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How To Clean Basement Concrete Floor

How To Clean Basement Concrete Floor

Concrete is the common flooring type used in the basement. It is the best option for any surface in your space because of its sturdy construction and durability.

However, stains, rust, and mold easily harm its porous nature. Ignoring these problems could seriously endanger your family’s health. As a result, it is advised that you regularly clean the floor of your basement.

Different cleaning techniques are used depending on the type of concrete basement floor and the stains present on it. Because basement surfaces like sealed floors are made of stain-resistant sealant, they do not require additional elbow grease. If the concrete floor is unsealed, you must use a harsh cleaning agent and equipment to ensure it is clean.

How To Clean Basement Concrete Floor

Cleaning the basement floor from time to time is important to ensure its durability. Sweep the floor regularly or weekly to keep it intact. But the cleaning procedure depends upon the stains you are dealing with and the type of concrete floor installed in the basement. 

Precautions To Take Before Cleaning the Concrete Basement Floor

  • On sealed concrete floors, avoid harsh cleaning agents like trisodium phosphate, bleach, muriatic acid, ammonia, alcohol, and other harmful chemical cleaning methods.
  • Do not mix bleach, ammonia, and trisodium phosphate.
  • Ventilate the basement if you are using a flammable cleaning agent.
  • Wear rubber gloves, goggles, and a mask while using harsh chemicals for safety.
  • Do not use ammonia and bleach if you have asthma and other respiratory issues.
  • Keep the harmful chemicals out of reach of children and pets.
  • Avoid using a pressure washer on sealed concrete.
  • It is recommended not to use a met bristled brush, as it can cause rust stains on concrete.
  • Always mix acid to water; never water to acid while making an acidic mixture.

Tools Needed

  • Vacuum
  • Broom
  • Mop
  • Bucket 
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Pressure washer
  • Scraper 

Method Specific Materials

  • Baking soda
  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Muriatic acid
  • Soapy water
  • Paint stripper
  • White distilled vinegar 
  • Bleach
  • Ammonia

Preparing the Basement Concrete Floor

Before cleaning the concrete floor thoroughly, move the furniture, boxes, upholstery, and other equipment into your basement. Sweep or vacuum the dust and debris from the surface. Rinse the floor with hot water and let it sit until it dries. In case of fresh stains, address them as soon as possible. 

Cleaning Sealed and Polished Concrete Basement Floor

Cleaning Sealed and Polished Concrete Basement Floor

Sealed concrete floors are stain-resistant surfaces that do not need extra cleaning. Up to date, regular cleaning of concrete floor can help the surface last longer. 

Caution: Do not use harsh chemicals like trisodium phosphate, ammonia, bleach, and other harmful chemicals on sealed or polished concrete floors. These chemicals can harm the coat and damage the sealant of the floor.

Steps:

  1. Clear the area and vacuum dust and debris from the surface.
  2. Make a mixture of warm water and mild detergent in a bucket.
  3. Dip the mop into the bucket and wring it properly.
  4. Start mopping the basement floor in a small section.
  5. Keep replacing the water in between the cleaning process.
  6. Use a soft-bristled brush and soapy water to wipe off stubborn stains.
  7. Rinse the whole corners and edges with clean water.
  8. Let the space completely air dry.


You can also use baking soda and water mixture to clean the stain. Baking soda is a safe cleaning agent that won’t damage the protective coat of the sealed and polished surfaces.

Unsealed Basement Concrete Floor Maintenance

Unsealed Basement Concrete Floor Maintenance

Unsealed concrete floors are not protected by special coating. The concrete floor is easily subjected to stain and moisture damage without the sealant. 

Therefore, using special tools like pressure washers and harsh chemicals to clean stains from unsealed basement floors is okay. You will also need extra elbow grease to clean the unsealed concrete surface properly. 

Trisodium phosphate is a harsh chemical that dissolves easily in water. TSP is a strong degreaser that can eliminate stubborn stains like mold and grease. 

Utilize the pressure washer with TSP, and you will get the best result on your basement floor. You can rent or buy the pressure washer in hardware stores if you don’t own one. Use a garden hose if a pressure washer is not available. 

Steps:

  1. Prepare the basement floor by removing furniture and sweeping the dust and debris from the basement surface.
  2. Utilize the pressure washer to wet the whole floor.
  3. Spray TSP on every corner and edge of the basement floor.
  4. By using a nylon brush, scrub the stain away from the floor.
  5. Power hose the floor with clean water once again.
  6. Repeat the process until the surface is clean.

Eliminating Different Stains From Basement Concrete Floor

Removing Mold and Mildew

Removing Mold and Mildew

You can utilize bleach solutions on unsealed concrete floors. Bleach can eliminate harsh stains like mold and mildew from the basement. It also assists in abolishing the smell in the basement. Prepare the necessary equipment like a bucket full of water, bleach, a spray bottle, and a nylon scrubbing brush.

