Industrial epoxy flooring is among the most durable and resilient types of floor coating used in many applications, from garage floors and warehouses to high traffic hallways and walkways. A tough epoxy surface makes a perfect choice for high-demand environments where heavy machinery and other large tools are being used. It is durable enough to withstand the impact of heavy objects that are being moved around on the floor continuously.
Aside from their ability to maintain a high luster, epoxy floor coatings are pretty simple to maintain provided that you follow the right cleaning regiment. One of the ground rules of cleaning and maintaining the epoxy floor is to steer clear of acidic cleaners like vinegar and lemon juice. Acidic cleansers can etch the epoxy floor finish and dull it, while strong alkaline cleaners like ammonia can also be disparaging to epoxy floors when used in a concentrated form.
How then should you clean your epoxy floor, you ask? In this article, we discuss in detail how to clean epoxy garage floor the right way. Without further ado, let’s get started.
Recommended Cleaning Equipment & Solutions:
- A microfiber dust mop or foam mop
- A bucket
- Foam squeegee or plastic paint scraper
- Stiff nylon brush
- Vacuum cleaner or broom
- Non-toxic biodegradable cleaner (such as Simple Green)
- Concrete degreaser
How to Clean Epoxy Garage Floor – Steps to Follow
Remove the Surface Dirt and Grit
Even though epoxy is waterproof, it is still susceptible to scratching, and a scuffed epoxy garage floor will no longer be waterproof. Hard particles like dirt and grit embedded on an epoxy floor will grind back and forth and scratch it, especially if heavy machinery or vehicles are being shifted on and off the garage floor. Using a broom or a shop vac with a soft brush attachment, thoroughly remove all stray particles to ensure your garage floor is sand and grit free. Never scrub or wash an epoxy surface while there are dirt particles tracked on it.
Mop Your Epoxy Garage Floor
After getting rid of all the surface dirt and grime, now mop the floor using a microfiber dust mop or a hard foam mop and warm water to eliminate all the caked-on dirt. Mopping is particularly important for garage floors that are heavily trafficked by machinery. Be sure to frequently wring out the mop while mopping in order to remove dirt particles gently without scratching the floor. For aluminum oxide floors containing an anti-slip aggregate coating, use a soft bristle broom for better results. Then, absorb the residue using a squeegee.
Scrape off Large Persistent Dirt Deposits
More often than not, mopping the epoxy garage floor is enough to get it clean. However, big dirt deposits that refuse to loosen with warm water may need to be scrapped off using a foam squeegee or a plastic paint scrapper. It is also possible to scrape off any problem spots using a brush with soft bristles. For those using a metal frame squeegee, make sure to use one whose corners of the frame are rounded to avoid damage. Equally, try not to use any scrapers with metal blades as they can graze the epoxy finish.
Prepare Your Cleaning Solution
As for epoxy floors, you can use different cleaning products and achieve fairly the same results. Our favorite cleaning solution is a mixture of 1 gallon of hot water and ½ cup of ammonia. For more serious stains, we recommend mixing 1 gallon of hot water with ½ a cup of Simple Green, but make sure the solution is not over concentrated as it can leave a film on the epoxy floor. Both cleaning agents are safe and effective for epoxy floors, but the Simple Green is more preferable when dealing with epoxy floors with disastrous stains and scratches.
Apply Your Cleaning Solution Onto the Epoxy Garage Floor
Having prepared your preferred cleaning solution, now apply it to your floor using a spray bottle. Spread the solution liberally over the epoxy surface, then mop the floor with a sponge or string mop. You might also want to pour your cleaning solution into a large bucket and mop your floor directly from there. Submerge your mop into your cleaning solution, wring it out, and move it over the surface. If you prefer scrubbing instead, we advise that you spray the solution onto the floor and scrub the dirt out using a brush with moderately stiff fiber bristles. Allow the floor to air dry, or speed up the process by wiping up with a clean towel.
Remove Tire Marks
A concrete degreaser comes in handy when removing tire marks from epoxy floors. Simply saturate the affected spots with a concrete degreasing product and leave it there for about 10 minutes. Once the 10-minute timer lapses grab a nylon brush with stiff bristles and vigorously scrub the marks away. In case the tire marks are stubborn and persistent, apply the degreaser once again and scrub the marks away. After banishing all the tire marks, rinse the area with a little water and dry it with a towel.
Remove Rust Stains
Rust stains are not strange in the garage, because they are bound to happen at any given time. For light rust stains, you can get them off the epoxy surface using a soft deck brush or a kitchen scrubbing sponge and warm water. Avoid using abrasive chemicals or steel wool on your epoxy floor. Instead, use a non-abrasive scrubbing brush. For tough rust stains, you can try applying a 1:1 ratio of warm water and CLR to the surface. Then, scrub the rust spots with a scrub brush or soft brush pad. Rinse the surface with cold water and dry it after 1-2 minutes.
Note: Avoid any cleaning compound containing citrus or vinegar. Acid cleansers can break down the epoxy finish and even damage the entire surface.
Now that your epoxy garage floor is clean, it is time to give it a good rinsing to remove as much of the excess water and residual cleansers as possible. Leaving your floor wet is not a good idea. A wet floor can be slippery, and can also be a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. Rinse your mop with clear water, wring it out, and mop up the excess water. Finally, let the floor dry thoroughly before stepping on it.
There is no doubt that epoxy coatings are extremely beautiful, tough and resilient. But then again, they are not completely indestructible, and would require regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them looking their best. With our exhaustive tips on how to clean your epoxy floor, cleaning your epoxy garage floor can be easy and hassle-free. You will be able to take a minimum amount of time cleaning, making it possible to maintain your epoxy garage floor’s glow for several eons after installation.