How to clean concrete countertops

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How to clean concrete countertops

CCI Alumni Event | 2019-04-12 | Orlando, FL

How to clean concrete countertops

Brent Indenbosch | 2019-03-20 | Chilliwack, BC

Justin McRae | 2019-02-13 | Athens, GA

How to clean concrete countertops

Wayne Fry

How to clean concrete countertops

Caleb Lawson | 2019-03-31 | Orlando, FL

How to clean concrete countertops

Thomas Lancaster | 2018-04-24 | Alpine, TX

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CONCRETE COUNTERTOPS

If you are a homeowner considering concrete countertops for your kitchen or bathroom, here is some basic information about the most frequent questions and misconceptions about concrete.

High quality concrete will give you a beautiful, smooth and durable surface that you will love, and that is easy to clean and care for.

If you are looking to purchase professionally made concrete countertops: No, absolutely not! If they are, you should be wary of having a sidewalk on top of your cabinets.

High quality concrete countertops are hand crafted by skilled artisans using ultra high performance concrete mixes and sealers. They are hand made, custom, unique and personalized – and worth the money.

DIY Concrete Countertops

A few hundred dollars. Click here.

Pro Concrete Countertops

If you are a professional looking to make concrete countertops as a business, material costs of concrete countertop mixes are not the issue. Concrete is mainly sand, cement and water, with some admixtures and fibers added in.

The important thing for pros is knowledge about and skill in concrete, plus all of the other processes: templating, forming, reinforcing, diamond polishing, sealing, installation. Labor is by far a bigger cost in creating concrete countertops than materials are.

Even more important is business management. For creative concrete professionals, The Concrete Countertop Institute provides extensive business training and resources, in addition to technical training on concrete and hands-on learning, in The Ultimate Creative Concrete Training .

Yes, when properly made. “Durable” could refer to structural integrity, or to appearance. High quality concrete countertops should have both types of durability.

You may have heard the maxim, “Concrete cracks”. You’ve seen huge cracks in sidewalks. This does not have to be the case with concrete countertops. Tiny hairline cracks are possible, but structural cracks should never occur in properly made concrete countertops.

The durability of the appearance of your concrete countertops depends entirely on how they are sealed. Bare concrete is porous and highly susceptible to staining. Acids literally eat away the cement paste between the sand grains in bare concrete.

But if a high performance coating sealer such as Omega or Ovation is applied, acids and staining agents will never touch the concrete. Your concrete will still look very natural, and it will not require maintenance.

How often do you have to paint your car?

The answer to this question depends entirely on the sealer used.

Cheap acrylic sealer will need maintenance every few months, maintenance of penetrating treatments will vary, whereas a high performance coating such as Omega or Ovation will never need to reapplied unless abused.

All sealed concrete surfaces should be cleaned with a non-abrasive cleaner. Coating sealers should never be cut on. Unless your coating is made of diamonds, it will scratch!

There is no need for precast concrete countertops to be thicker (and heavier!) than typical countertops such as granite and solid surface.

With high performance concrete countertop mixes and proper reinforcing, GFRC concrete countertops are made 3/4″ (19 mm) thick, and the edges are turned down to achieve the desired appearance of thickness.

Traditional steel-reinforced precast concrete countertops can be made 1.5″ (38 mm) thick.

Concrete is about the same weight of stone of the same thickness. 1.5″ thick precast concrete countertops weigh about 18 pounds per square foot, whereas granite countertops typically weigh about 19 pounds per square foot.

You don’t think twice about putting granite on cabinets without extra reinforcement, so why would you need it with concrete?

GFRC concrete countertops are generally made only 3/4″ thick, half the thickness of traditional countertops, so they weigh about half as much.

There is also the option to apply microtopping concrete to laminate countertops ( see here ), and the weight of the concrete in that case is only 1/3 pound per square foot!

Are you sick of using harsh chemical cleaners to get the dirt and grime off your concrete floors and driveway? Have you been searching for different cleaning solutions that don’t involve you using a pressure washer or power washer to clean your concrete patio? What about ones that don’t require using ingredients like oxygen bleach to get rid of concrete stains?

After asking yourself these questions, it’s our turn to ask you one question. Have you ever tried making a homemade concrete cleaner? Mixing ingredients to make an efficient DIY concrete cleaner may seem harder than you think, but it’s not.

