Stone-based surfaces can be some of the most difficult surfaces to clean. Different than other surfaces, dirt can work its way into a stone-based surface to the point where it becomes the surface itself.
Other than that, concrete cleaners can be difficult to work with, demanding you apply it differently than other kinds of cleaners.
You can’t just scrub a stone-based surface with a concrete cleaner and expect it to work. There are certain things that you need to do and certain precautions that you must take.
And most important of all, you need to make sure that the cleaner you select is effective.
Concrete cleaners: A buying guide
Because there are different concrete cleaners for different stone-based surfaces, you’ll need to know what concrete cleaners are best for which surfaces.
While a lot of concrete cleaners can clean all kinds of stone surfaces, many of them specialize in only one. This is something that you should pay attention to.
You should also be aware of what the cleaner is made of. Because you are dealing with surfaces that are stone based, the cleaning solutions and other compounds in the cleaner are really strong.
This is also why you should know exactly what kind of surface you are cleaning. Some concrete cleaners work well on some surfaces but can do more harm than good on other surfaces. Because of this, you should be very aware of the surface you are cleaning.
You should also have proper cleaning supplies or tools ready before getting any concrete cleaner. While some concrete cleaners are liquid based, some others are applied similar to how paint is applied.
The 10 best Concrete Cleaners
If there is a stone surface that you need cleaning and polishing, Black Diamond’s concrete cleaner will prove itself effective. It will work for almost any stone surface that has a polish to it, such as limestone, travertine, slate, or any other kind of tumbled stone.
Using Black Diamond’s concrete cleaner is very, very easy, and it does not require a lot of materials. The only thing you need to clean with Black Diamond’s cleaner is mix 4 ounces of the cleaner itself with a gallon of hot or cold water, then wash the surface with the combination.
This lets you use Black Diamond’s cleaner a lot more often than most other concrete cleaners, which is really good if you have a lot of these surfaces to clean.
Black Diamond’s concrete cleaner is also bio-degradable, meaning it will not only make the surfaces clean, but it will also protect them. This is very useful if these kinds of surfaces are located outside, where they will be exposed to elements that could degrade them.
Unfortunately, Black Diamond’s cleaner doesn’t really clean any other surfaces other than those that are limestone and travertine based.
Floor cleaner concentrate, all purpose household cleaning solution and multipurpose mopping liquid by Sheiner’s
If you have floors that are made of tile, concrete, or linoleum, you know how the cleaning process is. You know that it is much different than cleaning any other surface. Between streaking and other issues, you know that cleaning these kinds of surfaces require something other than the usual floor cleaner.
Fortunately, Sheiner’s concrete cleaner is pH neutral, which means it will not streak or cause any other issues. This is especially useful if your floor is made of linoleum or concrete, as those surfaces are very sensitive.
You will not need to worry about running out, either. Sheiner’s cleaner comes in a one gallon bottle, and when mixed properly, it can make up to 128 gallons of cleaning solution. If you need to regularly clean multiple stone-based surfaces and floors, Sheiner’s is the concrete cleaner for you.
Sheiner’s cleaner has a lavender scent. While this would normally be welcoming for a concrete cleaner, as they are mostly scentless, the lavender scent of Sheiner’s can be overpowering. This is especially true if you intend to use it a lot.
It can be very difficult to find a cleaner for surfaces that are rough in nature that require formula that is much stronger than the typical formula that you would use on a stone surface that is smooth, such as a marble or granite countertop.
For pavement or ceramic based surfaces, you will need a cleaner that is strong to remove stains that work its way into the surface. For those, look no further than ACT. It does what a lot of concrete cleaners cannot: Removes almost any unwanted substance from tough stone based surfaces.
Here’s something else that a lot of concrete cleaners cannot do: Clean during cold temperatures. ACT’s concrete cleaner does not freeze, and will continue to clean very effectively even if it is freezing outside. This is a godsend for anyone who needs to clean pavement types of surfaces in cold temperatures.
ACT’s cleaner also picks up oil. This is perfect for anybody who owns an auto shop, where oil is everywhere. Using this on your oil soaked floor will not only clean it, but will also make the surface much safer to walk on.
Because it is so powerful, applying ACT’s cleaner can be a confusing process for those who have not used it before. Instead of applying it like any other liquid cleaner, ACT comes in a dry formula that you need to spread around and get just wet enough to where it will remove what needs to be removed, but not too wet to where it loses its strength. If you are not familiar with using this type of concrete cleaner, be patient.
