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TLC for Garage Floors

With warmer weather on the horizon, now’s the time to whisk away winter’s salt and sand—and while the floor’s clear, clean up any oil spots and rust stains, too

Photo by Kolin Smith

Sweep the slab > The first step might be the hardest: Clear off the floor. Once it’s bare, sweep out debris with a push broom. Protect outlets and drywall by hanging plastic drop cloths over the bottom 3 feet of wall.

Wash the concrete > Mix a solution of ⅓ cup powdered laundry detergent, such as Tide, per gallon of hot water; the granules will act as a mild abrasive. Working in sections, pour some solution onto the floor and scrub with a stiff bristle brush. Wait about 10 minutes for dirt to loosen, then repeat. Before the area dries, rinse using a high-pressure garden-hose nozzle. Repeat, working across the floor.

Tackle oil stains > Use a 1:1 ratio of the detergent to water to create a thick paste. Wet the stain, then apply the paste. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, then rinse before it dries. When dry, sprinkle a few drops of water on the spot. If water beads, clean it again until water is absorbed.

Remove rust > Make a soupy paste of powdered oxalic acid and water; apply to rust spot. Let sit for 5 minutes, then rinse. Repeat if needed.

Thanks to: Shea Walker at All Garage Floors