Learning how to clean up stained cement or concrete can help you keep your home value at a market value. When you want to sell your home, a proper driveway, spotless patio, and proper garage floor will make a huge statement on how much attention you have been giving to the maintenance of your home. Potential buyers always observe how much attention you have paid to the maintenance of your home and may negotiate the price accordingly.

 Please keep in mind

Cleaning a concrete floor or stained cement isn’t a swift task but it isn’t a challenging one either. Before starting, there are a few significant things you need to keep in mind:

  1. Seal your floor once it has been cleaned. A professional sealer can help you to add a silky shine on your cement floor to protect it from stains. DIY sealants may need to be applied again and again every 2 to 3 years, while professional, powerful sealants can go on for a good 20 years.
  2. Sufficient ventilation is imperative. When working in the garage, leave the doors open. When indoors, keep the windows open. If you have allergies or asthma, it’s probably best to wear a particulate respirator mask while cleaning stained cement or concrete.
  3. Avoid mixing cleaning methods! Mixing different cleaners together can lead to toxic fumes, which may cause severe health issues. With such stains, deal with them one at a time, giving the floor adequate time to dry in between the methods.

What you will need:

  • Push broom
  • Stiff-bristled brush
  • Hose
  • Liquid dish detergent
  • Oxygenated bleach (i.e. OxiClean)

·        Cleaning and removing stains

General soils: To get rid of general stains, use a push broom to clean large areas. Hose the area and sprinkle with any oxygenated bleach such as OxiClean. This will not harm any plants in your driveway or your lawn. This is important considering the fact that you would want to avoid any harmful effects, either on yourself or on your property. Use the push broom to rub off stains then allow the oxygenated bleach to sit on for a good 10-15 minutes. After 15 minutes is over, rinse thoroughly using the hose. Don’t forget to rinse your broom at the end!

Moss and algae: Put together equal amounts of hot water and white vinegar. Spray the mix on the area intended for cleaning; make sure to not spray on any plants or any parts of the lawn that is surrounding the area.  Then scrub with a brush that has stiff-bristles and rinse with water, ensuring the flow is facing away from your garden or yard. Do not use a wire brush on cement as it can harm the surface.

Grease or oil: Sprinkle and cover the area comprehensively with diatomaceous earth, clay cat litter or baby powder. Keep the powder in place overnight in order to elevate the oil (this forms an extra layer which can be easily removed). The following day, sweep and remove it. Once the surface oil has been removed, put together 1-teaspoon liquid dish detergent and 1 quart of extremely HOT water in a bucket. (Dawn works really well in cutting through grease). Wash the area while scrubbing it with a brush that has stiff-bristles or use a push broom. Rinse thoroughly and repeat this step until the stain is removed.

Rust: Wet the area being cleaned then sprinkle oxalic acid and scrub. Keep in mind oxalic acid is the key ingredient in Bar Keeper’s Friend. Rinse completely and repeat the step until the stain is removed.

Mold or mildew: Add 1 quarter of hot water with 1/4 cup of chlorine bleach and pour the mixture on the stain. Wait for a good 10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly. Remember not to get any bleach on the lawn or any plants!

·        Preventing future stains

Stains are inevitable on surfaces. However, certain steps can help you to avoid stains as much as possible. In order to prevent future stains from occurring, place a galvanized drip pan under the area you generally tend to park your car. Then place storage boxes on wood rather than on surfaces made from cement. You can also install a rubber garage floor mat, which can easily be wiped or spray cleaned within minutes.