One of the projects I have planned for this spring is to clean my garage
floor. It's in great condition, but it has a few oil stains and dirty spots
I would like to clean up.
The floor is only a few years old, and has a very nice troweled surface.
So, I don't want to use anything that will etch or damage the concrete. I
just want to clean up the stains and dirt.
Any recommendations other than the basic soap and water?
This suggestion from my mechanic has worked for me: Tide laundry powder.
Sprinkle some on, and mist with water enough to make a paste. Scrub with a
brush, rinse, repeat. The rinsing may be a problem for you, if the floors
not angled so the water heads out the door. But, if you can manage the
rinsing, the method works fine.
Thanks, I'll give it a try. Rinsing shouldn't be a problem. My floor is
sloped, and I've hosed it down many times. What little water remains I can
sweep out, then let air dry.
That's like saying "why clean house, it'll just get dirty again". :)
It doesn't have to be perfect, I just want to clean up the majority of the
mess. We rarely park our cars in the garage, I use it mostly for
woodworking and other projects. So if I can get up most of the oil and
dirt, I'll be happy.
The point is that if the stain has soaked into the cement, you won't be able
to remove all of it unless you want to try a jackhammer. What you will be
able to achieve is eliminating what's on the surface. I do it so people
won't track it in on their shoes. If appearance is your main goal, it's time
to deal with the cause of the oil stains (proper car maintenance, sloppy oil
Or use a coating that doesn't absorb oil. I highly recommend two part epoxy,
sold as an industrial coating at most real paint stores. Avoid anything sold at
the big box consumer stores. Also note that concrete sealers and stains are not
the same thing. Also note that basement floor paint will not work - the heat
from the tires will lay nice tracks the first time you drive on it.
Two part epoxies are avilable in most any color including a light grey that
approximates new concrete.
Two words: KITTY LITTER.
Buy a bag of the cheapest kitty litter you can find. Pour a handfull
on the grease or oil spot. Mash it around with your shoe until it
turns to powder.
Sweep and repeat.
No chemicals, no flames, no water or rinsing required.
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I have found the cheapest brands (usually store brands) to be the most
effective at soaking up the oil stains. The more expensive brands have
additives that are supposed to reduce dust and odor, and these seem to
reduce their oil soaking abilities too.
Getting it really clean is not an easy project as it soaks into the
I like the Tide idea, at least give it a try first. You can also find
materials in the hardware store make for it. I use kitty litter to soak up
as much as possible then add more kitty litter and Naphtha. Let the kitty
letter absorb it and repeat a few time.
That's what I was wondering. I don't recall ever seeing concrete cleaners
in the stores. Any stores or brands you would suggest?
Yep, same here, as soon as I possibly can after the spill occurs.
On some of the bad spots, I'll spray on a generic degreaser and cover with
kitty litter again. Usually gets the worst out.
I've also found that the fine saw dust from my woodworking helps soak up a
little bit too.
We don't park our cars in the garage unless I'm working on them, which
lately has been to fix some annoying leaks. :) Unfortunately, it's not
always possible to get a drip pan under the item that is leaking (like the
power steering hoses I just replaced). And then there's always the
unplanned "surprise" spills. So a few spills are unavoidable. I try to put
a sheet of cardboard or something down if I anticipate a messy job, but
again, some spills aren't planned... :)
Heres a list of things that clean really well oil from concrete.....
I have a friend who had oil get on his preetty new driveway, from a
tree pruning truck that pulled in his driveway.
He went ballistic, the insurance company for the tree guy paid various
contractors over a grand for pressure washing and all sorts of
attempts by finally 3 different clean up contractors.
The marks are still there 5 years later, and he took it to court. By
the time of the trial other drips had occured and the case got thrown
out. No doubt the lawyers mad a mint:( Judge visited the home owner
wanted new driveway.
His experience was like mine, concrete is porous, the oil gets in the
pours and will not come out. Perhaps thompsons water seal right after
concrete is new would help. although that darkens concretye just like
Not for everyone- heat the oils spots with a propane torch.
Not too hot or it'll flake off, sometimes with quite a pop!
Really not for everyone- soak the spots with flammable solvent for a
while, when it has wicked down add more, add a bit more and light that
sucker up. It won't get hot enough to spall the concrete, but it will
get hot enough to wick the oil-solvent mix up from a little below the
surface, and it'll burn right off.
Apply these methods at your own, um, risk!
On Mar 16, 3:39?pm, email@example.com wrote:
Concrete EXPLODES if heated with a propane or other torch. Its violent
and can cause injury, plus unsightly floor damage:(
They do have plastic mats designed to cover the entire floor, or epoxy
I guess my why try cleaning is from a life experience of failure. No
matter what its there forever. all vehicles drip a little
In addition to my first message I might suggest that once you get it
clean, a top quality true epoxy garage floor paint will make future cleanups
much easier. Note: unless you are willing to do a lot of work properly
prepping the floor and use good materials, you are wasting your time and
Thanks, but it's not that big of a deal. I sprung for a $5 box of Tide. :)
I'll have to see how it works when I can find the time on a dry day.
I may consider epoxy a few years down the road, but for now the floor is in
great condition. It just needs a bath.
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