How to Clean Garage Floors? (4 Simple Steps)

By Harold K. Hardesty Updated January 12, 2021

Keep your garage floors spick and span

How to Clean Garage Floors? (4 Simple Steps)

Have you already given thought to how to clean your garage floor?

A concrete garage floor isn’t as stain-resistant or durable as the rumors state. Oil, grease, and water can still penetrate. These liquids can leave permanent marks on the surface of the concrete floors.

Furthermore, without the proper maintenance and care, severe clutter and grime can slowly continue to accumulate and leave your garage in lousy condition.

Table of Contents

Now, a garage full of stains isn’t exactly the best look you want to have for your home. If you’re looking for ways and methods to clean up your garage floor, don’t worry; I’ve got you covered.

Depending on the state your garage floor is in, there are several methods you can employ to clean a garage floor up properly(1).

Let’s have a look at some of them.

How to Clean Your Garage Floor?

You need to make your garage ready for the cleaning process. Consider the prerequisites for starting up on your endeavor.

1.Free up Your Garage

Empty the space out if you want to restore your garage floor. Remove and relocate everything you can, objects like bikes, shelves, boxes, etc. so that they don’t get in your way.

2.Adequately Cover Your Power-Outlets and Wallboard

Wallboards (more commonly known as Drywalls) are susceptible to harm(2) when in contact with water. They become sloppy and weak and moss will start to grow out. This can potentially create a health hazard at your home.

Cover up your drywall or even your wall generally. Covering up 3 feet of your wall (measured from the garage floor) with a tarp or any other material of such sort at your convenience should do the trick.

In doing so, you will prevent any water from reaching your power outlets or drywall.

3.Sweep Your Entire Floor

Sweep up your entire floor with a broom will help you remove any dust and grime. This provides a more manageable experience once you start splashing water or cleaning solutions.

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Removing the Stains

Once you have fully prepared your garage, you can now combat stains.

1.Using a Natural Acid to Combat Stains

You can use regular, readily available household materials to combat stains effectively such as white vinegar or lemon juice.

If you have kept some old bikes, tools, or metal cabinets and lockers stored in your garage, you are bound to find rust stains(6) .

Simply pour some white vinegar or lemon juice onto the rust stains. Let it sit for 5-15 minutes. After that, pour on some elbow grease and scrub the rust stains. In most cases, this will be enough.

Precaution

It can also damage some surfaces, so it is better to test a little out on an inconspicuous area.

However, you can either opt for repeating the process over or choose a commercial product specially created for the task for a more persistent stain.

Muriatic acid (composed of hydrochloric acid) is also an option for very persistent stains(7) (mostly oil stains are of such nature). However, it is extremely acidic, and it is recommended to mix any amount of muriatic acid with ten times the amount of water.

Another safety precaution is always wearing safety goggles and gloves while handling the commodity. It is extremely corrosive and can even burn your skin and the linings of your lungs and nose.

2.Using Kitty Litter

You can also use the kitty litter to deal with oil spots and stains. Cat’s litter is efficient as a method to clean a garage floor because it’s absorbent. It helps it soak up and remove an oil stain, removing the need to opt for chemicals.

However, you will need clay-based cat litter for this technique to work on oil stains.

Spread the litter freehandedly on the oil stain and leave it overnight. On the next morning, proceed to sweep away the litter.

If the stain persists after the litter has been swept away, replace the previously soiled litter with a fresh one, and let it stay overnight again.

The only considerable drawback to this method is that it might take several tries before the stain entirely disappears. Other than that, cat litter is efficient at removing both old and new stains.

3.Using a Detergent


Regular laundry detergent can be used while cleaning your garage floor.

Grab the detergent and a bucket of hot water to remove stains found on garage floors. Apply your laundry detergent and warm water mixture freehandedly onto the stain.

Once you make sure, the stain has been fully covered, proceed to scrub the stain hard. After scrubbing, wipe away the detergent and allow the place to dry.

4.Using a Commercial Product

If you don’t have results, the next best way is to opt for a commercial product(8).

A commercial product is particularly efficient against oil and grease stains.

Precaution

Always remember to stick precisely to the instructions left behind by the manufacturer of the product.

Furthermore, the time consumed and workings of each product may vary. For example, some products may require immediate use and washing, whereas others may need to be left for some while before the washing ensues.

Precaution

The most effective of such products have always required some time to dry before being rinsed.

5.Dealing with Sealer and Old Paint

If you want to add a newer layer of coating to your floor, you’ll have to remove old paint, mastic, or topical sealer. This process must be done before the cleaning takes place.

You can use a chemical stripper. Use it exactly as directed by the manufacturer.

Another method is to use a solvent. They may create strong fumes while working, so it is better to leave the garage door open while you use it.

You can also opt for a floor grinder. There are unique grinder heads available in the market to deal with paint sealers and mastic. Although a floor grinder is a much dustier way to deal with residue, it also consumes a lot less elbow grease compared to when chemicals are applied.

