How To Clean Polished Concrete Floors

June 7, 2022

If you are reading this, you are either considering the installation of a polished concrete floor and want to know the level of hassle involved with keeping it clean OR you are the brand new owner of a shiny new polished concrete floor in your home or business.  Being one of the lowest maintenance flooring options out there, you have made a great choice!!!… BUT it is important to remember that LOW maintenance doesn’t mean NO maintenance.

The 5 steps below will help keep your investment looking new or BETTER than the day it was turned over to you for full use.  These recommendations can be adjusted to fit your exact needs. (I.E – a showroom with a higher shine may clean every day, a warehouse may clean 2 times a week.)  The principles remain the same in the exact order! 

What you will need – Recommended Equipment

If you are using an auto scrubber – (This is our preferred method for best results!) 

  • Autoscrubber – (Info on this below)
  • Dust mop, Broom, Dust Pan, Microfiber pads
  • Concrete floor cleaner (CreteClean Plus recommended – Info below)
  • Medium Aggressive Nylon Brushes (To develop sheen)
  • Stiff poly brush or pads (To maintain sheen)  
  • Squeegee

If you are using a Mop and Bucket

  • Dust mop, Broom, Dustpan, Microfiber pads
  • Dual component mop bucket and wringer
  • Cotton Mop with looped ends
  • Concrete floor cleaner (CreteClean Plus recommended – Info below)
  • Squeegee 

The Process:

  1.  Remove all loose dust, dirt, and debris by means of sweeping large chunks, or microfiber pads to pick up residual dust.  The more you can remove at this step the better off you will be for the next step.
  2.  Add the proper cleaning solution/ water ratio based on your method of cleaning (1 to 2 oz per gallon for manual floor mopping, 6 oz for auto scrubber with 19/20 gal tank, 12 oz for larger scrubber per cleaning)
  3. Spot treat spills and stains with a heavy dilution of CreteClean Plus – 4 to 6 oz per gallon.  Let the cleaner dwell and remove with cleaning the rest of the floor.  
  4. Mop/ Auto Scrub the floor – For light daily cleaning a simple wet and pickup method is sufficient.  For heavy cleaning, cleaning solution dwelling may be necessary.  Remove excess water with a dry mop or auto scrubber. 
  5. Inspect the floor once complete to be sure all standing water is removed off the floor.  Standing water/ cleaning solution left on the floor could stain the surface and create a watermark that will result in further aggressive cleaning to remove.  

Why all the “Recommended” stuff?

In all the years of installing polished concrete floors, there have been many that have needed to be “re-done” due to poor daily cleaning and maintenance.  With proper tools, training, and accountability this can be avoided.  

It’s the end of the shift.  Your staff is tired.  The day is done and they have one more box to check off before it’s time to go home.  They add a “looks good enough” amount of whatever floor cleaner or degreaser you had found in clearance at the local supply store (these products actually hurt the floor) and mix it up.  Down goes the mop with cleaner and water onto the dirty floor to spread the mix.

clean polished concrete floors

Back into the clean solution bucket goes the now dirty mop.  This goes on until the entire floor is wet and dwelling – most times for too long and now the floor is drying.  They wring out the mop and start recovering the water but the dirty mop is recycling dirty water back onto the floor even though it appears to be “drying” it.  The floor looks a bit cleaner and the box is now checked, it’s time to punch out.  Sound familiar? 

The problem here lies in the fact that each day this happens, the floor breaks down 1% more.  Over time it will lose its shine and with that, stain resistance and dust proofing.  Add in the fact that the incorrect cleaner being used is actually speeding up the erosion process and slowly etching the concrete.

As this happens the micro pores begin to open and the floor will now be harder and harder to clean.  After a while, this daily process of cleaning in the form described above will have lackluster results and the floor will look no different after cleaning as it did before cleaning.  There is no consistency, no system, no repeatability from one employee to the next, and no accountability that it is done right.  

Your floor maintenance plan – Simplified!

The path of least resistance on a boring task like cleaning is a true step in the right direction to getting your staff on board with proper cleaning practices.  Having the proper tools at their disposal will yield a better-finished product, in less time, with less employee strain.

If we can make it easier – It has a better chance of getting done.  By the way, you will get a true read on your actual maintenance costs as you will be using a standard amount of cleaner every time instead of “Looks good enough!”.  Click here for a helpful PDF that can be printed and hung on the wall for your team to assist with this process! 

Enter the Auto Scrubber / CreteClean combination!  

By using an auto scrubbing machine you are constantly cleaning with fresh CLEAN water by means of its ability to compartmentalize its clean/ dirty water.  It uses a suction tool on the back to remove any residual water out of the pores of the concrete.

The larger machine allows the ability to create head pressure (we need friction) to help agitate the cleaner.  This could also be accomplished by hand with a deck brush and a lot of energy.  This would be hard to duplicate every time and could lead to damage to the concrete if done improperly.   

Using the CreteClean Plus concrete cleaner is designed to actually suspend the dirt giving you more time to scrub and remove debris before settling back onto the floor.  CreteClean Plus is designed exclusively for polished concrete (will work on other hard floor surfaces except for wood).

It is formulated with an additive that actually helps assist with refining the floor every time you clean it!  In the right circumstances, this product, when used in conjunction with an auto scrubber machine, can actually over time make the concrete shinier than when it was first produced!  

Using the guidelines above for cleaning will protect your investment long-term and keep maintenance costs to a minimum.

Contact CustomCrete today for polished concrete inspections, maintenance plans, and auto scrubber/cleaner pricing!


Helpful Links to assist with cleaning your polished concrete floors:

Click here for an in-depth guide on proper floor cleaning procedures.

Click here for Information on the recommended cleaning product CreteClean Plus.

Click here for information on our recommended brand of auto scrubbers.

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