We’ll teach you the basics of making the best homemade concrete cleaner using ingredients like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, laundry detergent, white vinegar, and warm water. The best part is that you’ll be able to get out those tough stains while putting minimal elbow grease into it!

How to clean concrete countertops

(itman47/123rf.com)

Easy Recipes for a Homemade Concrete Cleaner

Before cleaning your concrete or even staining your deck, you need to get rid of dirt and leaves that may be on the surface. Sweep or use a blower to get rid of loose debris first. If you will be sealing your concrete after cleaning or need to clean a deck before staining, look over our recipes for stain removal to bring back the original color of the material.

Degreasing and Cleaning Concrete

When it comes time to cleaning oil stains off concrete, it’s important to know that you’ll have to use a DIY concrete cleaner that digs deep down into the pavement. If you’re looking for an excellent way to get oil stains off concrete, start mixing ingredients to make an excellent homemade concrete cleaner.

This recipe also works well as a pressure washer cleaning solution for concrete or brick.

Concrete Degreaser Recipe

  • Borax or laundry detergent
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Hot water

Apply baking soda directly to stain on concrete and let it sit for a few minutes. Pour vinegar on the baking soda and the mixture will start to fizzle. Then, apply laundry detergent and scrub with a stiff brush. Rinse the area with a fully powered hose.

Repeat if necessary for complete stain removal. Use this solution for cleaning composite deck with vinegar and baking soda to get rid of mold, mildew and other stains that may mar the surface, too.

Cleaning a Cement Patio

The floors of your house are precious to you, and that’s why you keep them clean; well, the same should go for your patio. We suggest cleaning your patio in the spring, before peak patio season.

Before applying a DIY concrete patio cleaner, be sure to remove all “extra’s” from the concrete (e.g., plants, chairs, etc.). Then, sweep away any dirt or debris present on the patio and apply homemade concrete patio cleaner.

Semi-Dirty Outdoor Concrete Cleaner

  • Bleach
  • Water
  • 1/8 cup dishwashing detergent

Mix bleach with water and then add dishwashing detergent to the mix and put it into a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the cement patio, let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub the mix into the concrete with a stiff brush.

Use an Eco-Friendly Concrete Cleaner

A homemade concrete cleaner that provides a gentle cleaning solution is typically eco-friendly; eco-friendly homemade cleaners almost always use ingredients found in your kitchen.

Mix equal parts water and vinegar and apply it to concrete. If this stain removal technique doesn’t work, use 100% vinegar and scrub stains out. This solution can work on many surfaces, including car seats and hardwood floors.

Removing Rust Stains from Concrete

First things first, use a pressure washing or a power washing technique to get rid of loose dirt on the cement. Once you’ve done this, use a dry cleaning method, or let the cement air dry before moving on to the next step.

Once the surface is dry, pour or spray lemon juice on the rusted areas. Let the highly acidic liquid sit for ten or more minutes before scrubbing. You can use white vinegar to get the job done, too. Then, rinse off the surface with cold water.

If you’re having trouble getting rust stains out of concrete on more delicate or worn out areas, try using a sponge with a rough surface and avoid using a wire brush.

Keeping Concrete Countertops Clean

The best defense mechanism against a dirty countertop is to seal it completely. Think of it this way: unsealed countertops encourage stains, and sealed countertops shoo them away.

If you purchased a countertop, chances are the company you hired to install the countertop used a concrete sealer to keep the counter stable. However, over time, seals can fade. In turn, this means that the countertop in your home should be re-coated every few years to prevent stains from showing up.

One way to make sure it’s time to re-seal your countertop is to check whether water still beads when present on the surface. If it doesn’t bead, you’ll want to start looking into sealing quartz countertops.

Natural Concrete Cleaning Solution for Pressure Washers

Power washers are by far the most accessible tool to use when trying to clean the exterior of your home, especially when it comes to concrete. If made right, a homemade concrete cleaning solution for pressure washer can kill off mold, too.

To start making your solution, pour one gallon of water into a bucket. Try to get the water to a hot temperature. Then, add baking soda little by little and stir while adding the baking soda until it has dissolved into the water. Add in one quart of household bleach and dish detergent, then mix slowly to avoid the suds from overpowering the bucket.

Once this natural cleaner is mixed together, pour it into the pressure washer and follow the directions for the tool as stated on the packaging for the best DIY cleaning result.

