How to Remove Pesky Stains from Your Concrete Garage Floor

Garage floors often take a lot of abuse, resulting in unsightly oil, paint, tire tracks and a myriad of other stains.  Whether you rarely visit your garage or consider it your second home, you probably don’t want to have to see ugly stains covering the floor. Here are a few stain removing tips to make your garage look good from the garage floor to the garage door.

Oil Stains

One of the most common types of stains you will experience on your garage floor is an oil stain. While cleaning a stain out of a concrete floor may take some work, there are a few good tricks to get the job done. The first plan of action is to act quickly. Concrete floors absorb liquid stains through their porous surface, so you will need to draw the stains out.  The longer you let oil sit, the more difficult it will be to clean. Ideally, you can use a mixture of Trisodium phosphate, water, and an absorbent material such as baby powder or talc to make a paste. Let the paste dry and then simply scrape it away. For a more troublesome stain, you can repeat this process.

If you do not have any TSP on hand, there are two other household options that can get the job done. Cat litter and WD40 may sound like unorthodox methods, but they have been known to work. If you have a bag of kitty litter around, simply sprinkle some over the stain and crush it down a little bit. Let it absorb for about an hour and then simply sweep it away. A can of WD40 is usually readily available in most garages and can be a handy tool in removing oil stains. All you need to do is spray it on the stain and let it soak for 15 minutes before rinsing with a water hose.

Paint Stains

Paint stains are another common foe to the concrete garage floor. Whether there are a couple of drops or an entire gallon of paint that oozed onto your garage floor, there is still hope for a spotlessly clean floor. Start with sweeping the area and removing any loose dirt and scraping up any loose paint. Secondly, you will need to determine if the stain is water-based or oil-based. This helps you choose the right type of chemical paint stripper. If you are unsure, using a paint stripper designed for oil-based paints is the best bet. Let the chemical sit for the directed amount of time before using a wire scrub brush to remove the loosened paint. Using these chemicals could create strong fumes, so you may want to open the garage door and allow for fresh air to circulate while you work.

For tougher stains, you will need to make an absorbent paint stripper. To do this, you will need some type of absorbent material, such as cat litter or finely ground clay. Combine the paint stripper with the absorbent material and create a paste. Apply it over the stain and give it some time to work. The amount of time depends on the chemicals you are using. While you are waiting, you can periodically add paint thinner to the mixture to keep the ingredients active. Next, use a plastic scraper to scrape the mixture up and off the floor. The last step will require a stiff brush, scouring powder, and water. Scrub the stripped surface and rinse away for a clean floor.

Regular Cleaning

A little bit of maintenance goes a long way. Regularly cleaning your garage by sweeping or mopping can help limit the amount of dust and debris that build up in stained areas. Another idea to consider is cleaning the back of your garage door. A lot of dust and grime will often build up, which will make your garage still look dirty even with the cleanest of floors.

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