How to Clean a Garage Floor

If you are reading this, chances are you have just realized how dirty your garage floor has gotten after months of neglect. If you dread the look of all those tough oil stains and piled-up dirt and debris, thinking it is too late to change things – worry not! Our short and simple guide on how to clean a garage floor has you sorted.

Things You’ll Need

In order to clean your garage floor perfectly and completely, there are a bunch of items you will need. We have compiled the list below.

Grease remover

Rust remover

Clay cat litter

Push broom

Floor scrubbing brush

How to Clean a Garage Floor in 11 Steps

Step 1: Clear up the garage.

The first step to cleaning your garage floor is to clear it off of anything that is not nailed to the ground. This includes your car, bike, tools, boxes, and basins. Any loose items lying on the floor will come in the way of cleaning and can even get damaged so, it is best to remove them. If you are confident about the items on the shelves, you may leave them there.

How to Clean a Garage Floor

Step 2: Cover any drywalls and electrical outlets.

Pin a plastic drop cloth or tarp at least 3 feet (0.91 m) up from the floor to any drywall in your garage. You want to clean your garage floor without causing any damage to the electrical outlets or other installations. Covering them with the tarp will ensure their protection from water and stains.

Step 3: Sweep the garage floor with a broom.

Once the floor is clear and necessary areas are covered, use a broom to clean your garage floor. Sweep away any debris and dust – collect it in the dustpan and throw it away. This step is important before using any water or cleaning solution as it will make the following steps easier.

Step 4: Use vinegar or lemon juice for tough rust stains.

If there are rust stains on your floor, vinegar and lemon juice are two very effective materials to work with. However, do not use these if you have an epoxy floor. Pour either of the two on the rust stain, enough to cover the stain completely. Wait out 5 minutes and pour a second dose. Then scrub the area with a brush that has tough bristles. Alternatively, you can use a rust remover as it is more effective for tougher stains.

Step 5: Sprinkle cat litter over oil stains.

In this stage of cleaning your garage floor, you are now moving toward those oil stains that your garage has accumulated over time; for these dried oil stains, use cat litter mixed with clay and sprinkle it on all the stained areas. Leave it for a few hours (preferably overnight) for the litter to absorb the oil. Sweep it up when you are done. If the stain doesn’t completely remove, repeat the process. with tougher stains, this can take a couple of days.

Step 6: Use a grease-remover as an alternative.

If you realize that the dried oil stains on your garage floor are very old and tough, you can apply a store-bought grease-remover on the oil stains. Usually, after applying the grease remover, you let it dry and sweep it up after it has dried. This takes several hours. For specific instruction, carefully read the label on your grease-remover.

Step 7: Scrub tougher stains with detergent and water.

To clean your garage floor, you will want to get rid of any other tough stains. Gather a box of powdered detergent and a bucket of warm water. Sprinkle the detergent over the stains to cover them completely. Then dip your brush in water and scrub the stain vigorously. Once done, wipe any detergent residue with a paper towel or rag and let the area dry.

Step 8: Make a cleaning solution for scrubbing the whole floor.

Once you are done cleaning your garage floor for bigger individual stains, it is now time to clean it all in one go to remove any debris, dust, smaller stains, etc. Check the instructions at the back of your degreasing solution to see how much warm water you need to mix it in to form a good cleaning solution. You will be using this to scrub the whole garage floor.

Step 9: Scrub.

Pour the cleaning solution all over the floor and let it sit for 15-20 minutes so it can absorb all the dirt and oil. Be careful as the floor will now be slippery. Use a brush or push broom with stiff bristles to scrub the floor now. Once done, rinse the floor using a hose. Keep the garage doors open to push out the water with the help of a wiper.

Step 10: Use a power washer for extremely soiled areas.

If your garage floor is very dirty and has not been cleaned in a long time, try a power washer to clean your garage floor. You can either buy your own for other useful activities around the house or rent one out. Make sure to keep it moving around the floor and not hold it on the spot for too long as that can scratch the floor.

Step 11: Run a buffer over the floor for best results.

If you want to avoid the effort of scrubbing the floor yourself or are unable to do it for whatever reason, you can consider using a buffer if you have one (or rent it) for cleaning your garage floor. After spreading the cleaning solution, just guide the buffer to the floor and let it do its job. Rinse with water and let the floor dry.

Our Final Thoughts

Garages can often be left untended, given our focus on keeping the insides of our houses clean. They accumulate dust and oil stains over time, and we are only reminded of their poor condition when they start screaming to be cleaned. While it is best to clean your garage floor regularly, our steps on how to clean a garage floor will particularly help you with a thorough clean-up that will last a long while. We hope this step-by-step guide helps you in cleaning your garage floor without any hassle.