Many constructions have concrete floors in the basements. This type of floor is typically original, and we rarely maintain it to widen our living area. But have you ever wondered how to clean a concrete basement floor?
You may consider that the cement basement floor’s maintenance is at a low level; however, that does not mean you don’t need to take care of it. You don’t usually have to wash the concrete floor, such as wood floors or carpets, but the concrete floors still have some maintenance to pass the challenge of time.
This article will help you know how to clean cement basement floor, the reason for cleaning cement floor, the best cleaning products, the avoidance chemistries, and other involved things to keep your basement floor fresh and sparkling.
And now, let’s read and check the table content for the article about how to clean a basement floor.
- Reasons For Cleaning Cement Floor In The Basement
- Necessary Things For Clean Concrete Floor In Basement
- 6 Steps How To Clean Concrete Floor In Basement
- The Recommended Cleaning Products
- The Avoidance Chemistries
- Protect And Maintain Cement Floors
- Frequently Questions
Reasons For Cleaning Cement Floor In The Basement
Before you know how to clean concrete floor in basement, you should understand some reason for this task.
Firstly, the cellar is generally under a house, so the light here is weak, and the humidity is high. Hence, this is an ideal environment for mold and mildew; these factors can affect your health. Mold typically sticks on the floor, so that you have to clean it to remove this toxic agent.
Secondly, the basement is a place that we usually throw some stuff that we will never use. Therefore, there will be many particles and debris falling from the furniture. Besides, dust also quickly accumulates in places with dense furniture such as basements. Dust can cause some diseases such as allergic rhinitis if you inhale it too much. Thus, cleaning up a concrete floor and removing dust in a basement are ways to protect the health.
Thirdly, the basement’s ventilation is not good, and the air exhaust is low. So that you can smell musty, it is really annoying, and you need to clean the floor to handle this issue.
Lastly, if you raise pets, they can mess around in the basement and leave some hard-to-solve stains on the floor. You should remember to notice them and the basement and clean up as soon as possible. Thanks to this, you can keep the concrete floor clean and eliminate harmful factors.
Necessary Things For Clean Concrete Floor In Basement
This tool can help you collect dust and debris quickly, especially ultra-tiny particles. Thanks to a vacuum cleaner, you will not leave out anything on the floor before washing the cement floor.
You can use this broom type to sweep on a hard floor such as cement. It would be best if you cleaned up the whole floor, then focus on all corners. A soft-bristled broom can remove dust and debris that is visible, and it is a limitation. So it would help if you used it with a dust collector to entirely eliminate all dust and debris.
After removing dust and debris, you will need a mop to clean your concrete floor with solution or water. You can start a corner and move towards the opposite. Go to the end of the basement, move around, wash a mop, and continue until your floor is clean. This tool is easy to use on a flat surface.
There are 2 types to choose from, including
String mop: This mop type was born very early; there are two types: cotton and synthetic. A cotton mop is relatively cheap and popular, but it is not effective in cleaning on a flat surface. A synthetic mop is expensive than a cotton one, but it can clean better.
Its biggest downside is a risk of bacterial cross-contamination and dust accumulation because you have to dip it into water or solution; it will be dirty. Dirty water can be back to the floors the next time with pollution agents, so that you should only utilize it to solve wet spills.
Flat mop: This mop type overcomes weak-points of a string mop. It is a long pad, and you don’t need a bucket to wash due to the chemical dispenser mounted on the mop body. This department can reduce cross-contamination issues. It also prevents the solution from spilling so that it’s suitable for wet cleaning the unsealed cement floors.
You can wipe to every corner by using a flat mop. It will not leave pieces of cotton. So that it is an ideal choice if you want daily cleaning.
You need to prepare 2 or 3 buckets for water and cleaner. If you use a string mop, you should buy a bucket system. You have two options: single system and doubled system.
The single bucket system has a pail to contain water, so clean and dirty water will mingle together, enhancing the risk of spreading pollutants. The doubled one can limit this problem due to 2 separate pails for washing and rinsing a string mop.
