4 Tips to Clean Concrete Countertops
How to Clean Concrete Countertops
Concrete counter tops are a strong, durable surface that’s almost impossible to scratch or dent. Still, while they’re very tough, they’re not quite indestructible. The concrete surface can stain if you’re not careful, so it’s very important to attack spills as quickly as possible to prevent stains from setting.
Here are some tips for helping you keep your concrete in tip-top shape.
What Type of Concrete Counter Top Is It?
These types of counter tops can be either porous or non-porous. Non-porous counter tops have been coated with a sealer.
The important thing to keep in mind with this kind of counter top is that although the concrete is practically indestructible, the sealer material is not and can be damaged by cleaners, sharp or heavy objects, and heat. It is always best to use gentle, non-abrasive cleaners for this kind of sealer and protect your concrete countertops.
Porous concrete counter tops, on the other hand, have not been treated with a sealer. These counter tops are the easiest to stain because of their porosity. Therefore, they might require more abrasive cleaning methods and more aggressive scrubbing or wiping. Hopefully your installer has given you advice on which cleaners to use.
As a general rule, concrete counter tops in bathrooms are almost always sealed, whereas concrete counter tops in kitchens are less frequently sealed (only most installers recommend sealants).
Cleaning Concrete Counters
Regardless of the kind of concrete countertop that you own, it’s always important to wipe them daily and deep clean them at least once a week to maintain them.
You should not use any harsh chemical such as bleach or disinfectant wipes with bleach on your concrete countertops to clean and disinfect as they will leave stains and eventually wear away the sealant. While it is recommended you reseal concrete counters every so often, using harsh cleaning products will only require you to do it sooner.
Remember, concrete counter tops are a big investment and you want to make sure to keep them looking like new for a long time.
1. Soap and Warm Water
Before cleaning or removing stains be sure to remove any dry debris. Mild dishwashing liquid can go a long way when cleaning counters. Simple soap and water are safe to use on both porous and non-porous forms of concrete.
- Add about two tablespoons of a mild dish soap to a medium-sized container with warm water and swish to mix.
- Submerge a cloth or dish sponge in the water and give the countertop a good cleaning.
- Rinse the countertop with clean water to remove any soapy residue.
Disinfecting After Cleaning the Counters
After cleaning the countertops you can easily disinfect them using rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) and water. Simply mix in a spray bottle:
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
Spray the counters with the solution you just made and let sit a few minutes. With a clean towel wipe the counters dry. If you have left over disinfectant, label the spray bottle for the next use.
2. Laundry Detergent and Stain Remover
These are two other great household cleaners that can be used on concrete countertops. These cleaners are also mild and are safe for both porous and non-porous counter tops.
- Start by spraying laundry stain remover directly on the stains in your counter top
- Let sit for a few minutes
- Follow up by sprinkling some powdered detergent on the stain and waiting a few more minutes
- Finally, clean both substances with a wet cloth or towel while softly scrubbing on the stain
3. Make a Hydrogen Peroxide Paste
For stubborn or older stains, create a paste using:
- One or two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide
- A cup of flour and enough water to form a paste
- Place the past directly on the stain and let it sit for a few hours: You can even cover the stain with the paste using plastic wrap over it
- Wipe the paste off with a wet cloth while scrubbing on the stain at the same time
This solution will remove very stubborn stains, but, should be used as a last resort; especially for non-porous counter tops.
4. Use PH Balanced Wipes or Concrete Specific Cleaning Products
It is important to use products that are formulated to clean concrete countertops for daily use. There are many products on the market that will clean concrete counter tops while protecting them from damage.
One of the most convenient products is PH balanced wipes. These wipes are made especially for concrete counters and are safe to use every day. They are easy to use and can help you wipe down your counters after cooking.
Keeping Countertops Clean
Waxing your countertops can help avoid tough stains and keep your them looking like new. Applying wax is easy and similar to waxing a car. The wax will act as a sealer preventing stains from setting in, making your counter tops easier to clean, and giving them a shiny appearance.
Whether you use soap and water, a paste or apply a wax, keeping your concrete countertop looking its best is critical to maintaining its appearance and protecting your investment.
Author Miguel Salcido is an experienced home remodeler. When he’s not maintaining his home, he writes for PremierVanities.com, a website selling designer vanities online.