The biggest issue with concrete cleaners is that not enough cleaner comes in their packaging.
If you own a large establishment and you need concrete and floor cleaner for the entire establishment, you know that you’ll need to purchase several bottles of cleaner.
This makes things disorganized and impractical. You’re left with bottles of used up concrete cleaner everywhere and that can be a pain.
Enter Zep Professional’s concrete cleaner, which will decisively solve any problem that you may have in cleaning a large area. If you own a massive establishment and need cleaner for the inside and the outside, Zep Professional’s concrete cleaner should be your first choice. It may well be your only choice as well.
Most powdered concrete cleaner comes in a 2 or 3 pound container. While this is alright for cleaning the pavement type surfaces of a small auto shop or a small store, if you own a large establishment, you know that this is not enough. Zep Professional’s cleaner comes in a 40 pound container.
You read that right: 40 pounds. You will not have an issue with having enough cleaner once you own Zep Professional’s cleaner. It will remove any given stain that is found on pavement surfaces: Oil stains, gum stains, everything.
Zep Professional’s cleaner, however, is one-dimensional. It can only clean pavement type surfaces and nothing else. It is simply too strong to use as floor cleaner. Be very careful when mixing this cleaner, as the chemicals in it can kill plants almost on contact. And since you’re likely to be using it to clean sidewalks and parking lots outside, you need to be aware of this.
People who need to use concrete cleaners usually have no choice but to deal with the scent that the cleaner they use gives off.
While this is negligible most of the time, it can get annoying to deal with it, and if there is no option to have a scentless concrete cleaner, it can be unpleasant dealing with the same kind of scent over and over again.
Thankfully, Krud Kutter’s concrete cleaner does not have a scent, which is a breath of fresh air compared to other concrete cleaners that are so powerful that the scents they give off are also overpowering. This is not an issue with Krud Kutter’s cleaner.
Even better, Krud Kutter’s formula is liquid based and not solid based, yet it can remove the same kind of stains that any “heavy duty” concrete cleaner can remove. This makes it easier to use than similar concrete cleaners that require you to spread out the dry solution, spray it a few times, hope that it isn’t too wet, and so on.
None of that guesswork is necessary with Krud Kutter’s formula.
The only real downside of Krud Kutter’s formula is that it only comes in a one gallon bottle. This is clearly not enough if you need it to clean the outside pavings of a large, or even medium size establishment. Krud Kutter’s concrete cleaner is really only designed for cleaning the pavement outside of a small home or establishment.
If there is any literal term for “all purpose cleaner,” it has to be Simple Green’s cleaner.
It will clean anything. Literally.
From grease and oil stains on pavement, to spills on a concrete floor to even machinery, Simple Green’s cleaner will do it all. It also does it all easily and safely, coming in a fluid container.
If you are sick of using powdered concrete cleaner to remove oil stains from your parking lot or auto shop, then you will get a lot out of Simple Green’s cleaner. All you need to do with it is mop it into the stain you want to clear, just like you would mopping an indoor floor. You won’t need to worry about killing anything around your parking lot either, as Simple Green’s cleaner is much safer to use.
You can also use Simple Green’s cleaner to clean interior stone based surfaces as well. It can be diluted to achieve whatever result you need from your cleaning jobs. So if you want it to be a little weaker so that you can mop indoor floors with it, that is possible with Simple Green’s cleaner.
It is very unfortunate that Simple Green’s container only comes in one gallon, because you will want to use it everywhere and probably for everything. If you decide to use it to clean everything, prepare. You’ll need to purchase multiple bottles because it will run out fast.
Most concrete cleaners that say they can remove tough oil based stains in a driveway usually disappoint.
They’ll remove the oil based stains on the driveway, but not perfectly. Usually, when you see these kinds of stains removed, you’ll still see a very small remnant of the stain.
This is not the case with Terminator-HSD’s concrete cleaner. True to its name, it will terminate any oil based stain on your sidewalk or driveway without question.
To do this, it uses microbacteria and hydrocarbons to digest oil and gasoline at the source, meaning it will literally dematerialize said oil and gasoline based stains. Most other concrete cleaners do this at the surface with their formulas, but not at the source.
Another thing that separates Terminator-HSD’s concrete cleaner from other concrete driveway cleaners is how it is used. Most concrete driveway cleaners require you to pour some of the cleaner onto the spill, spray it with some other liquid based cleaner, then scrub.
