How To Clean an Epoxy Garage Floor

Epoxy coatings create a durable, decorative, and easy-to-maintain flooring solution for garage spaces. However, while resistant to chemicals, impacts, and wear and tear, epoxy does require proper cleaning methods to keep it looking like new. From daily maintenance to tackling stubborn stains, this comprehensive guide will help you care for your investment. LYNX Concrete Coatings, known for their expertise in epoxy coatings, emphasizes the importance of these maintenance practices.

Why Regular Cleaning Matters

Seamless epoxy floors provide a number of benefits compared to unfinished concrete:

  • More attractive appearance that enhances the garage
  • Protection against cracks, pitting, and moisture damage
  • A non-slip surface, even when wet
  • Improved lighting from the floor’s reflectivity
  • Easier sweeping of saw dust, dirt, leaves, and other debris
  • Resistance against common automotive fluids like oil, gas, brake cleaner, and antifreeze
  • An upgrade in cleanliness, safety, and property value

However, an epoxy floor is not completely impervious to damage over time. Grit, chemical spills, UV exposure, and objects dragging across the surface can degrade the protective coatings. That’s why proper cleaning methods and daily maintenance is crucial.

By regularly caring for the floor, you’ll maintain its appearance and integrity for lasting durability and enjoyment.

Preventative Cleaning Tips

Implementing quick daily and weekly cleaning habits prevents lasting damage and keeps an epoxy garage floor looking its best:

Daily Preventative Care

  • Sweep the floor – Use a soft bristle broom to collect any loose dirt, gravel, leaves, grass clippings or other debris. Sweeping up abrasive items prevents them from being ground into the coating.
  • Use heavy-duty mats – Place outdoor-friendly mats at all entrances to the garage to prevent tracking in mud, snow, oils, and sediments from vehicle tires and shoes. Shake out and clean mats regularly.
  • Avoid dragging sharp objects – Take care not to drag tools, bicycle pedals, ladder feet, or other hard objects across the floor. Lift and carry them whenever possible to prevent scratching.

Weekly Maintenance

  • Thoroughly shop vacuum – Use the soft brush attachment to vacuum the entire floor surface, not just high traffic areas. This picks up all fine dirt and dust that can gradually dull the coating.
  • Spot mop high use areas – Mix warm water and a recommended epoxy floor cleaner to spot mop vehicle parking zones, walking paths to doors and storage cabinets, and in front of the utility sink.

Consistently following these simple habits greatly reduces the need for deeper scrubbing and keeps an epoxy floor looking fresh and clean.

Next, let’s discuss mixing up effective cleaning solutions…

Approved Cleaning Solutions

While soap-based cleaners, vinegar, citrus concentrates, and bleach products can damage epoxy over time, several solutions are approved:

  • Diluted ammonia – Mix 1/2 cup of clear ammonia per gallon of warm water. This creates a cleaning solution with a PH between 7-8.5, considered safest for epoxy.
  • Diluted Simple Green – Mix 1/2 cup of Simple Green per gallon of warm water for a gentle, non-toxic cleaner that tackles dirt.
  • 1:3 Windex ratio – Mix 1 part Windex to 3 parts warm water. The gentle surfactants in Windex help lift soils without dulling.

Mixing the Cleaning Solution

Adding too much cleaner concentrate or using hot water can leave residue and cause coating damage. Follow these mixing instructions:

  • Ammonia – 1/2 cup per gallon of warm water
  • Simple Green – 1/2 cup per gallon warm water
  • Windex – 1 part Windex to 3 parts warm water

Applying the Cleaner

  • Use a hard foam mop or soft microfiber cloth when apply cleaner
  • Avoid leaving puddles and rinse thoroughly with water
  • Acidic cleaners will damage epoxy over time

Now let’s tackle removing some common stains and marks…

Removing Stains and Marks

While a good epoxy floor coating is resistant to many chemicals thanks to its protective resin layer, some spills and stains still require special treatment:

Cleaning Light Grime and Stains

For dirt build up, muddy footprints, dust, and other minor stains:

  • Mix warm water with a drop of mild dish soap or approved cleaner
  • Lightly scrub with a soft brush or non-abrasive sponge
  • Avoid steel wool pads or wire brushes which scratch
  • Rinse thoroughly to avoid residue

Harsh chemicals like Comet powder, bleach products with lemon or citrus additives, vinegar, and acid-based toilet bowl cleaners will damage epoxy over time. Always spot test a new cleaning product in an inconspicuous area first.

