Garage floor is the most vulnerable area of any home prone to accumulating all types of mud, grease, automotive oil, and other car engine fluids. These are mostly concrete floors without finish and water, oils, and grease can easily penetrate through the surface. Humidity and moisture are also the silent predators destroying your garage.
Besides vehicles, motorbikes, and bicycles, garages are the home for different things such as tools (metallic/non-metallic), lawnmower, garden hose, nails, screws, etc. If any of these metallic items are placed for a longer time, the rust would start forming up due to moisture or any wetness.
The presence of rust and tough stains in garage floors are inevitable if appropriate measures are not being taken. Why does it happen? Because most of us won’t consider the garage floors as part of our home and consume a copious portion of our energies and time on the living area. It is, however, not a good idea to leave your property forsaken, dirty, and full of sticky stains and let it gives a hell-like look. Removing rust and oil or grease stains is pretty challenging and literally needs donkeywork.
Spare a few hours, better a weekend day for your garage floors, and take good care of them through thorough cleaning. With our easy to follow step by step guide, you’re going to smarten up your grimy garage. Keep in mind, it isn’t general cleaning, so prep up your weaponry to battle with the rusty and stained area.
Step 1: Clear the Area
You can’t clean the garage while messing up with the small to large items scattered around. Take off all the things such as vehicles, bicycles, scramblers, toolboxes, and other stuff.
Put all the small items into shelves if you think those would be safe from water sprays and other cleaners before proceeding with the cleaning job. When all the area is cleared out, go ahead with the next step.
Step 2: Ensure Safeguarding Power Outlets and Wallboards
Power outlets, especially if they are installed near to the ground level should be covered up before doing any water work. The same goes for the wallboard or drywall if you’ve installed it there. The drywall is typically made of fiber that is a combination of fiberglass, paper, etc. and needs to be protected from the harsh cleaners and water.
A plastic drop cloth or tarpaulin would do the perfect job to prevent water splashing directly on the drywall or electric installations. Cover the required areas with the tarpaulin or plastic cloth through pinning or some adhesive tape.
Step 3: Sweep the Entire Area
Before using any liquid or cleaning solution on the surface, sweep the entire area to collect large debris and other loose objects. You could use a broom, dusting brush, or a vacuum to clean off the area.
Step 4: Wash the Floor with Soapy Water
Before starting with the stain and rust removal process, wash-down the surface with warm soapy water followed by the showering the entire floor to give some fresh look to your garage. This would help you find the hidden rusty and stained spots. Use a scrub brush and a broom to remove the soil and leftover residue from the surface. Once your garage floor has washed down, flush away the water and start with the next step.
Step 5: Oil and Grease Stain Removal
Mind it, any spilled oily substance whether it’s engine oil, grease or other similar fluid used in machinery is pretty hard to remove especially from an unfinished floor and the garage is the place where these spills are very common.
First thing first, whenever you find a fresh leakage or spill, remove it as soon as possible with a dry rag and mop. If you’ll let it dry or penetrate through the surface, it’d become an uphill battle to get rid of the stains.
If the stains and rusty spots are persistent, try these few steps and you’ll be able to remove them permanently.
- Use Sawdust or Cat Litter: For fresh or recently dried oil or grease spills, sawdust or cat litter could be very helpful. Spread the sawdust or clay containing cat litter over the affected area and leave it for a good amount of time. The substance will absorb the spilled oil or grease then scrub it off of the floor and it’ll remove the stains completely or at least a major portion.
- Use Detergent: No matter what detergent or laundry soap you use at home; this is the best home remedy to remove stubborn rust stains. Sprinkle the detergent over the rusty area and let it take some time to lift the stain. Trickle warm water after an hour or so and rub it with a scrubber and the stains would go off. You can repeat the process if you still find some leftover stains.
- Lemon Juice and Vinegar: Add some sourness into the process and what could beat the power of natural cleaning agents like the white vinegar and lemon juice. Litter the substance over the splotched surface and let it stay for a few minutes to do its magic. Scrub off the surface with a stiff-bristled brush and most likely the stains would vanish.
- Baking Soda: Here it comes! Baking soda is the household item that works everywhere besides making your recipes fluffy. This all-purpose cleaner is the best ingredient you could use for oil and grease stain removing and tackling with rust spots as well. Stipple the soda on the stained or rusty area and spray water over it. While doing its bubble work, it’ll also loosen up the tough stains and greasy spots. After scrubbing the area, rinse it and you’ll find the spot-free floor.
- Use Market-Bought Degreaser or Any Commercial Product: This is the last resort if you were unable to eradicate the rusty spots and stains. It is, however, recommended to use personal protective equipment such as respiratory mask, gloves, and safety goggles when you’re going to use these products. Moreover, don’t let your children or pets come near the garage during the process because these products contain harsh chemicals and fumes.