How to Clean Dusty Concrete Basement Floor? (Answered)
Concrete floors get dirty just like any other floor. The thing is, they are not always as easy to clean as some floors. Sometimes it feels like that basement floor just never gets clean thanks to the dust.
Sweeping doesn’t seem to really cut it and the mop spreads around the dust that is left behind. The nice thing about concrete is that it’s incredibly durable and also very versatile. You can keep it clean. You just need to know the proper way to do so.
The trick is to start with a basic sweeping of the floor but then go back with a few droplets of water to help pick up the dust. Once you get the dust picked up, you can clean the floor with water and a cleaning solution.
Concrete basement floors do not have to be permanently dusty and grimy. There are small things you can do to help with the cleaning process. If you follow these steps, you should be able to maintain a great-looking concrete floor in the basement.
Supplies for Cleaning the Basement Floor
Before you get started, go ahead and gather up your supplies. Your cleaning process is going to have several different steps but it will go much more quickly if you gather things before you start.
If you have everything prepared and ready, you can simply work methodically and get the job done.
Collect these items to work from start to finish.
- Shop Vac (optional)
- Dust mop or broom that handles dust
- Water bucket with warm water
- Dish washing soap
- Scrubbing brush or sponge
- Trisodium Phosphate (TSP)
- Ammonia, bleach, or peroxide for sanitization (optional)
The one thing you may want to consider is whether your concrete floor has been sealed or stamped. Most basement concrete floors have not been. However, if yours has been, avoid the ammonia and bleach and simply stick to a mild detergent instead.
In the event that the floor is stamped or polished, avoid anything acidic as this could harm the sealant that was used.
Steps to Clean a Dusty Concrete Basement Floor
When you’ve gathered your supplies and you’re ready to get started, there are a few steps to break out the cleaning process.
You’re going to start with cleaning dry. Once you’ve removed loose dirt and debris you will work on any stains that need your attention. From there, you will finish with a wet cleaning using a cleaning solution.
Follow these steps for your cleaning process.
1. Start with a Basic Cleaning
To get started, you’re going to go with general cleaning of the area. Here, you will use a tiny bit of water, a broom or dust mop, and a shop vac (optional).
In order to help get some of the dust and debris off the floor in the dry process, we do recommend that you just sprinkle some water around on the floor. The goal here is just to have the dust cling to the minuscule water droplets and loosen it from the floor.
You’re not soaking the floor or getting the entire floor wet. You should just dip your hand in some clean water and then flick it around the room.
We recommend using a Shop-Vac or even a real vacuum first. You can pick up the loosest items and it will be a quick fix. You can use the hose to get around the edges and corners to help pick up that dust in hard-to-reach places.
Then, grab your broom or your dust mop and go over the entire room. Sweep all of the dust, dirt, and debris into a pile. Once you’ve covered the whole room, you can dispose of your pile. The vacuum or shop vac can come in handy here as well to make sure you get it all cleaned up and out of the way.
2. Work on Stains
If there are any stains that need to be addressed on the floor, this is the time to take care of them.
You’ve loosened up the dirt and before you finish the final step of cleaning, you want to get rid of any of the tougher stains that plague the area. Cleaning up stains will just be a spot cleaning process.
To clean up stains, you can mix your dishwashing detergent with warm water. Use a scrubbing brush mixed with your water and detergent. If you don’t have a good scrubbing brush you can use a good scrubbing sponge for this step.
When you’ve cleaned up the stain, you can use a paper towel or a rag to soak up that sudsy water.
If you happen to come across any areas that have mildew on them, this is where you will use trisodium phosphate to clean. To be clear, you can use trisodium phosphate instead of the dish detergent. You can also substitute it in our next step for the final cleaning.
Trisodium Phosphate will help attack mildew and clear it up in a pinch.
3. Mop the Floor
This may seem like a self-explanatory step but we want to cover the specifics.
It is typically recommended that you use ammonia, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide on concrete when you mop. The downside to these is that they are very abrasive and you are most likely in a location with little ventilation in the basement.
If you do not have proper ventilation or you are unsure about using these types of cleaner, you can use a homemade cleaner of trisodium phosphate, dish detergent, and warm water. This is our favorite mixture.
We know you just spot cleaned with a similar mixture but you can use this to also then mop the entire floor. The ratio is approximately 1 part cleaner to 3 parts water so you only need a small amount of each to get the job done.
Once you’ve prepared your warm water and the cleaning solution, grab your mop.
The best way to mop a concrete basement floor is to do it in small sections until you complete the entire floor. There is no secret to mopping, just be sure to rinse and wet your mop regularly as you move throughout the room.
If the water gets really dirty, you may need to refresh it and then continue.
Sealed, Polished, Stamped Floors
Remember that if your floor is sealed, polished, or stamped, you will definitely not want to use anything abrasive. This means that you should stay away from bleach, ammonia, peroxide, and other abrasive cleaners.
As an alternative, you can stick to trisodium phosphate, a mild detergent, or a mild cleaning detergent diluted with water. You want to stay away from anything that is acidic or considered to be abrasive.
Cleaning a dusty concrete basement floor is not the hardest job you will come across in taking care of your home. If you follow the tips we’ve shared here, you will have no problem cleaning up the dust!