The Easy Concrete Cleaning Solution

There’s always one cleaning solution out there that takes seconds to whip up. Recipes like this will give homeowners a break, especially when it’s been a rough week.

Concrete is prone to many types of dirt and stains, and it’s incredibly susceptible to be soiled from dirt, algae, mildew, mold, and other environmental elements. Concrete driveways suffer from oil-based stains and other stubborn problems. Bleach can be used as a preparatory cleaner on some stains, and it can remove dirt and kill algae in other areas.

Types of Concrete Surfaces

There are several different types of concrete surfaces that can be cleaned using bleach, which includes driveways and walkways, and there are also other outdoor concrete surfaces that need periodic cleaning. Basement walls that have accumulated mildew or mold can be easily cleaned using a bleach spray solution. Water fountains run the risk of growing dirt, grime, mold, and mildew and can be cleaned with bleach. Retaining walls, patios, statues, and birdbaths all could benefit from a bleach cleaning from time to time.

Why Clean Concrete with Bleach?

A simple solution of household bleach poured onto the problem area followed by a hot water rinse can remove dirt, grime, mold, and mildew. In certain instances, using a scrubber or a broom with a bleach solution can release embedded dirt. Since concrete is porous, it will retain both odors and stains. If there is a pungent stench that’s permeating from your concrete surfaces, then you will have to seal the concrete to eliminate the odor permanently.

When it comes to oil stains and other stubborn stains, pre-washing the concrete surface with bleach will prepare the area for a further power wash. Bleach can be diluted to the strength that is needed for the particular project you are working on. However, this won’t be necessary in most cases.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Concrete

For lightly soiled concrete, you can remove dirt by using bleach mixed with water. Add 1/8 th cup of liquid dishwashing detergent to the solution and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the surface, and let it sit for a few minutes. Scrub with a nylon-bristled brush. Don’t use a metallic brush because it will leave metal bits on the concrete that rust and stain the patio. Protect any plants that surround your patio, as bleach will kill your plants. Rinse the bleach off with a hose.

If those stubborn stains aren’t coming off, mix oxygen bleach with water to make a paste that’s the same consistency as peanut butter. Apply to stained areas and let it sit for an hour. Scrub with your nylon-bristle brush.

Safety Precautions for Cleaning Concrete

Always remember not to mix bleach with ammonia, as this will result in toxic gas. Before you mix bleach with any other product, consult the product information for specific chemical information. Keep in mind that household bleach is used as a weed killer, so it most likely will kill any grass that gets saturated. Be careful to not get any bleach on the soles of your shoes, which can bring toxins into your home.

After years of use, your concrete will experience more problems than just staining. When the day that your concrete becomes damaged comes, you’ll need experts to fix your concrete. Contact Hard Rock Concrete Coatings if you require a concrete repair.

To maintain its glossy shine, granite should be cleaned regularly—and carefully. Here’s how.

By Bob Vila | Updated Sep 16, 2020 7:06 PM

How to clean concrete countertops

In many people’s minds, granite means strength and resilience. But if you want to know how to clean granite countertops successfully, the watchword is caution. The stone can actually be damaged by many of the products and techniques that are perfectly safe to use on other kitchen surfaces. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out how to clean granite countertops properly; the job just requires a bit of extra care and attention. Follow the steps outlined here, and you’re bound to be satisfied with the result of your efforts.

  • Mild dish soap
  • Microfiber cloths (3)
  • Soft sponge
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Bowl
  • See full list «
  • Spoon
  • Plastic wrap

How to clean concrete countertops

Photo: flickr.com via James Bowe

STEP 1: Squirt dish soap into a soft sponge.

For regular cleaning, your best bet is nothing more sophisticated than mild dish soap that’s been diluted with water. (Although there is a homemade granite cleaner you can make with a base of rubbing alcohol.) Wet a sponge with water from the tap and squirt dish soap into its center. Bear in mind, however, that because granite scratches easily, the solution ought to be applied with a soft sponge, or even a microfiber cloth—that is, not with an abrasive scrubber.

STEP 2: Wring out excess water.

Massage the sponge or cloth until you see suds, then wring it out so as not to compromise the highly absorbent stone (it can become discolored beneath standing water).

STEP 3: Wipe the counters.

Gently wipe across the entire countertop in small, circular motions. Dried-on food splatter might require a little more elbow grease, but stick to this non-abrasive method unless you have a stain. (Dealing with a stain? That’s a different story; see the next section for how to clean granite countertops that have been stained by standing water or oil.)

