Garage floors can seem to quickly become riddled with dirt, debris, and oftentimes oil stains from automobiles. You can use different methods to clean your garage door, based on how soiled it may be. But can you power wash a garage floor? And if so, how? For your convenience, we've brought you the answer.
Sometimes a deep power cleaning is needed to eliminate tough set-in stains on your garage floor--stains that can take hours to remove if done manually. If your garage floor is free of large cracks and has hard-to-remove spots from grease or paint stains, power washing may be a great method to use get rid of them. The pressure from a power washer can help lift stains from the concrete, while a degreasing agent can help break down the molecules of oil stains.
While concrete flooring is a very durable flooring option, it can also stain fairly easily-- particularly if it does not have a finish. Power washing is a viable option to deep clean your garage floor without having to do all the manual labor that can come with scrubbing brushes. Continue reading to learn more about how to do it.
Power Washing Your Garage Floor
The right cleaning agent and power washer can quickly remove tough spots from your garage concrete floor in a matter of seconds. This will definitely save you time on cleaning, and it will be much easier on your knees and back. However, it's best to ensure that you use the right PSI setting for the power washer to avoid damaging the floor.
You also want to ensure that you use a high-quality concrete cleaner and degreaser to effectively remove oil stains, protein-based stains, and ingrained dirt spots. Let's take a look at how to use a power washer to clean your garage floor. Keep in mind that if you'd rather not purchase your own power washer, you can always rent one from local hardware stores such as Home Depot or Lowe's.
Steps to power wash your garage floor
Things you'll need:
- Power washer with multiple settings
- Cleaning agent with a degreaser
- Towels or cleaning cloths
- Scraper tool for paint stains
- Scrub brush
- 2-gallon bucket
- Tarps and small plastic bags
1. Sweep the floor
Start by first sweeping the floor with a push brush or deck brush. You want to remove as much dirt and debris as possible so that you're not moving it around different areas of the floor once start to use the power washer.
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2. Pretreat grease stains
Start by pre-treating any grease or oil stains using your degreasing agent. Scrub the agent into the stained area using a deck brush. It's also good to let the saying soak anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes before the next steps. Be sure to re-wet the stains with the degreasing agent to prevent them from drying out.
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3. Cover up furniture, outlets, and other items
Take your tarps and cover up any furniture in the garage that has not been moved out. You'll also want to cover up any electrical outlets, wires, and light fixtures in the garage as well. You can use small plastic bags and painter's tape to do this. It's a good idea to do a quick inspection to determine what other items may need to be covered up. And of course, you want to make sure that the door connecting the house or the garage is completely closed.
4. Prepare your pressure washer
It's important to find the right PSI (Pressure Per Square Inch) setting for the pressure washer to avoid damaging the concrete floors. Concrete floors can typically take more pressure than other surfaces such as vinyl siding--but they do have their limitations. Generally, it's best to stay within a PSI limit of 3,000 to avoid potentially damaging or etching the concrete.
Some pressure washers won't have a setting where you can set the exact PSI, so it's always best to start at a low setting and do a small test in the corner of the garage first. Next, attach the power washer to your garden hose.
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5. Prepare your cleaning solution
If you have a diluted cleaning solution, pour it in your bucket and then add a gallon or two of water per the recommended amount for the cleaning agent. Swirl the solution around with your hand so that it is evenly distributed. Next, pour the solution into the reservoir of the power washer and fill it up to the fill line.
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6. Power wash the floor
Hold the power washer over the floor at a minimum of one foot away, and then turn on the unit. Be sure to start at the garage area furthest away from the door and work your way backward, going from left to right. This will ensure that you cover the entire garage.
How do you deep clean a garage?
If you notice that your garage has turned into a storage room that can barely be entered into, it may be time to do a deep cleaning. Here are the steps to do a deep cleaning.
- Start by doing a quick inspection of the garage to determine what things need to go. It also helps make a list of things you plan to toss, sell, or give away.
- Next, remove everything from the space and be sure to separate the things that you plan to put back in the garage.
- Then, prepare your cleaning solutions and materials and set them in the garage.
- Now, take a broom or deck brush and sweep the garage to remove any dirt and debris from the floor.
- Next, grab your duster and dust the cabinets, shelves, and any other items in the space. At this time, cover the electrical outlets, lights, and any electrical wires with tarps and masking tape to prevent them from getting wet.
- Then, take a power washer or a mop and go over your garage floor with a cleaning agent formulated specifically for concrete floors.
- Once the floor is dry, replace the previously stored items and organize them according to size, purpose, and frequency of use.
Can concrete be damaged by power washing?
Yes. Concrete can withstand a PSI of up to 3,000. Any higher than that, and you'll risk scratching the surface of the concrete, especially if it's covered with a finish. If the concrete doesn't have a finish, you may notice light marks in the concrete where the surface has been slightly scratched.
Can you power wash the epoxy garage floor?
Epoxy floors typically don't need a pressure washer, and they're typically not recommended for them. It's best to clean them with a water hose and degreasing agent or a cleaning agent mixed with mild dishwashing detergent. The reason is that these floors can become etched if you use a power washer in the wrong PSI setting. You can also scrub the floor with a deck brush to get rid of tough stains.
What is the difference between a power washer and a pressure washer?
Oftentimes you'll hear these terms used interchangeably, but they are actually two different types of cleaning machines. The biggest difference between the two is that a pressure washer uses cold water for cleaning while a power washer uses hot water.
Also, power washers tend to be much heavier than pressure washers due to the heating coil located inside the units, and as a result, they are typically more expensive to purchase or rent. Power washers are also recommended for cleaning concrete and harder services such as brick and stone. Pressure washers are typically used to clean areas such as siding, vehicles, and boats.
What is the best way to clean a garage floor?
The best way to clean a garage floor depends on the type of floor and finish. If you have an unfinished concrete floor, you can use a deck brush or power washer to get rid of any dirt and degrees, especially if you have tough stains. However, if your floor has an epoxy finish, it's better to use a squeegee mop or a deck brush to clean the floor thoroughly.
Wrapping Things Up
Power washing a garage floor is a great way to lift tough stains that may take longer to remove if done manually. However, you'll want to ensure that you are using the best practices before using the power washer, including covering up potentially hazardous items such as lights and electrical sockets and using the right PSI sitting on the power washer.
Before you go, be sure to check out some of our other posts:
Should You Crack Your Garage Door During A Hurricane?