hiring commercial cleaners.
They will not only get the job done faster but also do it more detailed and thoroughly, preventing regrowth. Another kind of stain found on concrete flooring can be spills and leaks. Hydrocarbons, motor oils, cleaners, paint, and solvents can cause stubborn concrete stains. Unlike others, these products penetrate the porous surface of the concrete and cause tougher stains to get rid of. Be sure to choose a cleaner recommended for use on the particular spilled product. If one uses a cleaner that is too mild or too chemically strong for the concrete, you might either not get satisfactory results or wear out your concrete too much.
Type of Cleaner for Concrete
As mentioned earlier, the kind of stain affects the cleaner you must use. To choose the right cleaner for concrete, you must first know how all the different cleaners work and what range of stain removal they offer. Most concrete cleaners use pH-neutral, alkaline, or acidic formulas to lift stains chemically and break them down. Since concrete is made with lime, an alkaline component, its surface and stains must be neutralized and cleaned after using an acid cleaner.
Enzyme and bacteria-based cleaners use biochemical reactions to digest or degrade chemical pollutants into inert substances. pH-neutral cleaners are often used to clean sealed concrete surfaces indoors without dirt. They can also be used on concrete indoors or out if the concrete needs a mild cleaning only.
On the other hand, an alkaline concrete cleaner is a powerful degreaser designed to remove burned oil, tar, soot, grease, and other petroleum-based stains that are considered rather difficult to remove and are heavy duty concrete cleaner. An acid concrete cleaner is made with hydrochloric acid or phosphoric acid that directly reacts with the concrete surface. It is mainly used keeping in efflorescence, hard water stains, and other kinds of scaly mineral salt buildup.
Cleaners for concrete generally come in two forms; either liquid or dry. Most liquid concrete cleaners are used to remove biological or mineral stains. They are typically chemical-based or enzyme-based cleaners that come in ready-to-use formulations. They’re fast, convenient, and economical and often come in the form of concentrates, which must be diluted with water before being used.
On the other hand, dry concrete cleaners are made to separate hydrocarbon stains from the surface of the concrete and absorb liquids. Bacterial cleaners are applied dry, and they get activated when they come into contact with hydrocarbons and consume the remnants of the stain until it is gone. It can be a rather slow process, but it is as effective.
The Amount of Time It Takes
The amount of time it could take to clean concrete is very subjective. It could take as little as a minute or as many days. Natural stains such as algae and mold are relatively easier to clean than deep-set hydrocarbon stains, which must be cleaned using an enzyme or bacterial cleaner. Those take way more time, are strong outdoor concrete cleaners and cause a progressive cleaning process. The cleaner for concrete that you are to use and the stains highly define how long it will take to deal with them.
Cleaner for concrete are specialized cleaning products designed specifically for use on concrete surfaces. They help restore the original appearance of concrete surfaces, making them look clean and new again. Concrete patios can be the highlight of some homes and if taken care of, can be kept as beautiful for years and years to come.