STEP 4: Dry granite countertops completely.

Dry off the countertop, not only to protect the granite from water damage but also to eliminate streaks and leave the surface with an eye-catching, irresistible shine.

Removing Stains from Granite Countertops

Don’t panic! Most of the time, stained granite countertops can be cleaned with household items so common that you probably already have them in your pantry. No matter the source of the stain, start with baking soda. If you wish to clean a water stain, mix the baking soda with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide in a bowl. For an oil-based stain, mix the baking soda with water. In either case, the mixture should generate a thick paste. Generously spoon and spread that over the stain, then cover the area with plastic wrap, taping down its edges. Leave the homemade stain remover overnight (or even for a couple of days), before rinsing and wiping down the granite.

Adding Protection to Granite Countertops

Most installations of granite are protected by a layer of sealant. If you’ve repeatedly tried and failed to remove stains from your counters, chances are that the sealant has ceased to function as it should. In situations where the sealant is to blame, stained granite becomes difficult or impossible to clean, at least for the average do-it-yourselfer. Your best bet is to hire a professional to completely clean and then properly reseal the stone, thereby preventing future problems.

If you’ve been lucky enough to avoid stains so far but want to know the extent of your countertop’s protection, test whether or not it’s sealed. Spoon out just a few drops of water onto the surface, and keep your hydrogen peroxide and baking soda at the ready. Give it a few minutes. You want to see the water bead up atop the protective seal; that means it’s strong. But, if the water penetrates the granite, address the stain quickly with the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide paste described above (under “Stain Removal”) and schedule a time to reseal the slab.

Stay Clear of Specific Cleaners

Keep these cleaners far away!

  • Household acids including vinegar, lemon, lime, and citrus
  • Ammonia or ammonia-based cleaners like Windex
  • Bleach
  • Steel wool
  • Scrubby sponges

They’re bad news for the gloss of your granite as well as the protection—over time, they will etch, dull, and even weaken the surface sealant.

How to clean concrete countertops

There are lots of countertop options on the market for kitchen countertops, but 10 materials comprise the majority of countertops in residential kitchens. They include granite, marble, quartz, and more. Each material has its positive and negative aspects. For instance, some are very strong while others can be scratched or marred. And some materials cost a lot more than others.

Pros and Cons of the Top Kitchen Counter Surfaces

Here are the pros and cons of 10 types of kitchen countertops.

Granite

The Spruce / Kevin Norris

For some time, granite has been the countertop material of choice when there were no cost issues to consider. Granite defines elegance in a kitchen. Even modest kitchens seem like luxury spaces when flavored by the beauty of granite countertops.

Historically, granite has been an expensive material, but its cost has come down somewhat as supplies have increased and engineered stone has become more common.

Almost impervious to heat

Very strong and durable

Adds real estate value to home

Nearly 3,000 different colors and types available

Nearly maintenance-free when treated with newer sealers

Very expensive material

Not suitable for DIY installation

Slabs may have imperfections

Can crack if stressed or improperly installed

Knives are quickly dulled by cutting on granite

Stone is porous and requires sealing to avoid stains

Soapstone

How to clean concrete countertops

essentialimage / Getty Images

Soapstone is another natural stone, usually dark gray in color with a smooth, silky feel. It has seen a recent resurgence as an alternative to granite. Soapstone is often seen in historic homes but is also used in modern homes as both a countertop and sink material. Over time, soapstone takes on an antique-like patina that can be very attractive in certain kitchen styles.

Contrary to expectations, the architectural soapstone used for countertops is actually quite hard and resistant to stain. However, it will scratch over time, although this can add to the antique patina of the stone.

Deep, rich color

Somewhat stain resistant

Fairly impervious to heat

Damage can be sanded out

Offers antique, historic look to a kitchen

May darken over time

DIY installation not possible

Must be treated with mineral oil

Surface can scratch and dent, though this can create an attractive antique look

Marble

How to clean concrete countertops

The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Another natural stone commonly used in kitchen countertops is marble. Because no two sheets of marble are exactly the same, each marble countertop will be entirely unique.

Because of its extremely high price tag, marble is not often seen on the entire expanse of countertops of most kitchens. More often, its luxurious look is limited to use on an island or section of countertop reserved as a baking center.