This is not necessary when it comes to Terminator-HSD’s cleaner. All you do is pour the cleaning powder onto the spill and within hours the spill is gone.
If you are planning to use Terminator-HSD’s cleaner to remove stains from a large driveway, you will need to stock up. There are only two pounds of cleaning powder in the container, which will not be enough if you need to clean a large or even medium sized driveway.
“Waterless” concrete cleaners usually suffer from two drawbacks.
First, they are not completely waterless. In most cases, you’ll need to spray down whatever surface you want to clean after applying the concrete cleaner that is presented as “waterless,” defeating the purpose.
If that isn’t the case, the cleaner is often not eco-friendly and will harm the environment when applied on any driveway or other pavement based surface.
Eximo’s concrete cleaner is different from all of those, and much better.
It is completely eco-friendly, using nature’s own biochemistry to remove any oil or petroleum based stains from any concrete-based surface. This process is called bioremediation, and it will naturally remove these kinds of stains by targeting the hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide content of petroleum based stains.
Because of this, there is absolutely no water or any other liquid based substance needed to assist in Eximo’s cleaning process. If you are fed up with the process of laying down concrete cleaning powder, then applying liquid based solution on it only to partially remove oil based stains, Eximo’s concrete cleaner is for you.
However, if you are planning to clean a large area of pavement or concrete, you will need to stock up. Eximo’s cleaner only comes in 12 ounce containers, and even though it is very powerful, it is only truly designed for cleaning small driveways.
Concrete cleaners usually clean driveways and driveways only. It’s almost as if they were designed to only clean oil and petroleum based stains with no other options.
What if there existed a cleaner that was able to remove oil and petroleum stains and many other types of stains or blemishes?
It would be called Genesis 950’s cleaner, because that is exactly what it does: It cleans nearly everything, depending on how much you use.
All you need to use Genesis 950’s cleaner is a spray bottle with water and the cleaner itself. The more water you use, the weaker the cleaner is, meaning you can make “designated” bottles of Genesis 950 and water combinations for any kind of situation that calls for a cleaner.
This is much more versatile than common concrete cleaners, which you usually can only clean stone counters with or dump onto an oil stain to clean it. It is possible to do both with the Genesis 950 cleaner.
There are two things you should watch out for with Genesis 950’s cleaner, however. First, it only comes in a 2.5 gallon container. While this may seem like a lot, if you are making separate combinations of this cleaner and water to make the most of its versatility, you will run out fast.
Second, if you really do need a concrete cleaner that will eliminate oil and petroleum based stains effectively, you may need to look elsewhere. Even in its strongest combination with water, Genesis 950 can only remove small oil based stains, not massive ones.
Do heavy-duty concrete cleaners remove oil and petroleum based stains? Yes.
Are they good at doing this? Absolutely.
Can they remove other stains on concrete and pavement based surfaces with equal efficiency?
Sadly, the answer to that is no.
This is where MasonryDefender’s concrete cleaner comes in. Designed for removing small stains on pavement at a rapid pace, MasonryDefender’s concrete cleaner is a very good choice for anybody who needs to clean a large area of pavement really quickly.
By combining it with some hot water and using it in a pressure washer, cleaning sidewalks and parking lots will be a breeze with MasonryDefender’s concrete cleaner. You will clean these kinds of areas much, much faster than if you were using a typical concrete cleaner, which is really just designed for targeting oil based stains.
If you are cleaning a very large area driveway, you will need to stock up, however. One bucket of MasonryDefender’s cleaner will only clean 900 square feet of pavement, and that is when it is mixed with enough water to yield 6 gallons of cleaner.
MasonryDefender’s concrete cleaner will not remove oil and petroleum based stains, even if very little water is used to make the cleaner. Keep this in mind. If you need to clean oil based stains, you will need a different concrete cleaner.
Concrete cleaners are used for a variety of reasons. Maybe you just need something that will remove stains from your stone based counters in your home or office. Maybe you need something that can remove the dozens of oil based stains in the auto shop or gas station that you work at.
And don’t think that concrete cleaner only cleans concrete and stone based surfaces. Keep in mind that a lot of these cleaners need to be combined with either water or another cleaner to determine its “strength.” It is just as easy to use concrete cleaner as an all purpose cleaner for the home, you just need to know what proportions to use.
No matter what the situation, there is a concrete cleaner for you, and now you have all the tools necessary to determine what concrete cleaner you need.