Treating Rust Stains

For light rust staining from car parts, tools, or other sources:

  • Mix a lactic acid-based cleaner like CLR or Lime-A-Way as directed
  • Apply directly to the rust stain
  • Gently scrub with a kitchen sponge
  • Rinse thoroughly after 2 minutes max

Removing Tire Marks

Rubber tire marks require a concentrated approach:

  • Apply a degreasing concrete cleaner directly to the mark
  • Allow 5-10 minutes of dwell time
  • Use a stiff nylon brush to scrub marks
  • Rinse thoroughly and repeat if needed

Safely lifting stains preserves the appearance and integrity of the epoxy floor.

For deeper cleaning methods, read on…

Deep Cleaning Epoxy Floors

While daily and weekly maintenance prevents the need for heavy-duty scrubbing, a periodic thorough clean restores floors to like-new condition.

Monthly Scrubs

Set aside 30-60 minutes each month for a thorough clean:

  1. Remove all vehicles, furniture, equipment from the floor
  2. Vacuum the entire surface with a shop vacuum
  3. Mix the cleaning solution – ammonia, Simple Green, or Windex/water combo
  4. Use a hard foam mop to liberally apply solution over floor
  5. Let solution dwell for 2-3 minutes
  6. Thoroughly mop floor and use stiff nylon brush on extremely dirty spots
  7. Rinse floor completely using a 5-gallon bucket and new mop head

Tip: A power floor scrubber automates steps 5-7 for larger garage floors.

Inspecting Hidden Areas

Pull vehicles and storage shelves away from walls monthly to access hidden zones. Spot mop and scrub these “out of sight, out of mind” areas which often collect unseen grime.

Consistent monthly scrubbing maintains the cleanliness and integrity of an epoxy finish.

Caring For Your Epoxy Floor Investment

In addition to cleaning, caring for an epoxy floor involves being proactive regarding damage and rejuvenation:

Use Common Sense Precautions

  • Wipe up vehicle leaks immediately
  • Use microfiber cloths when checking fluid levels
  • Place pads under ladder feet
  • Avoid high-pressure blasting methods

Address Early Signs of Damage

  • Use rubbing compound to minimize scratches
  • Reseal worn sections in high-traffic lanes
  • Consult a pro for repairs beyond touch-ups

FAQs About Cleaning Epoxy Floors

Is pressure washing safe for epoxy floors?

Yes, light pressure washing is allowed if needed to remove stubborn marks and stains a mop cannot. However, avoid directing the wand too closely or using excessive pressure. This can erode the topcoat.

Can I use vinegar, bleach, or citrus cleaners on epoxy?

No. While they may cut through grime, vinegar, bleach, and cleaners containing lemon, lime or citric acid will dull, etch, and degrade epoxy over repetitive use. They strip away the glossy top layer.

How do I sanitize an epoxy floor without damaging it?

To safely kill germs without eroding epoxy, mix 1/3 cup of regular dish soap into 5 liters of warm water. Mop floor with this solution and let it stand for 5 minutes before a final rinse. The soap anti-microbial agents sanitize without stripping.

What temperature water should be used when mopping?

Warm water is ideal for dissolving grime. However, avoid hot water exceeding 140°F (60°C) as repeated exposure to extremes can damage the resin over time. Always rinse with cool, clean water.

How often does an epoxy floor need deep cleaning?

For a home garage seeing daily vehicle and foot traffic, set aside 30-60 minutes once per month for a thorough floor cleaning session. Move all items off, vacate, inspect, scrub, and rinse the entire space.Doing this regularly prevents lasting build-up and deterioration.

Keep That Showroom Shine

By implementing the cleaning best practices in this guide, your epoxy coated garage floor will maintain its like-new sheen and appearance for years. Preventative maintenance paired with promptly addressing stains preserves the finish.

For specialist repairs beyond DIY touch-ups, or to discuss new installs or upgrading older concrete, contact LYNX Concrete Coatings for a free quote. Our experts service all metro area homes and businesses to keep garage floors protected and polished.

How To Clean an Epoxy Garage Floor