Stacey asked: How do I clean cement countertops that have been stained? I have dark, cement countertops that have been stained by citrus juice. The stains consist of faded areas and droplets. How do I remove the spots and previously applied wax and sealer? I want to be able to reseal and wax/buff the countertop without stains. Please advise. Thanks.
Concrete is a durable surface for countertops, but it’s extremely porous and without a good seal it stains easily. If the seal on your countertop isn’t properly maintained, or if an acidic substance such as citrus juice is left in contact with the surface, you may have a mess that won’t come clean. In order to get your concrete countertops back in shape, follow these steps.
You Will Need:
- Very fine grit sandpaper
- Concrete sealer
- Paste wax
- Mild detergent
- Dry towel
Steps to Remove the Stain:
- Wipe the counter free of dirt using a sponge and water. If there are spots of grease or other oils on the counter, clean those first with a solution of mild soap and water.
- Allow the countertop to dry completely, wiping with the towel.
- Next, use the fine grit sandpaper to gently sand the area affected by the acid. (If the stain is deeper than the surface, you might want to call in a professional.)
- Once the acid etching and stain has been sanded away, wipe away any dust with a damp cloth.
- Ensure the counter is completely dry before moving forward.
- Apply the concrete sealer. Follow package directions and allow it to dry as indicated.
- Finally, finish the job with the paste wax and buff according to package instructions. This product will help to protect the countertop from future scratching and staining.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Avoid using cleaning products that contain bleach or ammonia on your concrete countertops. They will weaken the seal and make your counters more susceptible to stains.
- If you have a countertop with a unique texture or a mirror-like finish, it’s a good idea to consult the manufacturer or a licensed repairman to remove the stain and reseal the concrete.
- If your countertops are not properly sealed, or you believe the seal may be weak or compromised, avoid letting acidic or fatty substances make contact with it. Acids will etch the countertop, while fats and oils will leave dark stains.
- Depending on the countertop and the quality of sealer used, you may need to repeat the process occasionally to maintain the finish. If countertops show wear, it’s time for reapplication.