How to Clean Concrete Floors

Cleaning outdoor concrete flooring is very different from indoor concrete flooring. Here's how to remove dirt and mildew without damaging your concrete floors.

minimalist orange and brown interior

minimalist orange and brown interior

two modern armchair on concrete floor in a modern lounge

Concrete is a sturdy material for indoor and outdoor floors. It’s durable, easy-to-clean and fairly resistant to stains. Concrete does stain, though. It’s porous and will soak up dirt, spills and harbor mildew. Tough as concrete is, it will need a periodic scrubbing. Here’s how to clean concrete, both indoors and out.

A power washer is the easiest way to clean concrete outdoors. You should be able to blast away dirt, mildew and grime in an afternoon. Rent one and read the instructions on how to use the machine before you start the project. Spray the patio surface with a detergent and use a stiff brush to scrub it into the concrete. Never use a metal-bristle brush. Metallic fibers can get trapped in the porous surface of the concrete and rust. Put on safety goggles and gloves. Turn on the pressure washer. Move the wand from one side, using the same motion as you would if you were mopping a floor.  

Want to know how to remove stains from concrete? There are several options. You can use bleach ammonia and other commercial solutions. For a natural solution to stubborn stains on interior concrete floors, mix flour and hydrogen peroxide into a paste the consistency of peanut butter. Spread it over the stained area. Let sit overnight. Then, scrape with a plastic-edged scraper tool. 

Trisodium phosphate (TSP) mixed with water and scrubbed onto the stained area with a nylon bristle brush can remove tough stains. Scrub till stain is gone and rinse with a hose. TSP is available at home improvement stores. 

Muriatric acid can be used on outdoor floors to clean the toughest stains, like rust or dried grout. It’s a powerful, toxic material that should be used with extreme caution. Wear protective eyewear and gloves when using it and be sure to follow manufacturer instructions on how to clean concrete with muriatic acid.

For indoor concrete floors that are polished or stamped, you’ll need to take a gentler approach to how to clean concrete. You’ll just use a mop and a bucket of water mixed with a mild cleaner. Don’t use ammonia, bleach or any highly acidic substance on polished or stamped floors. Some good cleaners include Castile soap, liquid dish detergent, stone cleaners and mild floor cleaners. Mix a solution, apply to floor with a wet mop and then rinse with a mop dipped in clean water.

To make your concrete floors resistant to future stains, apply a concrete sealant. Use a paint roller to apply it to clean, primed concrete. Start in the middle of the area and roll the sealant out to the edges. Floors need to be resealed every two to three years. Knowing how to clean concrete properly will keep the floors in your garage, workshop and house looking good as new.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Clean Vinyl Floors

Remove dirt, scuffs and stains from vinyl floors with these easy cleaning and maintenance tips from DIY experts.

How to Clean Cork Floors

Learn how to safely clean and seal a cork floor with these simple tips from DIY experts.

How to Clean Hardwood Floors

Learn how to care for hardwood floors by using these natural cleaners and following these simple tips.

How to Clean Ceramic Tile Floors

Make your ceramic tile look like new with these easy cleaning tips from DIY experts.

How to Keep Laminate Floors Clean and Shiny

Check out these quick tips on how to maintain laminate floors and keep them looking new.

How to Clean a Cement Patio

Get your cement patio ready for outdoor entertaining with these cleaning tips from DIY experts.

How to Clean Laminate Countertops

Safely and effectively clean spills and stains from laminate countertops with these tips from DIY experts.

How to Clean Brick (Indoor or Outdoor)

Keep brick walls, floors and fireplaces clean and inviting with simple tips from DIY experts.

How to Clean Rust

Skip the commercial rust removers. These common ingredients in your kitchen can remove rust from knives, tools, even furniture.

How to Clean Grout

Extend the life of your tile and make it look clean by following these tips for removing dirt and grime from grout.
More from:

Spring Spruce-Up

On TV

Garage Gold

7am | 6c

I Hate My Bath

7:30am | 6:30c

Mega Dens

8am | 7c

Renovation Realities

8:30am | 7:30c

Yard Crashers

9:30am | 8:30c

Yard Crashers

10am | 9c

Yard Crashers

10:30am | 9:30c

Yard Crashers

11am | 10c

Yard Crashers

11:30am | 10:30c

Yard Crashers

12pm | 11c

Yard Crashers

12:30pm | 11:30c

Yard Crashers

1pm | 12c

Yard Crashers

1:30pm | 12:30c

Yard Crashers

2:30pm | 1:30c

Yard Crashers

3:30pm | 2:30c

Wood Work

4pm | 3c

Wood Work

4:30pm | 3:30c

Wood Work

5pm | 4c

Wood Work

5:30pm | 4:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Texas Flip and Move

8pm | 7c

Elbow Room

4:30am | 3:30c

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.