Although highly prized, marble may not be the best choice for kitchens due to its penchant for staining and scratching. Newer sealers can reduce the upkeep on marble, but this is a considerably more temperamental stone than granite or soapstone.

Waterproof and heatproof

Adds to real estate value of a home

Exceptionally beautiful stone, with unique veining

DIY installation not possible

Can be scratched; repairs are difficult

Stone is porous and stains easily unless sealed

Quartz (Engineered Stone)

How to clean concrete countertops

The Spruce / Kevin Norris

The countertop material known as "quartz" is actually an engineered stone product that contains as much as 93 percent quartz particles and other minerals, shaped into slabs and bound with resins. These are not solid quartz slabs produced by quarrying.

Sold by companies such as DuPont Zodiaq, LG Viatera, Cambria, and Silestone, quartz was created as a more adaptable and better-performing alternative to granite and marble. It is available in a larger range of colors than granite and has a nonporous surface that resists both scratching and staining. Some types are convincing copies of natural marble, with similar veining. Unlike natural stone, engineered quartz requires no annual sealing.

Similar technology is now being used in so-called glass countertops, which consist of particles of recycled glass blended with resins and shaped into countertop slabs. Consumers keen on being on the cutting edge may want to consider glass as well as quartz countertops.

Ready to take home. All kitchen countertops shown below are pre-cut in standard sizes. Tested to stand up to years of use and scratch resistant, our kitchen countertops are available in many styles and materials including wooden countertops in oak, beech and birch finishes. We also feature a variety of different kitchen sinks that can easily be installed for seamless integration.

CUSTOM KITCHEN COUNTERTOPS
We offer a wide color selection of custom made quartz kitchen countertops. These kitchen countertops can be customized to fit your specific kitchen layout, and can only be ordered in-store.
View custom countertops

Kitchen countertops for all tastes and budgets

Our ready-made and custom-made kitchen worktops are tested against everyday kitchen challenges like liquids, oil, food and scratches – so you know they will last. You can choose from different styles: quartz, acrylic, solid wood and more.

How to clean concrete countertops

How to clean concrete countertops

How to clean concrete countertops

Apply STOCKARYD wood treatment oil to make your wooden worktop more durable, water-resistant and attractive.

How to clean concrete countertops

How to clean concrete countertops

How to clean concrete countertops

How to clean concrete countertops

The kitchen is often called the heart of the home – and for good reason. It’s a place for everything from daily rituals to big celebrations. A place to pour your love and ambition into delicious dinners and tasty treats.

This makes the choice of kitchen countertops especially important. The countertop area is a focal point of the room, which means you need to consider its texture, look and feel. Do you want the clean, cold look of a quartz top? Or do you prefer the warm homeliness of a wood grain pattern?

The kitchen countertop is also a working area. It’s important to consider practical aspects of the material. Do you need the countertop to be heat resistant, so that it can handle hot pots and pans? Should it be scratch or crack resistant? Are you willing to polish and maintain the top to keep it looking fresh? There’s a lot of questions to consider – but we’re here to help.

Here are a few tips on how to choose the right kitchen countertop or kitchen countertops for your home.

Stone countertops: Quartz

Stone such as quartz makes for strong and resilient kitchen countertops. The heavy, durable material will give a sleek, palatial feel to your kitchen. They are also very practical, being highly scratch resistant and easy to clean. Quartz countertops do have some drawbacks to consider as well. They can’t handle too much heat, and they can be difficult to install without professional help.

Wood countertops: Solid Wood and Thick Veneer

Choosing wooden countertops is a great way to add natural beauty to your kitchen. And they are highly practical too. Wood is naturally resistant to germs and bacteria, and a solid piece of wood is very resistant to cracking and breaking. With good care, a solid wood countertop can last a lifetime. It is also likely to become more beautiful with age.

One thing to consider with a solid wood or thick veneer countertop is maintenance. Wooden tops need to have water and stains cleaned immediately to avoid damage. Wood is not very scratch resistant, but scratches can easily be sanded out. The countertop should also be oiled at regular intervals to avoid the wood drying out.

Plastic worktops: Laminate

Countertops made from plastic materials are practical, flexible and affordable. Laminate countertops are completely waterproof and easy to clean. You can get laminate tops that mimic the look and feel of wood or stone without the high price tag.

These tops are not very durable. They can be scratched or damaged by sharp or heavy objects, and they can’t handle heat from pots or pans.