How to Clean Concrete Floor in Basement

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how to clean basement concrete floors

Looking for effective methods to get rid of dirt and debris off your concrete basement floor? Or maybe, you’re stuck with the typical, mildew-infested, smelly basement.

To clean dirty and old stained basement concrete floor. Sweep the debris and dust particles, add detergent and few drops of ammonia in a bucket of warm water . You can add tri-sodium phosphate for stubborn stain. Splash bleaching powder like chlorinated lime for musty odor and get rid of mildew and mold. Remove the stains and finish by giving your concrete basement floor a makeover

In this article, we’ll take you through all you need to rid your sealed or unsealed concrete basement of regular dirt, liquid stains, mold, and mildew

How to Clean Dusty Concrete Basement Floor

The concrete basement cleaning method, vary depending on whether its sealed concrete or unfinished concrete floor. The cleaning methods may also depend on the type of stains you target to eliminate.

How to Clean Dusty Concrete Basement Floor, Sealed basement and unsealed, unfinished basement

Here is a step by step cleaning method for basement concrete flooring.

  • Sweep the debris and dust particle off the concrete basement floor.
  • Scrub the floor with concrete cleaning solution. Add ammonia to a warm bucket of water for normal concrete cleaning. However, for extremely stained floor, add tri-sodium phosphate to the wash water for deep cleaning.
  • Rinse with a water and allow it to dry.

TIP. To freshen the basement concrete floor, put on the de-humidifier to remove excess humidity and water dampness that can cause mold and mildew odor.

  • Remove any stain on the floor. Basement Concrete floor are prone to efflorescence (whitish powder that forms when soluble salts in water seeps and evaporates), use nylon-bristled brush or a wet rag or mop to get rid of it. Remove also any other stain like rust stain on your flooring

Tip: For rust stain sprinkle it with dry cement and rub the stain. For deep rust stain use a small piece of flagstone like one used for patio flooring

  • Mop your floor and let it dry completely. However, for extremely dull old concrete floor , consider applying a fresh layer of water proof stain.

Procedure for Cleaning Unsealed Concrete Basement Floor

Unsealed concrete surfaces are more prone to water and liquid damage due to concrete’s porosity. As such, regular cleaning of your unsealed concrete basement is necessary to get rid of tough, liquid stains. New liquid spills need to be cleaned off as soon as possible, as older strains are tougher to eliminate and in most cases- can only be lightened- once the liquid seeps into the concrete material.

To effectively remove dust, debris, and liquid stains from your concrete basement floor, consider the following cleaning procedure:

  1. Sprinkle some cat litter or sawdust over the stained spots on the floor and let it stay in place for a while. Then, sweep off the litter/sawdust/debris mixture off the floor using a broom.
  2. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up excess debris/fine dirt particles that weren’t removed during the previous step.
  3. At this point, you’ll have gotten rid of the loose dust particles off your concrete basement floor, but not the tough stains. Next, moisten the stains with a wet mop, then sprinkle some dish soap over them. Then, let the soap dish detergent stay in place for about an hour.
  4. For deep oil/grease stains, you can supplement the soap dish detergent with ammonia. However, very strong cleaners like bleach should be avoided as they will discolor your concrete surface.
  5. Next, pour boiling water as you use a floor scouring brush to scrub the stain spots over which you’d sprinkled the detergent/ammonia. This will work most- if not all- of the staining agent out of your concrete.
  6. For rust stains on your concrete, apply some vinegar, lemon juice, or apple cider over the affected area and let the cleaning agent stay in place for a while; after which you can clean out the rust using step (v) above.
  7. After scrubbing the entire concrete basement floor using hot water and a scrubbing brush, use clean water and a wet mop to rinse off the combination of cleaning agents and staining agents from the floor. You can finish off by using a dry mop to dry off your basement surface.
  8. Sometimes, depending on the type of cleaning detergent you’re using, you may still have traces of detergent on your floor even after implementing step (7) above. To effectively get rid of these, mix some washing soda (sodium bicarbonate) with hot water and use the solution to mop your concrete basement floor. A ratio of two ounces for every gallon of water is recommended for the solution. If you can’t find any washing soda for this step, you can research online for tips on how to easily convert baking soda into washing soda at home.
  9. If you need to undertake step (8) above to remove detergent residue, use the procedure in step (vii) to finish off the task and dry up your basement’s floor surface.

Procedure for Cleaning Sealed Concrete Basement Floor

With sealed concrete surfaces, cleaning and maintenance aren’t usually much of an issue since the impermeable sealant material prevents any liquid spills from soaking into the porous concrete material underneath.

As such, regular mopping- say, once a week- is usually enough to keep sealed concrete basement floors clean. However, due to the location of the basement, your basement floor is still susceptible to mold, mildew, and efflorescence; all of which will take more than a regular mop wash to get rid of.

Mildew, for instance, usually arises after your power washes your basement floor but don’t take the necessary steps to completely dry it up. The moisture that’s left behind is what encourages mold and mildew growth.

How to Get Rid of Mold and Mildew on Concrete Basement Floor

How to Get Rid of Mold and Mildew on Concrete Basement Floor, on sealed , unfinished/ unsealed basement floor.

Here’s how you can clean your concrete basement floor to get rid of mold and mildew.

  1. Mix a couple of ounces of bleach in a gallon of water, then pour the solution into a spraying container. Next, spray the solution over the mildew-infested spots on your sealed concrete floor.
  2. Next, use a nylon brush to scrub the affected spots on the floor. Finally, finish off by mopping the area with clean water and a wet mop. Then dry it up with a dry piece of cloth.
  3. Alternatively, you can use bleach to get rid of the mold and mildew plus all associated odors. Sprinkle bleaching powder over the affected floor sections and let it sit in place for 24-48 hours. This will allow the bleaching agent to kill the mold/mildew and soak up the bad odor emanating from them. After the waiting duration has elapsed, you can use a vacuum cleaner to suck up the bleaching powder and the dead mildew/mold off the floor.

Here a video on how to transform bad- dull looking basement concrete floors

Transforming Concrete: How to Level a Concrete Floor for a Stunning Finish | $150 project

Some cleaning agents, you may need to avoid using to clean your sealed concrete floor, as they create toxic reactions. These include ammonia-based stain treatments, hydrochloric acid, and hydrazine.

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Joe McGuinty
I’ve been working with floors for over 12 years. I started as a flooring contractor, primarily in materials selection. Then, I switched careers into accounting, so my wife and I began buying, renovating, and re-selling homes on the side. You’d be surprised how much value you can add to a home simply by adding new floors.

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