Learning how to clean an epoxy garage floor coating isn’t hard. In fact, one of the primary reasons for having a floor coating is for the ease of maintenance. There are some basic cleaning tips for epoxy floors that you should be aware of however that will help insure a nice clean surface for years to come.
As resilient as garage floors coatings are to dirt and stains, they do require some regular maintenance to keep their shine. Some cleaners can leave a film on the surface while others may cause the shine to de-gloss or fade. So let’s take a look at what cleaners to use and what not to use, as well as some recommended cleaning methods.
Keep in mind these same cleaning tips apply to polyurethane top coats, and polyaspartic or polyurea coatings as well.
Epoxy floor cleaning and maintenance
The first thing you want to do is get yourself a qualify 24” to 36” dust mop. You can find these at your local home improvement centers or purchase them for a good price from Amazon. You will find that a dust mop will provide for 90% of your epoxy floor cleaning duties.
Since dust and dirt do not stick to the floor, just use the dust mop once a week (or sooner if needed) to keep the floor clean. It only takes a few minutes and you are done. They even work well for floors that have a polymer anti-slip additive in the surface. For floor coatings with an aggressive anti-slip aggregate such as aluminum oxide, a soft bristle push broom is the better choice.
If you have contraction joints or saw cuts in the floor that are exposed, vacuum these out monthly or use a broom to sweep them clean of debris.
Spot cleaning for spills and fluid leaks from cars are easily wiped up with a soft cloth. You can usually clean the area with a shot of Windex if the spill has left a film.
Heavy duty cleaning
For epoxy garage floors that see a lot of traffic and dirt, it’s a good idea to give your floor a good cleaning once every 3 or 4 months. The best cleaning tool for this is a quality hard foam mop with a cleaning solution. Do not use a string mop. These don’t clean as well and can leave streaks.
Our favorite cleaning solution to use is an 8:1 ratio of Simple Green in a spray bottle and a bucket of hot water. Spray the Simple Green in sections on the floor and then scrub it with a damp foam mop. Dip the mop into the hot water to give the floor a rinse and you are done.
This method also works well for cleaning up films left behind from deicing fluids and road salts that have dried on the surface. Just increase the strength of the Simple Green as needed to remove the film.
Another solution that works well for regular cleaning is ½ a cup of ammonia to a gallon of hot water in a bucket. Apply it using the foam mop and be sure to rinse the mop frequently in the bucket of hot water to rid it of the dirty residue.
When using these methods, you can just let the floor air dry or wipe it dry with a clean towel.
For stubborn spots, we recommend using a stiff nylon brush to scrub the area along with a stronger solution of Simple Green if necessary. Be careful if using a green scrub pad. These can work well but depending on the quality of your epoxy coating, they can degloss the surface somewhat if you scrub too hard.
Marks left by tires can be the toughest to remove if not cleaned regularly. You can read more about removing these in a separate article here.
For rust stains or stubborn salt film, we recommend using a 1:1 ratio of CLR and warm water. Apply it directly to the rust spot using a scrub brush or scrub pad and then rinse with cold clean water. Do not let it sit for more than a minute or two on the surface.
When cleaning your garage floor coating, do not use citrus cleaners or vinegar. These types of cleaners contain acids that can slowly degloss the finish of your epoxy over time.
Don’t use cleaners with soap in them as well. Soap can leave streak marks and a hazy film on the surface that reduces the shine from the finish. It can also make the floor much more slippery when it gets wet.
Once you learn how to maintain your garage floor coating, just use these cleaning tips and methods for your quick and easy epoxy floor maintenance.