Concrete countertops are the epitome of contemporary countertops these days. You may have installed an actual concrete slab, or perhaps you DIY’d your own concrete countertops. Either way, while they are not problem-proof in general, your concrete countertops should be easy to clean if they are sealed. Here are a couple of ideas for how to clean a concrete countertop to maintain its seal and smooth surface.
Perhaps the most important general rule to know about cleaning a concrete countertop is that you need a pH-neutral cleaner. Mild dish soap has a pH of 7-8, which makes it one of the most easily accessible neutral cleaners out there. Especially those dish soaps labeled “mild,” or “great for hands,” will be closer to pH 7 than other dish soaps.
Avoid using aggressive scrubbing pads or abrasive cleaners. Doing so will scratch or wear away your concrete sealer, which causes all sorts of problems over just a short amount of time. A soft cloth, such as a cloth diaper, is your best bet for cleaning your concrete countertops. Dip it in your sudsy water, then wring it out so it’s just damp.
Clean the concrete countertop with this damp cloth, reapplying the sudsy water every so often.
After you’ve scrubbed your concrete countertops with sudsy water, rinse your cloth out with clean, hot water.
Wring out the cloth so it’s damp and no longer dripping water.
Wipe countertops with rinsed cloth to remove any dish soap residue. That’s primarily how to clean your concrete countertops on a daily basis.
Of course, if you have a stain (such as mustard), dish soap might not cut it. You’ll see a bit of discoloration on my concrete countertop here, created from a colored piece of paper that got wet and stayed on the countertop for a while. Dish soap doesn’t touch this discoloration.
I found a tip to use bleach to try to remove stains. Although this one is more dye than, say, mustard or grape juice, I’ll show you the process and my results.
Wet a paper towel or soft cloth with bleach.
Place the bleach directly onto the stain on your concrete countertops.
Press down on the bleach so it makes direct contact with the stain.
Place a heavy object, such as a large filled glass cup, directly on top of the bleach to facilitate direct contact. While bleach is far from pH-neutral, direct exposure to your concrete countertop for a short amount of time will be okay. If you’re concerned, however, test this process on an obscure part of your countertop to make sure. (Not responsible for damage.)
Leave the heavy cup on the bleach for 5-10 minutes.
Lift up the bleach from your stain. As you can see, with this particular discoloration, very little of the stain was removed. But the process makes sense for certain stains that would be susceptible to bleach, so it might be worth a try for your own concrete countertops. Regardless, I happen to embrace the stains on my concrete countertops, because it adds character and patina. I hope this is a helpful guide for how to clean concrete countertops.