Choosing a Concrete Cleaner or Degreaser
Learn how the various types of concrete cleaners work and how to choose the best one for your needs
For concrete-related applications, cleaners generally fall into five categories:
A wide variety of cleaners are available that are designed to clean or remove contamination from concrete surfaces. Understanding what these different cleaners do and how they work can save you time and money on your next cleaning project.
First, without going into complex chemistry, let's discuss how a basic soap works. We all know that oil and water do not mix. Soap consists of fatty acids that emulsify oil, grease, and dirt, allowing the particles to be removed with a water-based solution. Without soap, just plain water doesn't have much cleaning ability. By surrounding and entrapping stubborn oil or organic-based dirt, a soap or cleaner allows the grime to be rinsed away more easily.
The origin of basic soap goes back hundreds of years, and today there are a multitude of modern detergents and cleaners to choose from. Some utilize complex chemistry to target specific types of contamination and dirt in a wide variety of environmental conditions.
Even with the best cleaner, good old-fashioned elbow grease and patience really make the difference when removing a stubborn stain from concrete. Concrete is porous, holds dirt well, and can be a tough surface to clean. Doing some research and trying a few different systems can really pay off. Once you find the cleaner that really works, you will cut your time for concrete surface preparation or maintenance in half.