It can be a battle to keep garage floors looking spic-and-span clean. But that’s the goal we all have, right? So I thought I’d provide some great tips for garage floor cleaning.
Garage floors offer unique cleaning challenges for a couple of reasons:
- They’re exposed to all manner of dirt and stains that the other floors in your home aren’t exposed to (You don’t drive your car on your kitchen floor, do you?)
- The material of your garage floor (concrete – coated or uncoated) is likely different from any of the other floors in your home
Let’s begin by going over the best equipment for cleaning garage floors.
Sure, you can grab just about any old scrubber for the task of cleaning your garage floor. Some people even use something like a push broom for cleaning the garage floor.
But a deck brush is particularly suited for the job.A deck brush looks like a push-broom head – and indeed can be used for same. But it’s more densely bristled than most push brooms.
Most deck brushes do have threaded handle holes, so you can insert a broomstick. So you can use a deck brush on hands and knees, for heavy-duty scrubbing. Or use it with a broom stick for easier scrubbing jobs.(Note: push brooms are not well suited for scrubbing floors because they’re too large – it’s hard to apply good scrubbing pressure. Also the bristles on push brooms tend to be too long.)
You’ve seen floor-buffing machines, right? Maybe you’ve been at work late when the janitorial crew was on the job. And you saw someone working their way down a long hallway with the floor buffer.These machines are expensive, but they’re widely available for rent at reasonable day rates. And if your garage floor is too much of a mess to attack with just a deck brush, a floor buffer is the next step up.
If you rent a floor buffer, be sure to ask for a nylon scrubbing head. That’s the best option for cleaning your concrete garage floor.
A floor buffer can do an amazing job of cleaning a concrete garage floor. And the rental rates for these machines are usually quite reasonable.
This is the ‘big gun’ for cleaning garage floors. If you need to use this piece of equipment, your garage floor is really a filthy mess! (But that’s how garage floors get over time, isn’t it?) A great advantage of pressure washers – especially for cleaning garage floors – is that you can use a degreaser with the washer.
Pressure washers are available for rental, just like floor buffers. There are actually two basic types of pressure washers: a cold-water version, and a hot-water version (sometimes called a power washer).
Which one do you need?
In most cases the cold-water version will suffice, and will save you money over renting a hot-water version. When you’re renting a washer of either type, look for a model that provides at least 3,000 PSI of pressure, with a minimum flow rate of 3 gallons per minute.
Most pressure washers will come with a variety of spray nozzles. Each nozzle is color-coded, with the color indicating a different spray-fan pattern. You’ll probably want to use either the green or the yellow nozzle. The yellow nozzle provides more force for heavier cleaning, but covers less area. The green nozzle covers more area at a time, but with less force.
Pressure washers are particularly effective for garage floors because they’re great for working embedded dirt and grease out of the porous surface of the concrete.Next Week…Next week I’m going to provide you with some general tips for cleaning garage floors. And then in future weeks we’ll get into detailed tips for cleaning specific stains like oil and grease, paint splotches, and rust.
P.S. If all this cleaning talk is making you tired, just remember that a sealed garage floor is very easy to clean. Just one of the many advantages of a TLC-sealed garage floor.