Concrete is a standard option in many household garages and is increasingly becoming a counter surface option as well. If it's an option you pursue, keeping the surface clean is a must. Standard concrete, like that used in garages and patios, can be safely steam cleaned, but the decorative types of concrete are better cleaned by an alternative method.
How Steam Cleaning Works
Concrete can be cleaned with a water steam process. It uses low water pressure and steam to clean the surface. Steam floor cleaners are available for purchase and rental, or homeowners can use a professional service for the process. Water steam cleaning does not harm concrete surfaces. However, clean the surface when it is least likely to undergo a temperature change before it dries.
Cleaning Decorative Concrete
Decorative concrete is stained a specific color or embellished with accents and is widely used for its stain resistance and durability. To maintain the surface, regularly sweep with a broom to remove dirt and debris. Remove fine particles with a dust mop. Mix 1 gallon of water and a mild cleaner or dish soap in a bucket. Dampen the mop and clean small sections of the floor. Frequently rinse and wring out the mop during the cleaning process. Empty the bucket and then refill with clean, warm water. Mop to rinse soap residue.
Cleaning Standard Concrete
In lieu of using a steam cleaner on concrete, use this option. Sweep or vacuum the area to remove dirt and debris. Use a water hose with a spray attachment set to its strongest setting. Spray the floor, working from the back to the front and using broad strokes. While the surface is wet, sprinkle the floor with a nonabrasive cleaner. Scrub the cleaner with a push broom. Rinse the floor with the water hose and spray attachment, and let dry.
Even after cleaning, stains still remain. To remove an oil stain from standard concrete, apply bleach to the area and let it sit for 20 minutes. Scrub the area and rinse. For a grease stain on standard concrete, spread a layer of fresh kitty litter and let it sit for two to three days. Use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner or sweep the area. Cover the area with dry concrete mix if kitty litter does not work. Let the concrete sit for two to three days and then sweep away. Clean tire marks on standard concrete with ordinary degreasers. Spray the area and let it sit for a few hours, then scrub and rinse.