We’re on a mission to get your garage floor looking spic and span!
So far we’ve covered general cleaning tips and the best equipment to use for cleaning your garage floors. This week we’re going to go into specifics for cleaning the nastiest stains found on most garage floors: oil and grease stains. Rare is the garage floor that isn’t marred by a number of those nasty-looking stains!
Parking your car in your garage, of course, is a sure way to collect lots of those stains. But that’s not the only way those stains occur. Lawn mowers, chain saws, bicycle sprockets – there are countless ways in which the typical garage is exposed to oil and grease stains.
Put simply: If you’ve got a garage, you’ve almost certainly got oil and grease stains. (Unless, of course, you’ve had your garage floor refinished with a stain resistant material.)
So here are some step-by-step tips for getting rid of the worst of those stains.
- Wet down the area of the stain with some plain water. Wetting the stain first will help to prevent the contaminants causing the stain to spread as you work on the stain.
- Apply a degreasing agent to the stain, and scrub it in.
(Tip: You can make a decent homemade degreaser out of Tide laundry detergent (the powder). Add some water to make it into a paste, and scrub it into the stain. Dawn dishwashing detergent is also fairly effective on oil and grease stains. Alternatively, there are some very effective degreasing products made specifically for cleaning oil and grease from concrete floors.)
- After rubbing the degreaser into the stain, let it sit for a while. But DO NOT let it sit long enough to dry out before proceeding to the next step.
- Now apply more degreaser, scrub some more, and then rinse it all away. Using a pressure washer to rinse if you have access to one will yield the best results.
It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to remove all discoloration from stains that have been in place for a long time. The porosity of the concrete makes that just nearly impossible. But you should be able to substantially improve the appearance of the stain.
And you should be able to remove all of the oil or grease residue that was causing the stain.
To test whether any residue is left after cleaning, simply pour a very small amount of water on the location of the stain. The water should soak into the concrete. If the water beads-up on the surface instead, some of the oil or grease remains. Repeat the cleaning process.
P.S. The sooner you clean oil and grease spills, the more successful you’ll be. The older the stain, the more difficult it is to completely remove the discoloration from the concrete.
And remember, you can avoid ALL of this trouble by simply having your garage floor refinished. Old stains will be hidden. And new stains will not occur, because oil and grease will be prevented from reaching your concrete. So oil and grease spots can be quickly and easily cleaned-up.