Concrete is the most durable construction material available, and countertops made from it will look brand new for years to come, as long as you care for them properly. Keeping your concrete countertops clean is easy, and so is the regular maintenance, when you follow these simple tips:
Concrete is a porous material, and dirt and other impurities can seep down into the pores if you don’t seal it properly. Have your concrete countertops sealed at installation so they’ll look great indefinitely. If any damaging stains or burns do occur, it’s much easier to reseal the countertops than it is to replace them. Periodically adding a coat of concrete waxing over the top of the sealer will extend the life of the sealer as well, making your countertops virtually indestructible.
For most of the daily accumulation of food and dirt on your countertops, simply wiping them down with a damp cloth will keep them clean. Sealed concrete is very easy to keep clean, and isn’t stained by too many things. Adding some mild dish detergent to the warm water will help to remove any stubborn stains or stuck on food. Avoid using any chemical sprays that are not approved for finished concrete, as this could wear away the finish.
Deep Cleaning and Tough Stains
For tougher stains, or if you’ve chosen to leave a porous surface on your countertops, you’ll need to do some deep cleaning from time to time. Using a little laundry detergent in place of dishwashing soap is a mild way to remove some pretty tough stains. A paste made from powdered laundry detergent and water can be rubbed down into a porous surface using a soft toothbrush to gently remove deeper stains. Laundry stain remover sprays can also do the trick on porous surfaces. Recipes for cleaning pastes made from hydrogen peroxide or vinegar can be found online, and can be gently effective.
These types of cleaners are great for unfinished concrete surfaces, but may not be safe for a sealed concrete surface. Check with the contractor about how to clean your specific type of sealed countertop. He may recommend sticking with a pH balanced concrete wipe or cleaner for tougher stains. The sealer on your countertops should prevent almost all staining, so you would only need to use deep cleaning methods in rare instances, or as part of periodic spring cleaning.