Despite plenty of information to the contrary in the marketplace, two wrong ideas about polished concrete floors persist:
1. Polished concrete floors don’t need regular maintenance cleaning.
2. If you do clean your polished concrete floors, any old cleaner will do.
Let’s take number one first ~ it’s the easiest. Obviously, everything gets dirty. Dirt tracked in from outside needs to be swept up. If left on the floor, the tiny grains of dirt act like sandpaper to degrade the shine.
In the sense that it needs periodic cleaning, a floor is no different from a dog, a kid, you, a gun, a car, your teeth or anything else. Everything gets dirty. Everything needs regular maintenance cleaning.
Polished concrete floors must be cleaned regularly to keep their appearance — whether they look like they need cleaning or not — to get up tiny amounts of dirt, dust, grease and other contaminants before they build up enough to degrade the floor’s appearance.
Note in the photo how clean and shiny the floor already looks. That’s the secret to effective maintenance ~ not letting the floor get dull or dirty to begin with.
That takes us to misconception #2 — that any old cleaner will do.
Any old cleaner WON’T do. Cleaners that are acidic can attack the concrete. Harsh chemicals made for cleaning waxed floors can eat away at surface protective treatments. There are cleaners on the market made specifically for polished concrete floors. Using them following the manufacturer’s instructions will prevent a lot of problems from happening to begin with.
“Following manufacturer’s instructions” is just as important as using the right cleaner. For example, not diluting a cleaner properly with water can leave a haze on the floor.
Use the right products the right way and you can count on polished concrete floors that keep their shine until the building is abandoned or destroyed. And that includes no stripping, waxing, replacing or landfilling.
Of course, you also need a good spill-remediation program in place. Regularly scheduled maintenance cleaning isn’t enough to rescue floors from spills. Spills must be cleaned up right away. Food and drink especially can ruin a polished floor’s shine, especially if it’s acidic, like soda pop, orange juice, or milk (yes, milk – lactic acid).
And there’s a right way and wrong way to remove spills.
But that’s another story.
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