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Cleaning Stained Concrete

Compared with other types of flooring, especially carpet, stained concrete floors are a breeze to clean. They have no fibers, grout lines, or crevices to trap dirt, and when protected with a sealer, they resist stains and abrasion. However, concrete floors aren't completely maintenance free, and you’ll need to clean the surface regularly to keep it looking its best. For exterior stained concrete, you may also need to reseal the surface every year or so to protect the stain from wear and to keep the color vibrant (see How to Protect Stained Concrete).

How often you will need to clean and reseal depends on how much wear and tear your stained concrete is exposed to. For example, a floor in a residential setting (such as a living room) is likely to take less abuse than one in a busy retail store. Here are some other general guidelines:

  • To clean interior concrete floors. Dry dust mopping and occasional wet mopping with a neutral-pH cleaner will keep your floors looking great. For floors that need deeper cleaning to remove stains, try using a stronger soap or a solution of soap plus ammonia. If your stained floor begins to loose its luster or shine, rewaxing will usually revive the appearance. In high-traffic areas, you may also need to reapply the sealer. Talk with your concrete contractor or stain manufacturer for recommendations about the best type of cleaning and sealing products to use on your floor.
  • To clean exterior stained concrete. Keep the surface clean by sweeping it with a broom or leaf blower or rinsing with a garden hose. To remove stubborn dirt, scrub with a mop or medium-bristle brush and a mild cleaner. To keep exterior surfaces protected, apply a new coat of sealer every year or two, or as necessary.

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