How to Clean a Garage Floor
How to Clean Concrete Floors
Concrete is durable and versatile, making it a popular material for both interior and exterior flooring surfaces. Because it is stain-resistant and can be left plain and smooth or stamped with unique designs, concrete also offers a great deal of flexibility in terms of functionality and decor in a variety of spaces. Since concrete is porous, regular cleaning is necessary to prevent mold and dirt from building up.The cleaning method does vary slightly depending on the type of concrete you’re working with, but proper maintenance will keep your floor clean and fresh, and help increase its longevity in your home, garage, shop, or workplace.
Preparing Any Concrete Surface
Gather your cleaning equipment.To do a basic cleaning of any concrete floor and to remove stains, you will need some basic cleaning supplies, including:
- A broom and duster (or a vacuum)
- A nylon-bristled brush for scrubbing stains
- Dish soap and water to remove stains
- Trisodium phosphate, laundry bleach, and detergent to remove mildew
- Kitty litter or cornstarch to remove grease stains
- Degreaser to remove tire marks
- Bleach, ammonia, or hydrogen peroxide for stubborn stains
Clear the floor.Remove any furniture, decorations, rugs or mats, shoes, and anything else that’s on the floor. Move everything out of the room so you’re not cleaning around furniture or constantly having to move furniture around to clean.
Sweep and dust the floor.Get up all large dirt and debris with the broom, and then go over the surface again with a duster to remove fine particles and dust. Dusting should be done daily, and sweeping or vacuuming on a weekly basis.
- Use a vacuum if you have a good one available, as this will be faster and more efficient, and prevent dust and dirt particles from being spread around.
Spot clean stains.For regular food and beverage stains, scrub the area with hot, soapy water.Use one to two tablespoons (15 to 30 ml) of a mild dish soap or Castile soap, diluted into a half-gallon (1.9 liters) of water. For oil or oil-based stains, wet the area with water and cover the stain with dish soap. Dip a brush in warm water and scrub the area to work up a lather. Blot the suds with a rag or towel and rinse it down with clean water.
- To remove mildew, mix one ounce (28.3 grams) each of laundry detergent and trisodium phosphate with one quart (946.4 ml) laundry bleach and three quarts (2.8 liters) of water. Scrub the area with a soft brush and rinse with clean water.
- To remove tire marks (in a garage), spray the area with water and apply a degreaser. Let sit for three to four hours, scrub with a brush, and rinse.
- To remove grease, spread kitty litter or cornstarch over the area and let it sit for about three days. After you’ve let it sit, vacuum or sweep up the kitty litter and dispose of it in accordance with the type of grease it was (such as in the garbage or through a proper recycling facility).
Use stronger cleaners for tough stains on plain concrete.If your concrete floor is plain and you don’t have to worry about damaging a finish, you can use harsher cleaners like bleach, ammonia, and hydrogen peroxide to clean stubborn stains.Dilute one part cleaner in three parts water and spray on the affected area. Let it sit for about 20 minutes, and then scrub with a brush. Rinse the area with clean water.
- Always wear gloves and proper protective gear when using harsh cleaners, and make sure the room is well-ventilated.
Cleaning Stamped or Polished Concrete
Gather your supplies.You will need a mop and large bucket, warm water, and a mild, pH neutral cleaner.Do not use ammonia, bleach, or any other highly acidic or alkaline cleaner, as it may damage the concrete finish.Good neutral cleaners to use include:
- Mild dish soaps
- Castile soap
- Neutral stone cleaner
- pH neutral floor cleaners or detergents
Fill a large bucket with water.Use about one gallon (3.8 liters) of warm water. Stir in one-eighth to one-quarter cup (30 to 60 ml) of mild soap or pH neutral cleaner (or the amount recommended by the manufacturer).
Dunk a clean mop into the cleaning solution.Once it’s saturated, wring it out thoroughly. The mop should be only slightly damp for cleaning the floor: you want the water to dry quickly, and don’t want excess water sitting on the concrete.
