The best way to maintain your garage floor is to keep it clean. It prevents tough stains from forming and keeps dirt from accumulating. If you often work in your garage, keeping the floor clean also ensures a healthy work environment. Here’s how to keep the garage floor clean.
What You'll Learn Today
- 8 Ways To Keep Your Garage Floor Clean
- How to Keep an Unsealed Garage Floor Clean?
- Why Is My Garage So Dusty?
- How To Prevent Mold and Mildew on The Garage Floor?
8 Ways To Keep Your Garage Floor Clean
1. Vacuum Often
If you have a sealed concrete floor, you don’t need to mop or scrub it often. That’s because sealed floors are resistant to stains and dirt.
That said, dust and other small particles will still collect on the floor.
They can blow in from the outside or get tracked in by people or vehicles. At least 2-3 times a week, run a vacuum over the floor to clean up dust and dirt. If you work in your garage often, vacuum after each work session to keep the floor clean.
If the floor is really dirty with shavings and other large particles, sweep first before vacuuming.
2. Clean Spills and Messes Immediately
While sealed concrete floors are highly resistant to stains, leaving spills and messes on the floor for long can still cause unsightly marks and stains on the floor.
Oil and grease spills are the worst. Chemical spills are also bad since you have no idea what damage the chemicals can do to the floor.
Clean up messes immediately to keep them from setting into the concrete. Keep a general purpose concrete cleaner handy for such situations. Even better, mix the cleaner with water in a spray bottle so you have a ready to use cleaner.
If the mess is being made by a leaky vehicle or piece of equipment, fix the leak as soon as possible. In the meantime, either store the equipment elsewhere or place an oil-absorbing mat under it.
3. Get Floor Mats
The best way to keep a garage floor clean is to keep it from getting dirty in the first place. You can do this using floor mats. There are different types of these.
There are large mats designed for cars. They are called containment or parking mats.
A containment mat prevents your vehicle’s tires from leaving dirt and tire marks on the garage floor. Only the mat gets dirty, and it’s easy to clean.
If your car has a leak, the mat prevents oils and fluids from reaching the floor and leaving stains.
Protective mats are especially useful on unsealed cement floors, since these types of floors form stains very easily.
Parking mats typically have a lip on the sides to prevent mud, de-icing salts and snow from your car from rolling off the mat and onto the garage floor. Here’s a video showing the benefits of a containment mat for your garage.
You can also get floor mats to protect other parts of the garage floor such as your work area or under equipment like the lawn mower.
4. Monthly Deep Clean
Even with frequent sweeping and vacuuming, you’ll still need to deep clean the garage floor once in a while.
This gets rid of any dirt hiding under equipment and furniture as well as any stains and marks that may have formed on the floor.
For most garages, a once a month deep clean is ideal. If you rarely work in your garage, you can deep clean the floor every few months.
Having protective floor mats also reduces how often you need to deep clean the garage floor.
Here’s how to deep clean your garage floor.
- Clear out everything that’s not bolted to the floor or wall. You want to access as much of the floor as possible.
- Prepare your cleaning solution. If you are using a general purpose floor cleaner, mix it with water in the recommended ratio. You can also use laundry detergent.
- Pour the cleaning solution on the garage floor or spray it with a pressure washer (using the low pressure detergent nozzle). Let the solution sit on the floor for a few minutes to loosen any stains and marks.
- Scrub the floor with a stiff bristled brush. You can also use a surface cleaner pressure washer attachment to scrub.
- Rinse the floor with a squeegee, garden hose, or pressure washer.
- Let the floor dry completely before putting stuff back in.
Tip: Clean other parts of the garage during the monthly deep clean such as the garage door, the walls, storage cabinets, and other surfaces.
5. Seal The Floor
If you have an unsealed concrete garage floor, one of the best things you can do to make maintenance easier is sealing it.
An unsealed floor absorbs fluids, oils, and chemicals. The floor stains easily and the stains are difficult to clean off.
Because they easily absorb moisture, unsealed concrete floors are also more likely to develop mold and mildew.
Another problem is dust. An unsealed floor constantly produces concrete dust that keeps your garage ever dirty and is bad for your health.
Applying a sealer like epoxy to the floor makes it impervious to moisture and fluids. It doesn’t get dirty or stained easily, and it’s easy to clean.
Also, a sealed concrete floor doesn’t produce concrete dust.
6. Check Door Seals
If you have a sealed floor but you are still finding a lot of dust on the garage floor, it’s probably coming from outside.
Check the seal around the garage door and any other external doors and windows to make sure they are not letting in any dust.
7. Clean Equipment Before Storage
Don’t bring dirty equipment into the garage whether it’s a lawn mower, gardening tools, or sports equipment.
Clean it and make sure it’s dry before storage in the garage.
8. Take Your Work Outside
If you have a particularly messy project, consider doing it outside the garage if there’s space and the weather allows it.
Things like woodworking, welding, painting, and car repair can leave a lot of dirt and mess on the garage floor.
If you have to work inside the garage, look for ways to keep the floor clean such as attaching a vacuum to power tools or using a protective mat under your work area.
How to Keep an Unsealed Garage Floor Clean?
If sealing the floor is not an option for now, try to clean the floor as often as you can. Get a good shop vac to vacuum up dust from the floor several times a week.
This will prevent concrete dust from settling on other surfaces.
It’s also important to protect the floor from fluids and oils. If there’s an oil spill, clean it immediately using a degreasing detergent. For the best protection, get a containment mat for the car and any leaking equipment.
Why Is My Garage So Dusty?
If, even after vacuuming, you always find a film of dust on the floor and other surfaces, here are some possible causes.
- An unsealed concrete floor. We’ve already talked about this above. Seal or epoxy the floor to prevent concrete dust.
- Poor or inadequate window or door seals. Check if you need a new weather seal.
- An unserviced AC or HVAC system. It’s probably time to change the filter.
In addition to taking the above actions, consider getting an air filtration system to remove dust and other fine particulates from the air.
How To Prevent Mold and Mildew on The Garage Floor?
If you notice mold or mildew on the garage floor (green, black, or white spots), it’s likely that you have an unsealed floor.
Sealed concrete floors are impervious to moisture, and thus do not generally develop mold.
If you can, get a sealant like epoxy and apply it as soon as possible.
If that’s not possible, try to reduce the amount of moisture in the garage using the following tips.
- Make sure there’s adequate ventilation to prevent humidity build-up.
- Look for water leaks through the floor, wall, door, or roof. Fix any leaks you find.
- If you live in a humid area, the best option is to buy a dehumidifier for your garage.
- Use a containment mat under your car in winter to keep snow melt from the tires off the garage floor.
If you find any mold on the floor, clean it immediately to keep it from spreading. A dilute solution of vinegar and water will work. Pour it on the affected area then scrub.
If you have an extensive mold infestation on your garage floor, do a deep clean using TSP (trisodium phosphate). It’s a powerful alkaline cleaner. It’s also hazardous, so handle it with extreme care.