Don’t forget to prepare enough water for the cleaning process. You also turn on your electric water heater to get hot water because you will need to mix it with cold water to have warm water. Some cleaning products should dilute with warm water to increase clean efficiency.
If you meet stubborn stains such as mold and mildew or efflorescence, you should own a wire brush with stiff nylons. It is helpful to scrub and eliminate them.
However, don’t buy a metal brush for cleaning your cement floor in basement. Metal wires will be stuck in the floor, especially unsealed floors, and destroy them by making scratches and rust because a metal brush is relatively brittle.
A spray bottle is a tool that you can use to spray, squirt, or mist fluids. You can mix the chemicals inside it and spray detergent on stained areas thanks to the trigger-style actuators.
This tool can help you control the amount of cleaner you use and ensure your safety because cleaning chemicals rarely stick to your skin.
After you’ve put the essentials in the spray bottle, remember to make sure to shake them well so that they mix, and you can start your cleaning.
People often use flagstone to pave patios so you can find it easily in home improvement shops. It acts as a pumice stone; you just scrub it on the rust after you sprinkle dry cement and let it sit for 20 minutes.
A face mask, glasses, gloves, and some old clothes are necessary to protect you against cleaning products. There are no absolutely safe chemicals, so you have to wear protective clothing before mixing cleaners to avoid harmful agents. You can also buy personal protective equipment in case you must use solid and toxic cleaners.
A garden hose
A garden hose is a flexible tube that can convey water to rinse or clean cement floors. The end of the garden hose often has sprinklers or sprayers. According to usage purpose, you can pick one of two attachments to provide water in an extensive coverage or focus on one point.
It would be best to use this tool at the right temperature, don’t convey too hot water or put it in the sun. You also need to drain the hose after use to limit stagnating. This is an excellent environment for Legionella and free-living amoebae (FLA) to develop. These bacteria are the cause of such diseases as Legionnaires, Pontiac fever, etc.
Drying equipment maybe a dehumidifier or an exhaust fan, which can reduce and maintain the air’s humidity level. You will need it when drying concrete floors. Also, the basement is quite wet due to low light and inadequate ventilation, which you sometimes can use to limit moisture and prevent mold and mildew.
It would help if you bought enough chemicals and store them carefully. While cleaning, let’s learn and follow the user manuals to ensure safety. You also determine the types of stains to buy the right chemicals.
How To Clean Concrete Floor In Basement
To clean concrete floors in the basement, you should comply with the following principles. They are not too complex, and you can do it easily and quickly. Cleaning frequency does not need too much; just twice a year is enough.
Step 1: Removing furniture and other fixtures from the cement floor
Before starting to clean up, you should move everything out of your room. If you can’t do this, you should divide the room into two halves, moving fixtures to one side and cleaning one side, then do the opposite.
You should do that to eliminate all stains, dirt, and particles, which are obscured. We often forget those hidden areas, so you need to pay attention to them to clean the whole cement floor entirely.
You can move from small to big stuff and take a photo to arrange everything as original if you want that.
Step 2: Removing dust and debris by sweeping or vacuum
After removing obstacles, the next step is to handle dust and debris by sweeping or vacuum. If you want to do it faster, you should use a wood floor cleaner machine instead of a vacuum for a carpet because their technology is different. The hard floor dust collector can help you clean up more quickly and effectively.
You can search for a suitable cleaner machine by clicking here.
Step 3: Solve all stains
Before you wash your overall, you should solve tough stains, for example, crystallization arrays, a thick powder layer deposition, rust. You can choose the necessary cleaner products for each stain. When you have those chemicals, you just follow the instructions and wipe things that make you uncomfortable.
Step 4: Washing your floor with your cleaners
Firstly, you need to pick the right cleaner according to your concrete floor. Then you have to dilute the detergent in the water and scrub your floor.
Secondly, to clean a cement floor, you should use a wire brush and a mop but don’t buy a metal one. Metal wires can be broken and trapped in the floor’s holes. After a long time, they will ruin your concrete floor due to rust and change color.
