Resilient, versatile and durable, concrete has become one of the most common flooring materials for basements, driveways, workrooms, garages and more. A lot of property owners have chosen to utilize concrete both indoors and outdoors thanks to its ability to prop up a contemporary and sophisticated touch. However, being a porous material, it can easily absorb liquids and attract oil stains, grime and rust stains.
Sure enough, you can use dehumidifiers to prevent moisture build-up that can result in mold and mildew, but this is just but a short-term preventative measure. You will still need to clean your concrete basement floor however arduous the task can get. In this guide, we divulge a variety of tips and methods on how to clean concrete floor in basement.
Cleaning Supplies & Tools:
- Vacuum cleaner
- Soft-bristled broom
- String mop
- Scrub brush
- Warm water
- Stiff nylon brush
- Dish detergent
- ¼ cup ammonia
- 2 ounces liquid bleach
- Spray bottle
- Dry cement
- Flagstone piece
How to Clean Concrete Basement Floor – Steps
Clear your concrete basement floor
Before you begin the actual cleaning, clear away any furniture, boxes and other items from your basement floor. You might want to enlist the services of a family member or friend to speed up the chore. Store away all those items in a safe place until the basement is completely clean and dry.
Remove dirt, dust and other loose debris
Next, sweep up the floor completely using a soft-bristled broom, making sure the entire surface is covered. Focus your sweeping on the corners where large pieces of dirt, dust or debris often gather and hide. After sweeping up the dirt and debris, pass a commercial vacuum cleaner over the floor once again in order to suck up any remaining debris or small particles. We prefer using a hose attachment for effective cleaning in corners and crevices of the concrete floor, leaving nothing behind.
Mop the concrete floor with ammonia
Mopping a concrete basement floor is an excellent way to clean out any dirt, mold or mildew caked on the surface. Before you mop the floor, ensure that the basement is well ventilated. Now, in a large bucket, mix a few quarts of dish soap, a quarter cup of ammonia, and warm water. Stir to blend.
Using a string mop, mop the floor with the cleaning solution, starting from one corner and moving your way toward the opposite end of the basement. Keep wringing out the mop frequently, and make your way around the entire basement methodically. For extra-tough stains, scrub them using a nylon scrub brush with stiff bristles to remove stubborn dirt, mold and mildew from the floor.
Freshen up the smelly basement
Fungal growth resulting from moisture buildup can cause the basement to give off an unpleasant, musty odor. To address any bad odor in the basement, first open the windows to let in fresh air or turn on the fan to improve air circulation. Wear a mask and old clothes for extra protection, and then mix one quart of water with a brew of 1-2 ounces of household bleach in a spray bottle.
Give a spray bottle a good shake in order to blend, and spray a smelly basement with the bleach solution. Don’t forget to spray the walls of the basement because that is where mold and mildew take residence. Now, using a nylon-bristled brush, scrub the basement floors and walls to work the bleach solution into the grime. When you are done, wipe away the residue using a mop and clean water.
Address rust stains
There are different ways of doing away with rust spots in a concrete basement. You can try wetting the area first then spray a liberal amount of either vinegar or lemon juice over the rusted spots. Allow the cleaner to sit on the rust spot for at least 20 minutes. Then, using a stiff-bristled brush, scrub the rust stains in circular motions and rinse off the surface with fresh water.
The second method of addressing rust stains involves using dry cement and a small piece of flagstone. Sprinkle the rust-stained spot with dry cement and rub the area with a small piece of flagstone. Flagstone is easy to obtain from any nearby home improvement store, because it is the same one used to pave patios. The act of combining stone and dry cement behaves like pumice when it comes to removing stain.
Remove efflorescence from a concrete basement
Efflorescence is not something strange to concrete basements suffering from mold and mildew attacks. This is the white powder that sometimes builds up on concrete floors and walls when water seeps through concrete and evaporates leaving behind the soluble salts. At the very least, the easiest way to eliminate efflorescence is to scrub the white powder with a stiff scrub brush.
Sweeping the floors and scrubbing the concrete walls is a potent way of loosening and removing it from the concrete surface. You can use a wet rag or mop for this purpose, but try to wring out the mop properly because a wet mop can leave a wet floor that can foster mold and mildew growth. If efflorescence continues to build up even after scrubbing with a nylon-bristled brush, you might want to go a step further and waterproof your basement walls.
Rinse and dry your floors
At this stage, your basement floor is probably clean but not sparkling due to leftover soaps. To remove any residual soap suds from the concrete basement floor, fill a clean bucket with warm water. Then, thoroughly and methodically wipe up the floor starting from one corner and moving toward the door to minimize the number of footprints.
Remember to wring out and dunk the mop regularly to avoid staining other sections of the floor. After rinsing thoroughly, allow the floor to dry completely. Open the basement windows to let in the fresh breeze and speed up the drying time. Alternatively, turn on the fan to blow across the room and accelerate the drying.
As long as you know how to clean cement basement floor, it becomes easier and more convenient to carry out the task without much fuss. We recommend combining these cleaning recipes with a bit of elbow grease to make your basement floor clean and dazzling. A properly cleaned concrete basement floor provides an extra room to enjoy in your home without being concerned about catching any disease.