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topic 49464

Cleaning up cement dust from sanding of concrete floor

A discussion started in 2008 but continuing through 2019

July 25, 2008

Q. Hi,

I wonder if there is a process to remove the cement dust that has coated inside cupboards, walls, windows, appliances and material furniture (couches and chairs) all over my house? The flooring company installed it crooked, so the result was to lift the tile and scrape the sub-floor. Well it was taking too long I guess and they sanded the cement off and now I have tried washing surfaces in the kitchen and it is not coming off easily.

Is there a recognized process to have all of the dust removed from my home?

Cheryrl Hammond
Flooring - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

aff. link
Concrete Crafts
from Abe Books


July 31, 2008

A. My son did some concrete cutting this week, fortunately in the backyard, but I see the problem: the dust clumps almost like a plaster. If your vacuum cleaner has a HEPA filter, so you won't blow the dust back into the room, I think you can vacuum it with a brush attachment, although you may need to break up clumps with something stiffer like a toothbrush.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

December 17, 2009

Q. Hello,
We just had our living room concrete floors sanded and we are having the same problem. Trying to find something to clean up the dust! Did you find a good solution for the clean-up?

Thanks so much!

Amber Roeger
- Indianapolis, Indiana

December 2009

A. Hi. All I can warn of is that if you do not have a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, you should not vacuum it because you'll just scatter the dust ... perhaps into your lungs. If you have a built-in vacuum that discharges outside, or very long hoses so your vacuum cleaner can be outside, then I think you can safely try to vacuum it.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

April 9, 2018

Q. Simply vacuuming up cement dust doesn't work, and neither does the wet cloth or mop. We have tried both, and there is STILL a cement colored residue on the floor and cabinets. Any other ideas?

Dick de Seve
- New Hampshire, US

April 2018

aff. link
Grout Cleaner

A. Hi Dick. I'm just the administrator of a metal finishing site which wandered into concrete dust cleanup. I'm disappointed that after 10 years of substantial traffic here, nobody has volunteered info about what they successfully did :-(

But if it must be removed and it can't be washed up, I guess your only alternative is what the people in the tiling business often do for grout haze -- dissolve it with safely dilute acid. I guess you could go to the hardware store and get some grout remover and see how it goes: remembering that the acid will attack the concrete if left long enough, being careful not to slosh it on any metal work, neutralizing it with a baking soda wash, and maintaining good ventilation while doing it.

I'd suggest trying a small and inconspicuous area first, remembering that cabinets and concrete floors may react differently. Then come back and tell us how it worked :-)


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

January 12, 2019

Q. I have concrete dust in the basement from grinding a groove in the concrete floor. I regret not first reading your comments: we tried a regular vacuum and have scattered dust everywhere.

I like the idea of dissolving it with grout cleaner, but I am concerned about the cat's safety.

Can the cleaner be sufficiently cleaned up or neutralized so that they will be able to walk there after we are done? I don't want them to get some of that on their paws and lick it.

Jesse Turner
- Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  ^- Privately contact this inquirer -^

January 2019

A. Hi Jesse. Although I'm certainly not a veterinarian, I suspect that a mild dilute acid will do your cat less harm than concrete dust.

Try a large bucket with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water on a moderate size patch, or grout cleaner followed by rinsing with a package of baking soda dissolved into a bucket of water -- and tell us what you learn please.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

September 21, 2019

Q. I have the same issue as the poster directly above. Drilled into the concrete floor. I think the contractor then tried to vacuum with a wet dry vac. All I know is there is now dust EVERYWHERE throughout the very full basement, on every box and suitcase and bike and camping equipment. All of it. I can't use a solvent on any of the stuff mentioned above, right? So is the best bet to use a HEPA vacuum?

Ann White
Homeowner - Oakland California usa

September 2019

A. Hi Ann. I would expect that mild detergent in water would allow cleaning up many items. As for vacuuming, I'd be much happier if a long hose was practical, so the vacuum cleaner could be outside a basement window rather than indoors, but a HEPA vacuum cleaner should contain most of the dust.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

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