Lastly, you have to make sure your space is airy and ventilated in case you utilize smoky detergents during cleaning to protect your respiratory tract.
Step 5: Carefully rinse cement floor
When you completed the previous steps, the thing to do is carefully rinse your cement floor to remove the left cleaning chemistry. The chemicals can take away dirt, but they will create residue and yellow stain. These factors are very toxic if they transfer into your body through the skin. This problem will become more severe if your children and pets come into contact with floors that have not been completely cleaned.
It would help if you moved towards the water that could accumulate and begin removing the detergent. If your room has a drain, you can stand farthest from that location and then rinse the concrete floor with water.
A power washer may be helpful for this task; you can use this tool to rinse and clean quickly especially liquid chemicals. This cleaner type often sticks roughly on surfaces and takes a long time to remove.
Step 6: Dry the floor and set up furniture again
Depending on your concrete floor type, you can let mold and mildew develop if the basement’s humidity is too high. You can reduce this risk by making sure that the area is entirely dried. Don’t hurry to arrange stuff into the basement; fixtures may be obstacles to prevent the moisture from escaping.
You can use a flap mop with dry equipment (such as a dehumidifier) to dry the cement floor. Also, you should improve the ventilation system in the basement; thus, you can reduce mold on the floor and the wall as well.
The Recommended Cleaning Products
Nowadays, you can buy many different cleaners to wash your cement floor. However, you need to choose the right products according to the stains that you deal with them. Here is the suggested list of cleaning agents for the concrete floor.
pH Neutral Cleaner
pH is an index that determines water’s chemical properties (acid, base, or neutral). You can use an indicator or a piece of litmus paper to recognize. A neutral cleaner usually has a pH of 7.
If you want to find a commercial cleaning product and use it every day, you should pick a pH-neutral product. In case your cement floor is sealed, this cleaner type can’t damage the sealer and won’t corrode concrete floors. Thanks to this, your floor will be more durable over time. Also, this cleaner type is eco-friendly.
If you don’t like chemicals and are looking for a replacement solution, baking soda will be ideal. You can mix it with other cleaners easily; it is really a chemical-free cleaning agent and effective.
You need to prepare half of the baking soda cup, a warm water gallon, and a delicate cleanser (dishwashing liquid). Then you just mix them together, and you owned a powerful cleaning solution like strong chemicals to eliminate all tough stains.
Lye is a strong alkali with high dissolving ability in the water. We will obtain caustic-based solutions (such as NaOH, KOH, etc.) It is the main ingredient in soap production. The cleaners contain lye that is highly appreciated for its cleaning effect.
As you can see, lye soap is one of the excellent agents to clean up your concrete floor. It has enough strength to handle stains, but it doesn’t ruin your floor. You can consider the cleaner that has the olive oil ingredient or lye soap.
While using lye soap, pay attention to safety by wearing protective clothing. You have to store it carefully and take a shower after lye soap sticks to your skin or eyes because it can cause irritation, caustic, or burn.
If you have grease and oil stain problems, you should have a cleaner that includes a degreaser. It can penetrate concrete and remove grease stains. Also, the greaser ingredient will keep the floor intact, not damaging.
Degreaser cleaner can include an anionic or nonionic surfactant, some disinfectant agents (oxygen or chlorine-based). You can use it manually or with a machine according to actual conditions.
To eliminate rust stains, you can utilize dry cement. You just sprinkle cement (in dry form) over the rust and use the flagstone to scrub stain or pumice stone. After you solve rust, let’s tidy up by sweeping and vacuuming all left particles.
One of the most terrible stains that you definitely clean is glue stain from a previous covering because you can’t handle it in familiar ways. And what you need is Trisodium phosphate (It has the formula Na3PO4, a white solid, crystals, or granules, highly soluble in water, giving rise to alkaline solutions cleaning agents).
You can mix 3 ounces of this chemical with warm water (1 gallon). Apply the solution to the glue stain and leave for 1 hour, then scrub it, and you can remove them quickly.