Mop the floor in small sections.Start in a corner farthest from the door and make your way toward the door, cleaning small areas at a time. As you mop, frequently re-dip the mop in the water and wring it out thoroughly. Consider having an oscillating fan blow air into the room to help the floor dry quicker.
Remove excess soap or cleaner.When you have cleaned the entire floor, dump out your cleaning water, rinse the mop and bucket, and refill the bucket with clean, warm water. Mop the floor again in the same way with the clean water, dunking and thoroughly wringing out the mop often.
- Start at the farthest corner and work toward the door again, working in small sections.
Cleaning a Garage Floor or Exterior Concrete
Gather your cleaning supplies.You will need a power washer, a push broom with stiff, nylon bristles, and a cleaning product, such as trisodium phosphate or other concrete cleaner. You can use a regular garden hose if you don’t have a pressure washer. Use the hose on full power with a high-powered nozzle.
- A pressure washer is recommended for this kind of concrete cleaning as it will do a better job. Pressure washers can be rented from home and garden or building stores.
- Use a regular scrubbing brush with nylon bristles if you don’t have a push broom.
Remove any moss or roots that have grown on exterior concrete.Pull them up with your hands and then sweep, hose down, or pressure wash the surface to remove dirt and debris.
Spray the concrete.Open your garage door if applicable. Start at the end closest to the house and work your way toward the garage door or lawn. Use the pressure washer or hose and spray the floor in broad, sweeping strokes to remove dirt and debris. Be sure to spray corners, cracks, and crevices as well.
Cover the floor with a dusting of cleaner.Place your broom at one end of the garage or patio, and begin sprinkling cleaner on the floor starting at the other end, working your way toward the broom. Make sure the floor is still wet when you do this.
Scrub the floor.Use your broom or brush to work the cleaner into the entire floor surface and lift out any dirt, grime, and debris.
Rinse the concrete with clean water.Starting at the inside and working your way toward the open door or lawn, power wash away any excess cleaner and debris. Leave the door open and allow the floor to dry.
Protecting Concrete Floors
Clean spills immediately.This will stop people from slipping on the floor and prevent staining. Wipe up spills with a clean rag or towel as soon as they occur.
Seal the floor.A high-quality sealant will last a few years, so you should re-seal your floor every three to four years.Sealing your concrete floor will protect it from scuffs and stains.
- Choose a sealant that’s right for your concrete surface.
- Use water-based sealants for indoor flooring.
Wax the floor.Not only will a wax finish protect the floor from dirt build-up, stains, and abrasion, but it will also protect the sealant underneath so it lasts longer.
- Apply floor wax in a thin layer and spread it out with a rayon or microfiber mop. Re-apply every year or so.
QuestionHow can I remove cigarette burns from concrete?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUse dried manure. Place it on the burn, then wet it. Wait 24 hours, then peel the manure off the concrete and the burn should come with it.Thanks!
QuestionCan I use a vacuum cleaner to clean a concrete floor?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerOf course. You may need to use a broom to dislodge caked on dirt before you vacuum. A shop type vac would work best.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do I use to remove a transmission fluid stain?Jared WhalenCommunity AnswerSoak up as much as you can with kitty litter. Then use a strong solution of a degreaser (Simple Green works well). Let it soak in for a few minutes and work with a scrub brush on the stain. Wipe up and repeat as needed.Thanks!
QuestionHow can a stain made with bug spray be removed?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. Wash the stain with a solution of washing soda or detergent (never soap) and water, then use a cloth or soft-bristled brush. Rinse it thoroughly with clear water and allow it to dry. (Source: HowStuffWorks)Thanks!
What is the difference between soap and detergent? I have never heard of "washing soda." Please suggest the name of a store or a brand where "washing soda" is sold. Is Dawn a detergent or a soap?
How do I get oil stains out of concrete?
How can I get tough stains out of cement floors without fading the color?
How can I get my concrete floors to shine?
How to get rust marks off of a porch, stamped concrete floor?
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Video: How to Clean & Seal Concrete Floors : Concrete Floors
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