Steps:

  1. Mix a few drops of bleach in a gallon of water. You can put the solution in the spray bottle.
  2. Spray the solution into the affected areas.
  3. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the stain.
  4. Mop the floor with clean water.
  5. Let the area air dry completely.

Alternatively, you can spray the bleaching powder to abolish mold from the basement floor. Spray the bleaching powder all over the wet basement area and let it sit for a day. The next day, use a broom or vacuum to collect the powder. Finish off by mopping the floor and letting it dry. For future prevention, install a dehumidifier to avoid mold and mildew in the space. 

Abolishing Efflorescence Stains

The stained white powder in your basement forms when soluble salts evaporate on the concrete floor. The water leaks from pipes, and sewage can leave salt behind. 

You can scrub the stain with the help of a stiff brush. Loosen up all the residue and mop the whole area with clean water. You can also utilize soapy water to clean the surface. Lastly, wipe the powder away using a clean rag.

Eliminate Tire Stains

Eliminate Tire Stains

You can use a soapy water mixture to wipe off mild tire stains in the basement. For the stubborn tire mark stain on concrete, you can use muriatic acid to vanish the stain. Use proper gear like rubber gloves, masks, and long-sleeved clothes to be safe.

Steps: 

  1. Wet the floor using clean water.
  2. Mix 1 part of muriatic acid and four parts of water in a bucket.
  3. With the solution, scrub the damaged area with a stiff brush.
  4. Mop the floor with clean water afterward.
  5. Let the area air dry completely.

Grease Stains Removing

Grease Stains Removing

The grease can sometimes penetrate the concrete floor surface. If the grease stain is fresh, use soap and water to clean the surface. You can as well purchase a commercial degreaser to eliminate the grime or oil on concrete. You can opt for an ammonia solution for dried grease that has penetrated the surface too deep.

Steps:

  1. Sweep or vacuum the floor from dust and debris.
  2. Make a mixture of 1 quarter of ammonia, warm water, and a few drops of dish soap in a bucket.
  3. With the solution, scrub the grease stain using a stiff brush.
  4. Mop the floor to eliminate the ammonia residue. 
  5. Repeat the process until the stain is gone. 
  6. Allow the whole air to dry completely.

Rust Stains Elimination

Rust Stains Elimination

Rust is one of the stubborn stains that can be tough to deal with in the basement. You will need an acid-based cleaner to eliminate the rust from concrete. Use lemon juice and vinegar mixture that you can easily find in your threshold. 

Steps to remove rust stain with vinegar or lemon:

  1. Clear the surface from dust and debris.
  2. Pour the undiluted lemon juice or white vinegar on the surface.
  3. Let the solution sit for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Scrub the damaged area with a stiff brush.
  5. Wipe or rinse the area with clean water.

This method only works if the stain has not penetrated the concrete surface. You must choose harsher options like oxalic acid and trisodium phosphate to remove tough rust stains. It is recommended not to use these chemicals without proper gear. Ventilate the space while using it. Make sure to keep it away from the reach of children and pets.

Cleaning Paint Stains

Clean Paint Stains

Fresh paint stains are relatively easy to remove from concrete. Place a wet towel on the paint and scrape it with a scraper. If the paint has dried, you have to opt for harsher solutions. You can purchase chemical paint strippers from the hardware stores. Make sure to buy the product according to the paint spilled on the concrete surface. There are water-based and oil-based paint strippers. Follow the below steps to remove paint stains from concrete.

Steps:

  1. Apply the paint stripper onto the dried paint.
  2. Let it sit for 4-24 hours until the paint softens.
  3. Scrape the paint out using a scraper.
  4. Re-apply the product if residue remains.
  5. Use a pressure washer or a hose to clean the surface.
  6. Let it air dry completely.

Alternatively, you can apply 1 ounce of trisodium phosphate and a cup of water into a container. Spread the paste on the stain and let it dry for a day. Scrape it after and hose it down with a pressure washer. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Disinfect a Basement Concrete Floor?

After eliminating stains and cleaning the basement concrete floor. It makes sense to decontaminate the concrete floor for further protection.

Steps: 

  1. Mix 1 cup of bleach in one-gallon water.
  2. Use a mop and dip it into the solution.
  3. String the mop, start mopping from one corner and slowly cover the basement surface.
  4. Allow the floor to dry finally.

You can also use dish soap and water to disinfect the concrete floor. Clean the used mops and rags right after the cleaning process. You can purchase various disinfectant sprays and liquids to disinfect the concrete surfaces.

How Can I Make My Basement Concrete Floor Shine?

Concrete floors are sealed when first installed. You can seal them again if it has lost their shine. You can use acrylic, epoxy, polyurethane, or siloxane sealer. Each one of these sealers has its benefits and needs. Read the manufacturer’s instructions before applying sealer on the concrete floor.