Wash solution is a chemical that you consider using when your basement needs to deep clean. Its efficiency is relatively high and does not evaporate due to 70 alcohol percentages of ingredients. You will save time cleaning your cement floor because this cleaner can help you complete everything fast.
Enzymatic Cleaning Solutions
If you are looking for an eco-friendly cleaning product, enzymatic cleaning products (another name: oxidation cleaners) are a perfect choice. This cleaner can remove contamination or digest stains or very specific soils.
Enzyme cleaner’s most significant advantage is not to use water and does not leave a residue. You just need to apply the solution to the stain and do not need to pre-dispense it. The enzyme (bacteria) will consume stains until they disappear.
However, you will take many times to eliminate the stains; it may be a few days or weeks based-on their sizes and severity.
You can spend more money and time searching to buy enzymatic cleaning solutions, but their efficiency makes you satisfied.
The Avoidance Chemistries
In addition to recommended cleaners, you also know the avoidance chemistries while cleaning the basement’s cement floor.
You shouldn’t use this chemical because of two reasons. Firstly, it will break down the sealant and cause great harm to your concrete floor. Secondly, ammonia is a harmful gas that will harm your lungs if you unluckily inhale it. Besides, your eyes may be irritated by ammonia. You have to avoid using ammonia in the basement because this space is not ventilated in the best way.
Bleach is a cleanser that has the same issues as ammonia. It would help if you did not use it in an enclosed space because it can create harmful chemical fumes. Also, it will ruin cement after a long time.
Acidic cleaner (for example, white vinegar) is a product that should not be used to clean concrete floors. This type of cleaning product can strip away paint coating, and the floor will be more absorbent.
Alternatively, acidic cleaner etches into the unseal cement floor and changes its overall texture easily. Hence, it will destroy the base from the inside quickly.
If necessary, you can also use oxalic acid – a rust remover. Besides, muriatic acid or phosphoric acid can be used to create roughness for the surface, helping the sealant stick better. But you need to pay attention to use the correct dosage and ensure your safety.
Protect And Maintain Cement Floors
Besides how to clean concrete floors in basement, you should also know about protection and maintenance. You can perform general cleaning once or twice per year, but you usually need to maintain the cement floor to ensure that it is in excellent condition (aesthetics and texture).
Sweep and vacuum
The frequency of sweeping and vacuuming depends on how often you move on the concrete floor. Reducing dust and debris is necessary to minimize the risk of injury or damage to the floor.
How often based on the floor type; you should do a quick wet wipe to treat stains you cannot see with the naked eye. This action also removes agents that cause stains before they stick on the floor and become a severe issue.
Tidy up spills
As soon as you see the spills, you have to clean now to avoid yellow stains formatting because the liquid will soak fast, especially unseal cement floor.
Handle with cracks
Typically, we ignore cracks and assume that is not a big issue. However, if you do not handle them immediately, they will be places where dust and harmful factors are.
If your floor has a few holes or cracks that are unsealed, you should seal them. This task enhances water resistance and resistance to abrasion for a base for a long time.
Using a dehumidifier
Suppose stains that are caused by moisture are usually appeared (for instance, white foamy spots). In that case, a dehumidifier is a must-have tool because this is a signal the humidity is attacking the concrete floor continuously. To restrict this risk, you need to invest in a dehumidifier as soon as possible.
What Is Different Sealed And Unsealed Concrete?
Whether your concrete floor is sealed or unsealed, the overall cleaning process does not have much difference. However, it would help if you were careful in case you clean the unsealed floor.
The sealed cement floor experienced the processing with a waterproofing agent, so water and cannot soak into it. Therefore, you can use water to clean comfortably.
Otherwise, the unsealed floor does not have this protective layer for the porous concrete. Therefore, if there are spills, they will tend to stain. They also become more terrible if you clean carelessly.