Besides, wearing a mask and goggles is an excellent counter to the dust created. First-time users should familiarize themselves with the workings and control of the floor grinder over a smaller area before moving on to a larger one.

Deep Cleaning the Entire Garage Floor

Once you have dealt with the stains and spots, you should start eyeing the entire garage floor. What you’ll need:

1.Make up your cleaning solution

Form your cleaning solution. You can use any product at your leisure.

If you have a garage floor filled with oil stains, opt for a degreasing product (9). However, any regular laundry detergent can do the work, too (just not that efficiently).

The standard procedure to make the solution goes like this:

2.Spread and Scrub the Solution

Spread the solution over the entire floor, make sure every corner is covered. In doing so, you might use up more than a gallon of the solution.

Just repeat and make the solution again with 1 gallon of warm water. This is to know and mix the exact amount of substances and make sure that only 1 gallon is formed and no excess wasted.

After spreading the cleaning agent entirely over the floor, get your push broom, and scrub away every inch of the floor.

Tip

Make way for the water to go out of the garage door as you continue scrubbing. Doing so will make your garage floor dry quicker.

3.Power Wash the Garage Floor

If your garage floor is incredibly filthy, you need a power washer. You can rent the machine relatively cheaply at any local hardware store.

You can spread your cleaning solution and let it sit on the floor for 15 minutes and then proceed with the power washer to get rid of stubborn stains.

It is better to start at the end of your garage and allow the residue water to drain out through your garage door.

4.Buff Your Concrete Garage Floor

A floor buffer is the best way to restore your concrete floor. It is a machine that consists of a very powerful scrubber. You can rent a floor buffer too at any local hardware store.

First-time users may familiarize themselves better with smaller sections before moving on to larger ones.

A buffer’s workings are similar to a power washer, spreading the cleaning solution out and activating the floor buffer from one end of the garage floor. This is to make you avoid stepping on areas you have already buffed.

Allow the solution to drain through the garage doors and leave the concrete floor to dry out after buffing.

Epoxy Floors: An Introduction

Epoxy Floors (10) are typical applications to garages due to their durable surface. Epoxy Flooring Systems consist of a combination of resins and hardeners.

With both of these mixed, a hard and durable plastic-like material is formed. Epoxy material can stick easily to any surface like concrete.

Types of Garage Epoxy Floors

1.Mortar Epoxy Floors

These are the strongest type of Epoxy Floor available. Such Epoxy floors are commonly found in bulky service (duty) areas.

2.Flake Epoxy Floors

Such Epoxy floors consist of flakes or colored chips to produce a more vibrant surface. You’ll commonly find them in sports venues or epoxy showrooms.

3.Self-leveling Epoxy Floors

Such epoxy floors are available in a variety of patterns and colors. These epoxy floors are used with damaged or broken concrete(11) floors to produce a smooth and seamless surface.

4.Anti-Static Epoxy Floors

Such epoxy floors reduce stored electrostatic charges by grounding the electricity through a conductive material. Mostly found in chemical and healthcare facilities.

Cleaning Epoxy Floors

1.Sweep the Epoxy Floor Weekly

The best way to clean an epoxy floor is to sweep it regularly (preferably at one-week intervals) with a microfiber cloth. This allows dust and grime from building up into your epoxy.

2.Give Your Epoxy Floor a Thorough Wash Monthly

If your garage experiences high car traffic, washing your epoxy garage floor monthly will do the job. Otherwise, once every three to four months is okay.

A cleaning solution of half a cup of ammonia and 1 gallon of water with a sponge mop will suffice. Proceed with the solution and mop generally like a standard concrete floor garage.

These are generally the main things to keep in mind with epoxy floors. Other than that, you can just use a cloth dipped in hot water or wet the area and use a microfiber mop to clean the garage floors. This goes for tire marks of cars too. It is better to clean such spots as quickly as possible as tire spots of cars can settle into your epoxy floor, leaving a mark.

It is also best to avoid vinegar and citrus (such as lemon juice) on epoxy floors. Epoxy floors get damaged, and their surface gets dulled from their usage.

Other than that, avoid soap and soap cleaners too. They leave behind a filmy residue and can make the epoxy too slippery.

Say Hello to a Spotless Garage

Our garages are often filled with useless clutter. A clean garage without stains and spots serves as the best way for home improvement.

You can accomplish this improvement, provided you are equipped with the right cleaners and tools.

I have discussed many methods concerning both tougher stains and lighter stains, including a variety, from using power washers to floor buffers to cleaning the garage floor.

To allow easier cleaning, I suggest coating your floors with epoxy. With epoxy, not only will you be able to clean your garage floor quickly, but your floor will also remain protected.

And with that, you can forever bid farewell to a messy and dirty garage and welcome a spotless garage in your tidy life!

About the Author

Harold K. Hardesty

Harold is a Flooring Specialist at TheHouseWire, educating people on the flooring by writing guides about the topic. He is a well-seasoned flooring specialist with experience in the industry for nine years.

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