After making the decision to get polished concrete surfaces installed, you should familiarise yourself with the proper precautions and maintenance practices. These are important steps you can take to guarantee your worktops will stay looking their best for years to come.
As polished concrete ages, it will develop a patina just like any other natural material. This is unavoidable, however, it will add to the character of your kitchen. This said you can avoid ugly and unwanted stains by making sure you clean and maintain your surfaces properly.
Below are listed our top 6 tips to keep your polished concrete looking fresh and beautiful.
1. Protect your surfaces from heat and scratches
You should always use pot stands or boards instead of placing hot pans directly onto the polished concrete surface. Although concrete is hard-wearing, and should last you for years, heat can damage the sealants that protect the worktops from water damage, and cause unwanted stains and marks.
Chopping boards are essential; like heat, sharp knives can damage your surfaces by scratching into the layer of sealer and creating holes through which moisture and grease can seep through, as well as creating ugly knife marks. Simply remember to never cut directly onto your worktops.
2. Wipe your surfaces immediately after spillages
Spillages are to be expected in the kitchen, and splashes are an occupational hazard of being a countertop. However, in order to keep your surfaces looking their best, you should wipe away any spills as soon as possible after they occur, using washing up liquid and a damp cloth. If the stains harden, gently rub at them with a sponge or cloth, and they should come off fairly easily. There shouldn’t be any need to use harsh cleaning products that are bleach or solvent-based, as these can damage the surfaces.
3. Quick tip: use laundry detergent to tackle tough stains
Mix some laundry powder and water into a paste and gently rub it into the stain with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Let it absorb for a minute or so, and then wipe it away. Your stain should be gone! No harsh chemicals are required; gentle household cleaning products will do the job!
4. Remember to re-seal!
Around once a month you should add a new layer of wax coating to make sure your concrete is properly protected from external wear and tear. If you use your kitchen a lot, you should top up the wax even more regularly. This wax coat protects the layer of sealer and is easy to replace and top up if a small part is damaged by heat or scratches. The whole surface should be re-waxed regularly, as standard use will slowly wear down the original layer of the topcoat. It is a lot easier to wax than replace a whole layer of sealer, so stay vigilant and make sure your worktops stay looking great for as long as possible!
5. Choose pH-balanced cleaning products
If you really want to use a specialist cleaner, a pH-balanced one is the way to go. These cleaners are specially made for cleaning concrete and are the best way to avoid damaging your worktops whilst keeping them looking clean and fresh. Great for quick spills and people in a hurry, pH-balanced wipes are an easy and convenient way to mop up scary spillages.
6. Don’t sweat the hairline cracks!
Although you might be worried if you’re used to working on surfaces made from other materials, hairline cracks can sometimes appear on worn polished concrete surfaces as part of the regular wear and tear of everyday use. These cracks won’t affect the structure and stability of your countertops and are far too thin to trap food, sauces or general kitchen bacteria. Your surfaces will remain solid, strong, and hygienic, and will if fact have developed the wonderful addition of a rocky pattern from these tiny natural fissures.