Thus, you should handle the unsealed cement floor with a minimum amount of water; if not, you should wipe it without water at all costs. Additionally, we need to seal cracks as soon as we detect them and buy a shop vac with a dry function to prevent moisture and water from penetrating inside the floor.
What Is The Most Wonderful Cleaner For Concrete Floor?
Typically, we choose the cleaners according to the stain types that we have to solve. However, you should use a cleaning product whose pH is neutral and balanced for overall cleaning. You can also buy something such as alkaline soap or baking soda if you don’t like strong cleaners.
You have many options for each type of stain, but you need to avoid strong chemicals such as bleach and ammonia because they are toxic when you use them in a limited space. They will give off poisonous fumes and sting your eyes, also damage concrete.
How Can I Kill Mold On The Cement Floors?
You can use lye soap or dish detergent to solve mold and mildew. In case these cleaners are not effective and you have no way, bleach is the last solution. Although it is powerful enough to remove mold on the cement floor, you should not use it regularly.
While using bleach, you have to ensure your basement ventilated very well to prevent harmful factors from entering your body and let them get out quickly.
Can I Mop A Basement Concrete Floor?
Our answer is yes. You can check your cement floor every week and remove stains even if they are visible or not.
You are able to clean your floor simply if it is sealed. In case it is unsealed, you have to mop and dry as fast as possible. It is best to dry clean or use a dehumidifier to eliminate moisture. Don’t let new stains appear and become a more serious issue.
Can I Pressure Wash A Concrete Floor?
You can do it! Pressure washing is an excellent solution for sealed floors. However, this is not recommended for unsealed cement floors because they absorb quickly, and the basement may flood.
A pressure washer can remove stains such as mold, grease, or rust without any cleaner. One ideal choice is for people that dislike chemicals. You can consider buying an electric pressure washer by reading this article.
What Kind Of Stains Do I Meet On The Cement Floor?
When you check your basement floor, you will see types of stains, including.
- Dust and debris: If you forget your basement, the dust will visit, and debris will fall from stuff. Sweep or vacuum them before you clean the concrete floor.
- Rust: This stain is the product of the chemical reaction between iron in a cement base and oxy (water vapor in the air is catalyst). Rust is reddish-brown and does not protect the concrete floor. It is a signal that your floor is corrosive, and you need to handle it now.
- Glue stain: After you remove an old floor covering (such as carpet), glue stains will heave a sigh, and you have to solve it if you don’t want trouble while moving on a concrete floor.
- Grease and oil: These types of stains may appear when you use grease for fixing household appliances. They are ugly black splotches. They will damage the new decorative painting layer unless you don’t remove them.
- Mold and mildew: If the moisture and high temperature attack your concrete floor, mold and mildew start growing, cause an unpleasant smell. You can use sealers or paints to prevent them.
- Paint stains: Your floor will stick paint stains while basement maintenance; wipe them immediately to make sure aesthetic.
- Efflorescence stain: It is white, created by the reaction between concrete and moisture. In other words, it is the impregnated salt in the concrete floor. If you add much water to the floor and not drying properly, you will create the efflorescence effect.
- Specific types of soils: These stain types are derived from proteins, hydrocarbons, and starches. For example, your pets are very naughty, so they are sure to mess things up in the basement and leave tough stains (urine, “clumping,” etc.). Clean up at lightning speed before stains cause more trouble with enzyme cleaners.
Already one year, you go to your basement, see many stains on the cement floor, and a lazy feeling is coming. However, you can solve all issues with the 6 simple steps that we give to you.
You don’t have to endure the basement with a “slightly grimy” floor, just clean up immediately and enjoy a fresh atmosphere. The most important thing is to clean and maintain properly.
Sweeping, vacuuming and mopping are things that need to be done regularly. Don’t forget to clean up floors twice a year, too. Thanks to doing these tasks, your concrete floor will always be like new.
Do you own a basement with a cement floor? Do you want to have a tidy space with a sparkling floor? Let’s share tips on how to clean a basement floor in the comment section below right now. And you can refer to some great products to tidy up your basement by clicking here.