How to Clean Your Garage Floor

by Team HomeServe
man kneels on garage floor to clean up a grease mark

Most people don't think about cleaning their garage floors as often as they do the floors inside the home. However, all the dirt, grime, oil and other gunk that can accumulate isn’t just something you can sweep away.

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Time to clean your garage floor? These tips will help you determine which tools and cleaners to use in your garage.

Can You Use a Pressure Washer on a Garage Floor?

You can use a pressure washer to clean your garage floor quickly and effectively, especially if it's extra dirty. The high pressure from the machine helps loosen debris while using less water than a garden hose. Using degreaser in the pressure washer can help remove oily residue, or you can use another preferred cleaner.

Before using a pressure washer, sweep the garage to get rid of the dirt and debris. Then, start at the back of the garage, closest to the house, and move toward the garage door to help the water naturally flow out of the garage. After using the cleaner or degreaser, rinse the floor with clean water using the pressure washer. You can use a long-handled squeegee to push extra water out of the garage if necessary.

How Do You Mop a Garage Floor?

You can also mop the garage floor if you don't have a pressure washer available. Again, start by sweeping the garage to get as much dirt and debris off the floor as you can. Mix a cleaning solution of hot water and detergent or floor cleaner to use on the garage floor.

You can use a traditional mop or pour the cleaning solution on the floor and then scour it using a push broom or a long-handled brush with stiff bristles. If you have epoxy-coated garage floors, a sponge mop is ideal to avoid damaging the coating.

After you scrub the floor, use your garden hose to rinse the cleaner. Start at the back of the garage and spray the hose toward the garage door. Use a squeegee to move excess water out of the garage.

What Cleaners Should You Use?

Detergent, grease-cutting dish soap and degreasing products work well to clean garage floors. You can also use concrete cleaner. Avoid harsh products, such as trisodium phosphate (TSP), as they can harm the environment.

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How Do You Clean Stains?

Oil stains are common in garages if you park vehicles inside. Not only do they make the floor look bad, but they can also cause slippery spots. Putting cat litter on oil stains and leaving it overnight can help draw out some of the oil. After removing the cat litter, clean the area with a degreaser or grease-cutting dishwasher detergent and water. Let the solution soak into the spot for 5 to 10 minutes, and then scrub it with a brush.

If you have rust stains on your garage floor, acidity can help break them up. You can often get good results with regular white vinegar or lemon juice. Soak the rusty spot with the selected liquid and wait 15 to 20 minutes to let the acidity go to work. Scrub the area with a brush and rinse it well. You might need to repeat the process. You can also find rust-removal products at the store, but make sure it's safe for concrete floors.

How Do You Keep Your Garage Floor Clean?

Sweeping the floor at least once per week helps prevent dirt and debris from building up. If you spill something on the garage floor, clean it up immediately to avoid staining. Use the power washer or mop method once a month or as often as needed to keep the floor clean. You can also put down a garage floor mat to protect the concrete from dirt and oil spills, but you'll still need to clean the mat regularly.

Getting into a routine of cleaning your garage floor can prevent it from getting overly dirty. Find the schedule and products that work well for you and stick with them.

Extra Tips for Cleaning Your Garage Floor

  • Move everything out of the garage first, so you can clean the entire floor and not damage other items.
  • Sweep or vacuum well before using water on the garage floor to avoid creating a muddy mess.
  • Cover outlets that are low to the ground before using water on the garage floor.
  • Treat stains before doing your general floor cleaning.
  • Seal or paint the garage floor to prevent stains and make it easier to clean.