Four Common Garage Floor Stains & How to Remove Them

When it comes to areas where tough stains are likely to happen, your garage ranks right up there, along with your kitchen and bathroom.

Aside from our cars, garages tend to be where we store our messiest household items, including paint, oil, boxes of old rags, cleaning products, and tools covered in grease and grime. Of course, no one wants their garage to look messy, but protecting it from dirt can sometimes seem like an impossible task. However, being one of the most high-traffic areas of your home with use multiple times a day, a lack of proper maintenance can result in cracks, holes and dangerous damage.

Thankfully, various cleaning methods are available to make your high and low-traffic areas shine. These include power washing, mopping, and rinsing using various tools. This blog provides a range of tips for removing the most common yet toughest stains from your garage floor.

While hiring a pressure washer to clean your surfaces may be tempting, we’re here to offer other options that may do the trick (and therefore save you some money). Our recommendation is to try softer options (often mixtures made from household items like washing detergent, dish soap, baking soda and vinegar) before trying harder chemicals. Stains can vary in severity and stubbornness, so you may not always need to go to the trouble of hiring a power washer. A milder cleaning solution won’t damage your floors, and pressure washers can take on the task if your floor needs more elbow grease.

If you’re not quite ready to resort to painting your garage floor, some simple cleaners and equipment from the local hardware store can be enough to make your garage floor look like new again. Or, if you’re looking for tips on spring cleaning your garage, click here. Otherwise, read on for everything you need to know about how to clean garage floors and their four most common stains.

The importance of cleaning your garage floor

We get it. Cleaning the garage doesn’t sound like the most exciting job in the world, but like most things, regular maintenance can have a lot of benefits. Simple things like a regular sweep and the occasional deep clean can add years to your garage floor’s life. On the other hand, a simple rust stain or damaged chunk of drywall can be enough to derail the appeal of a garage. If you’ve just invested in one of Steel Line’s custom garage doors, or if you’re getting your home ready to sell, you will be surprised at how much a clean garage will enhance your home’s appeal and functionality.

Regular cleaning helps your flooring last longer and look its best, helping to take care of your investment and leading to fewer renovations needed if you ever plan to resell. You might be surprised by how much brighter and cleaner your home looks once those grease stains and spills are removed.

Beyond appearance, a regularly cleaned and maintained garage floor can improve safety and ease of use and remove the attraction for rodents and critters. Being an area used often and usually in a flurry of activity, the garage floor cleaning process will encourage you to remove garden tools, contaminants, and obstructions from the space, working wonders for your efficiency and ease of access.

How to remove oil stains from a concrete garage floor

Oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle and checking it regularly can help keep your car in tip-top shape. However, oil is also a messy substance that is easy to spill. Whether you keep cars or motorcycles, chances are you’ll have an oil spill at some stage. Not only is spilt oil an eyesore that will damage your flooring, but it can also be a safety risk.

The steps to removing oil from your concrete floors include:

    1. Remove any excess oil – The sooner you do this, the better, giving the oil less time to set. Try to clean up as much oil as possible with some old cloths. Cat litter is great for this as it is fantastic at absorbing liquid.
    2. Apply a cleaning product to the stain and leave for at least twenty minutes – whatever product you use, you need to allow it time to work on the stain.
    3. Scrub the stain vigorously with a scrub brush with stiff bristles – follow your product instructions regarding this, but most will require some scrubbing to activate.
    4. Rinse the area with water and repeat the process if necessary.

When it comes to products you can use on your concrete, there are a few you’ll have in your home already that may be able to do the trick. WD-40 or even vinegar is a great first option.

How to remove rust stains from a concrete floor with epoxy coating

Epoxy floors with strategically poured terrazzo flakes and a layer of shiny gloss can make a garage floor look good enough to use for more than just your cars. Whether you’ve transformed your garage into a multi-purpose space or want to give your vehicle a nice-looking home, an epoxy coating can provide the perfect solution. However, if you’ve got some stubborn rust spots plaguing your garage floors, the space can quickly lose its appeal.

Clean those rust spots off your epoxy garage floor by doing the following:

    1. Sweep and mop the surface before applying calcium, lime and rust cleaner or muriatic acid, mixed with a 1-1 ratio of warm water
    2. Scrub the solution into the stain with a cloth or brush, and wear gloves to avoid skin irritation.
    3. Let the mixture sit for 1 – 2 minutes only.
    4. Rinse the area with cold water and repeat the process if necessary. 

How to remove paint stains from your cement garage floor

Removing paint stains from cement can be a frustrating experience because it is naturally brilliant at absorbing paint. This is great when you’re deliberately painting the cement but not so ideal when you’re not. However, not all hope is lost, and there are some steps you can take to remove paint from your garage floor.

Keep in mind that removing wet paint is easier than dry paint, so if you’ve noticed you’ve spilt some paint, don’t wait until later to clean up.

Removing wet paint:

  1. As soon as possible, hose the area.
  2. Start scrubbing with a brush.
  3. You may need to rinse and repeat. If any paint remains, move on to the following steps to remove the dried paint.

Removing dried paint stains:

  1. Give the area a deep clean – sweep the area of any debris, as you’ll want a clear surface to tackle the stain.
  2. Apply some hot, soapy water to the surface and start scrubbing. With some luck, the paint will start chipping off at this stage.
  3. If necessary, apply a paint stripper – These come with their own set of risks and results. If you’d like to avoid using harsher chemicals, you can use a combination of baking soda and boiling water or a soy-based paint remover containing methyl soyate.
  4. Finish off with a power washer if the paint is particularly stubborn

How to remove tyre marks from your concrete garage floor

While your hooning days may be long behind you, tyre marks are a common risk for even the most careful driver unless you’re planning on using drop cloths daily. Something as simple as a touch too much acceleration or breaking a moment too late can result in black streaks sullying your perfectly maintained garage floor.

Use these steps to get rid of your tyre marks once and for all:

  1. 1. Clear the floor of any debris with a push broom. Don’t forget to move or cover any plants you have in the vicinity
  2. Add degreaser formula or cleaning agent to the stain and leave for around 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the formula to make sure it doesn’t go dry. If it starts drying, add some more degreaser.
  3. Scrub until you see the degreaser taking effect.
  4. Wash off the degreaser. A mop should do the trick, but a pressure washer may be needed for stubborn marks.

    Ready to upgrade your garage?

    Cleaning your garage floor is just the start of what is possible when bringing life back to your garage. If you’re ready to upgrade your garage door and its accessories to boost your space into the 21st century, we can help. With branches across Australia, we are here to answer your questions and sort out your garage woes. Simply call us on 1300 767 900, or contact us here to find out more.

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