On average, a garage can add between $20,000 to $35,000 of value to a home. However, you won’t get the best ROI if your garage floor gets covered in oil stains.
If you have stained flooring from oil spills in your garage, don’t fret. The following guide will cover oil stain removal tips for concrete flooring to help save your garage.
Read on and learn how to restore the concrete floors in your garage back to their former glory!
Why Oil Stains Concrete
If you let the oil sit too long, it penetrates into the floor’s surface because concrete is porous. The proud nature makes removing oil from concrete very difficult.
Oil can break down the floor’s top layer of finish or sealant to get into the small holes in concrete. If you don’t take action immediately after this occurs, it sometimes creates a permanent stain.
After a spill, hurry and grab some old rags or towels and start dabbing them on the spill. Then, thoroughly soak up all the remaining oil with the rags or towels.
Once you’ve removed as much oil as you possibly can, a few simple household products can finish the job. Use either a large amount of baking soda, cornstarch, salt, or sand to absorb what’s left of the oil.
Prepping Your Garage Floor
Before you start trying to remove oil stains on the floor in your garage, you have to make sure it’s clean. After cleaning the floor of dirt, dust, and debris, only the oil stains should show.
Start by moving any obstacles from your garage floor so that you can sweep the area without obstruction. Then, clean the floor’s surface by scrubbing it with a stiff brush and finish by mopping the floor.
After the garage floor dries, you can start focusing on the oil stains specifically.
Laundry Detergent Method
Laundry detergent works wonders on oil stains that have sat on concrete floors longer than they should have. Many savvy homeowners use this technique because it’s easy and cheap.
Start by mixing the laundry soap in a bucket with a good amount of warm water. Then, pour another mixture with extra soap in the water straight on the oil stain. Give it a few minutes so that the mixture has time to soak into the stain.
After letting the soapy water soak in, grab a nylon brush and start scrubbing the floor with some force. Next, use a power washer or high-pressure garden hose to rinse the area completely.
If the laundry detergent method doesn’t get the job done, there are still several other methods that might work instead.
Oven Cleaner Method
The oven cleaner method is an old favorite because it starts working very quickly. It can efficiently help clear concrete garage floors of oil, grease, and transmission fluid stains.
Start by spraying the oven cleaner directly on the oil stains and give it at least 15 minutes to soak in. Next, it’s time to scrub the area with a stiff brush and rinse it using strong water pressure.
You might find that the oven cleaner helped, but there are still a few stains left. In this case, add the oven cleaner to the stains a second time before scrubbing and rinsing again.
Like oven cleaners, kerosene is a cost-effective and creative method to remove oil stains and other spills. Kerosene is an inorganic solvent, which means that it makes cleaning easier by breaking through the powerful bonds found in oil stains.
You will need to soak the oil-stained areas with kerosene before scrubbing them with a coarse brush for this method. Keep scrubbing the area until the stains come out completely or almost completely.
Use a high-pressure hose to rinse the area thoroughly until no evidence of the oil stain remains.
Trisodium Phosphate Method
Trisodium Phosphate is yet another inexpensive method of eliminating oil stains on garage floors. The chemical is a crystalline cleanser similar to dish soap and it usually does a decent job removing oil stains completely.
After you apply it, it begins to break down the pesky oil stains which makes it much easier to scrub and rinse away. It’s a good chemical to keep on hand because it’s also great at dissolving other oily and greasy household substances.
Other Tips and Techniques
For minor stains, consider using other household solutions such as sawdust paste and paint thinner. You can also try pouring mineral spirits on the concrete to get rid of less severe stains.
Always keep a consistent temperature in your garage because dirt sticks to oil and grease. Make sure to pen and close the garage door a few times each day to help circulate air. You can also use a dehumidifier to help keep an even temperature in the garage.
You can also review the best floor coating choice for your garage to add more resistance to oil. Keep in mind that you must remove all oil and grease stains from your current flooring before you can upgrade to epoxy flooring.
Keeping Your Garage Floor Stain Free
Now you know how to take care of oil stains and how to keep your garage floor looking its best. Keep this guide in mind and always remember to clean up spills as fast as possible to avoid stains altogether.
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