Best Way to Clean Garage Floor

You’ve deep cleaned everything in your house, and you feel really good about yourself. Then, you walk out to your car one morning and happen to look down.

Your garage floor is filthy. It ruins your whole day.

dirty floor in the garage
We know what you’re doing this weekend, and we’ve got all the information you need to get your floor in top shape. Let’s take a look.

Cleaning A Garage Floor

Before you get started, you need to prepare your garage. Otherwise, you may leave dirt and grime behind or cause damage to other items in your garage.

How Do I Get Ready?

The first thing you need to do is remove everything from the garage. It may be a pain, but you don’t want to leave grime underneath a bicycle or damage a box of memories.

Next, you need to cover any drywall and outlets. Deep cleaning your garage floor can get intense, and you don’t want to damage the wall or the outlets. Take plastic sheeting and cover at least three feet up. Tape the sheeting in place, so it’s secure.


Next, sweep out any large debris to help make thing easier. You don’t need to spend a lot of time sweeping because you’ll catch a lot of the debris as you’re cleaning.

Cleaning The Floor

Here are a few different methods to restore your garage floors to their original glory.

Basic Cleaning

For mild to moderately dirty floors.

You’ll need:

  • a bucket and mop or scrub brush
  • a degreaser (laundry detergents work in a pinch)
  • hot water

clean garage floor

  1. Mix your cleaning solution in the bucket. If you’re using laundry detergent, use 1/3 cup of detergent to a gallon of water.
  2. Pour the solution onto a section of the floor and begin to work it into the floor. Use quick scrubbing motions to work it in and lift the stains.
  3. Let the solution sit on the dirty floor for a few seconds to let it work.
  4. Rinse the solution away before it begins to dry. If you have a pressure washer, that’s even better.
  5. Repeat those steps until your entire garage floor is clean.

Removing Oil Stains

Detergent may not be enough for set-in oil stains.

You’ll need:

  • cat litter with clay
  1. Pour out enough cat litter to cover the stain completely.
  2. Allow the litter to absorb the oil overnight.
  3. If oil remains after you remove the litter, pour a fresh batch over the stain and repeat the steps. It may take a few tries to get in severe oil stains.

Removing Rust Stains

Rust is unsightly, but fortunately, it will come up with a few targeted ingredients.

You’ll need:

  • white vinegar
  1. If the stain is small to medium, the easiest thing is to pour white vinegar over the stain and allow the vinegar to sit for five to ten minutes.
  2. Use a bristled brush and scrub the rust spot to remove the color and stain.
  3. Repeat the steps if the rust is stubborn.

If you can’t remove the stain with white vinegar, you may have to pull out the big guns. Oxalic Acid will get even tough rust stains, and you can purchase it from your local hardware store. You can apply it following the steps above (read the directions for preparing the Oxalic acid itself), but be sure that you wear protective gloves when you apply it. Rinse very well to avoid leaving any on the floor.

Removing Old Paint

Paint can stain your floor, but it doesn’t usually just wash off. If you can’t pressure wash the paint off the floor, here’s another option.

Method 1 – You’ll need:

  • chemical stripper
  1. Stripping paint can be dangerous. Make sure you read the directions on the container and wear gloves when you apply it.
  2. Wait the appropriate time before removing the paint and the stripper together. Again, be sure that you read the directions for the most appropriate way to remove it.

Method 2 – You’ll Need:

  • floor grinder
  • face mask and eye protection
  1. Attach the grinder to the appropriate tool. If you’ve rented it, be sure to check the everything before you get started.
  2. Gently apply the grinder to the stain to remove the paint. Make sure you cover your nose and eyes with appropriate protection to prevent dust from getting into either one.

Maintaining Your Garage Floor

The garage takes a beating and wear and tear can show pretty quickly. The easiest way to maintain your garage is to put something underneath your car to absorb oil before it comes in contact with your garage floor.

garage floor clean

If you still get oil on the floor, removing it quickly instead of waiting can help get the oil out with minimal effort. You can avoid rust stains by storing things on shelves instead of on the floor. Sweeping regularly and using the hose to wash out any larger debris can also make your next garage cleaning session a lot easier.

If you’re painting in the garage, putting protection on the floor is a good idea. Paint can be tough to remove so preventing stains in the first place can be really helpful.

Concrete is porous, so the best option is a pressure washer. Even the cleaners you use to get stains off can dry into the cracks and crannies of the floor. Be sure you don’t allow the cleaners to begin to dry or it can be difficult to remove.

If you have large amounts of water you’re trying to move out of the garage, a large squeegee can be really convenient. The squeegee can really help get your garage floor nice and dry so you can start moving your things back in faster.
clean floor garage

Final Thoughts

Don’t leave your garage out when you’re doing your routine cleaning. Concrete is made to be tough, but keeping it clean can be challenging to do without some prevention. Taking care of stains right away can help make your cleaning jobs a lot easier.

Keeping white vinegar and a bit of cat litter on hand can remove two of the most common garage stains (rust and oil), while a pressure washer can get into all the cracks and crannies of concrete ensuring grime is swept up in the blast. Once you’re done, you can move your things back in and not worry about what’s going to greet you when you look down.

Be honest. Can you see the floor of your garage? If you can, we’re jealous. How much time do you spend cleaning out your garage, or do you at all? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

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