How to Clean Concrete & Decorative Coatings

Tips for cleaning decorative concrete and keeping your surface looking great.

While preventative measures such as installing a high-quality sealer are key to making sure your decorative concrete surface looks fantastic for as long as possible, it’s also important to keep up with regular maintenance. Here, we cover how to care for your decorative concrete.

Properly caring for your decorative concrete surface prolongs its beauty. Patio surface installed by SUNDEK of San Antonio.
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Caring for your decorative concrete surface

Even if you have a SUNDEK coating, which are known for being easy to maintain, there are some basic steps you need to take to care for your decorative concrete surface:

  • Regularly remove dust and debris.
  • Clean up liquid and chemical spills as soon as possible.
  • Reapply sealer as needed. (Learn about the importance of sealers.)
  • Use floor wax to prevent stains (for indoor surfaces).
  • Use felt pads or sliding casters (for indoor surfaces).
  • Give your surface a basic cleaning a few times a year—frequency depends on where its located (inside, outside?) and how often it’s used.

How to do a basic cleaning

Giving your concrete a basic clean a few times a year is essential to keeping dirt and grime from getting stuck on your surface. It’s also a great way to keep your decorative concrete looking great for a long time after it’s installed. Here are steps to take to give it a basic cleaning:

  • Sweep or blow off debris such as dust, dirt, leaves, etc.
  • Rinse the surface with clean water. If you’re cleaning an outdoor decorative concrete surface such as a concrete patio, you can use a garden hose with a high-pressure nozzle or a power washer. If you’re cleaning an indoor surface, mop it with warm water.
  • Scrub dirty areas to address stains. Make sure to use the right tool so you don’t scratch the surface. For example, if you’re scrubbing your pool deck with knockdown texture, you can use a stiff-bristle brush. If you’re scrubbing an interior concrete floor, be sure to use something non-abrasive such as a sponge or wash cloth.

Can I clean my own concrete?

Yes, with the right materials, information, and willingness to put in the time, you can clean concrete floors yourself.

What type of equipment will I need?

Here are the basic tools you’ll need to clean your surface:

  • Hose or power washer (for outdoor surfaces)
  • Mop and bucket (for indoor surfaces)
  • Scrub brush (for outdoor surfaces)
  • Non-abrasive sponge or mop (for indoor surfaces)
  • Concrete cleaner to resolve stains

What cleaning products or solutions can I use?

Cleaning products typically only need to be used when you have tough stains that need to be addressed. Here’s what you need to keep in mind before applying to your surface:

  • The cleaning product you use needs to be formulated for a decorative concrete surface.
  • If you use the wrong product, you might etch or discolor the surface, so keep that in mind before applying anything.
  • The type of cleaning product you use depends on the type of stain you have. For example, citrus based cleaners are great for grease stains, diluted muriatic acid works wonders on rust, trisodium phosphate (TSP) is perfect for mildew and algae, etc. See our maintenance guide for details about what to use for various situations.
  • SUNDEK has an eco-friendly acid wash that is good for stains that are hard to remove. Contact us for more details.

How to remove stains from a concrete surface

Fortunately, if you have a high-quality sealer on your surface, that will help prevent stains from forming. The sealer creates a non-porous surface that repels liquids, making it less likely that stains will occur. However, when a spill sits for too long, it’s possible that it will begin to stain.

When you’re faced with a stain on your decorative concrete surface, first try power washing. It’s important to use the right setting—if the pressure is set too high, you might inadvertently etch the concrete surface. If a pressure wash doesn’t remove the stain adequately, try a non-abrasive cleaning solution that’s formulated for your surface type. (If you’re not sure what concrete cleaner to use, contact us.)

See our Maintenance Guide for information on getting rid of hard-to-remove stains.

When cleaning concrete doesn’t work

After some time, a decorative concrete surface may reach a point when it just doesn’t look good anymore—no matter how much you clean it. Fortunately, there are ways to make an existing surface look good again:

  • Concrete resurfacing allows you to make your existing surface look brand-new. With concrete resurfacing, a contractor applies a coating on top of your existing surface, then customizes it with colors and textures to give it the look you want.
  • Concrete staining allows you to liven up a dull surface with color.

Find a decorative concrete contractor in the San Antonio area

We work in San Antonio and all the major cities in the area including Boerne, Bulverde, Canyon Lake, Castle Hills, Cibolo, Fair Oaks Ranch, Garden Ridge, Helotes, Hollywood Park, New Braunfels, Schertz, Shavano Park, Spring Branch, and Terrell Hills.

Call us: (210) 491-0280
Email us: [email protected]
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