Tinindian

Cleaning Cement Floor

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My garage floor is 20 years old, no finish ever applied.  It is dirty where the tires have run on it plus two small spots of oil.  What would you recommend for cleaning?

Has anyone ever had satisfactory service from a painted on finish?

Thank you in advance for your advice and/or opinions.

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Solvent and absorption pads on the oil spots then shot blast the whole thing. Be careful of a non permeable finish on concrete on grade as the soil born moisture will migrate through the concrete. Read product ads for this kind of finish with a good degree of skepticism 

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There are special detergents available for concrete floors. Hardware stores may have some, or garage supply places. I would go to the local Home Depot or lumber yard and see what kind of concrete floor paint they have, usually there are several to choose from, old fashioned paint to expensive epoxy paints. For a home garage the cheap stuff should work ok. The epoxy is bullet proof but quite pricy. They should know what to clean the floor with, before painting.

 

The first garage I worked at, we cleaned the floor once a week with kerosene, a push broom, and hose it off with the garden hose.Not recommended these days.

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Cat litter on the oil first and scrub some Simple Green on there. Dawn dish washing soap is good, too. That is what they use to clean ducks who have been oil spill victims.

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)
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I want to know how you've only got two small oil spots after 20 years!

 

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4 minutes ago, Terry Bond said:

I want to know how you've only got two small oil spots after 20 years!

 

 

I wish I had two small oil spots on my garage floor.

instead of the one large - very large, - very very spread out large one.

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20 minutes ago, Terry Bond said:

I want to know how you've only got two small oil spots after 20 years!

 

No Buicks in your garage......

 

Matt

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Sign into "garage journal" and do a search.  I used Epoxy Cote on my garage floor 6 years ago and very satisfied with the result.  Applying it myself cost $4/sq ft.  You will have to diamond grind the floor prior to application.  You can rent the machine at Home Depot.  An alternate is to acid etch which I found unsatisfactory.  Excellent instruction videos at Epoxy Cote web site.  Epoxy Cote is a commercial petroleum based product as compared to water based products found at box stores.

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27 minutes ago, Terry Bond said:

I want to know how you've only got two small oil spots after 20 years!

Interestingly my wife's '98 Malibu and then her '08 Sonata both supposedly leaking at the front seal, according to the dealers.  Never found a spot under either car and never ever had to add oil between changes.

My 1930 Pontiac only had two small leaks (timing cover seal and rear main bearing).  Two small trays with an absorbent pad caught the drips.  Not enough to have to add oil between changes.  Once the pads were getting soaked I pulled the engine and rebuilt it.

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7 minutes ago, Robert G. Smits said:

Applying it myself cost $4/sq ft.

I will probably just clean what I have and leave it.   In 20 more years I will be almost 100 and probably won't care anymore.  At 588 square feet that is quite a charge, probably worth it but not at this stage of my life.

 

Thanks for all the information guys.

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Just now, Robert G. Smits said:

the $4/sq ft was a commercial estimate, doing it myself was $0.50 per sq ft.

Well then I know an old coot who just might try it himself.

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Go for it,  I was 73 when I did my floor and wouldn't hesitate to do it again.  Garage Journal and the web site provided excellent assistance.

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1 hour ago, keiser31 said:

Cat litter on the oil first and scrub some Simple Green on there. Dawn dish washing soap is good, too. That is what they use to clean ducks who have been oil spill victims.

 

Grind the cat litter into the oil stains with your shoes and they will come up pretty easily. Several years I botched an oil change (don't ask) and ended up with 5 quarts of oil on my concrete garage floor. I put on an old pair of boots and had it all up in an hour or so with no stains. We have 3 cats so we already had 20+ pounds of litter. Good luck....

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I epoxied our garage and my workshop floor. Major advantages include spills being easy to wipe up and there is no dust. Bare concrete continues to give off dust every time you sweep it, for a long time.

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13 hours ago, Terry Bond said:

I want to know how you've only got two small oil spots after 20 years!

 

 

He probably doesn’t own either 348 or 409 car especially with power steering😬

Robert

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16 hours ago, Terry Bond said:

I want to know how you've only got two small oil spots after 20 years!

 

You certainly are not trying hard enough! Do some work in there and , oops,  oops,   oops,   will happen! My garage floor looks like Marty's I'm sure! Actual work = mess, no matter how hard I try......😁

 

When the concrete was fresh, they suggested a clear spray on coating, with some grit in it for traction. That dissolved with the first gasoline, lacquer thinner, acetone,  or brake clean that was used in that area.....🙄

 

So I get up the fresh oil spills, typically using old fashioned oil dry - saw dust from the table saw. Yes, do be careful, it was a major source of promoting fires in industry until cat litter style oil dry came along. Sawdust does not cause a fire, but adds fuel to it....😲  Then I live with the dry stains.....   oil stains, wood stain stains, paint stains, etc etc etc.😉

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20 hours ago, keiser31 said:

Cat litter on the oil first and scrub some Simple Green on there. Dawn dish washing soap is good, too. That is what they use to clean ducks who have been oil spill victims.

 

 

I wash my cars with Dawn before waxing - removes old wax, which is basically grease.  Course, test it on an inconspicuous spot first.

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20 hours ago, Marty Roth said:

 

I wish I had two small oil spots on my garage floor.

instead of the one large - very large, - very very spread out large one.

 

 

The obvious solution is to coat the whole floor with oil.  :D

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18 hours ago, 51dyno said:

Sounds like the oil pan plug fell out .

 

 

Or forgot to put it back in.  Never did that with an oil plug but forgot to close a radiator petcock once - lost a couple bucks worth of fresh antifreeze before I got it closed.

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Just now, CHuDWah said:

 

 

Or forgot to put it back in.  Never did that with an oil plug but forgot to close a radiator petcock once - lost a couple bucks worth of fresh antifreeze before I got it closed.

Working at Firestone my first day....change the oil in a customer's car. As I was putting the oil in I started sliding all over the place. I had forgotten to reinsert the oil drain plug. Messy AND expensive lesson learned.

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18 minutes ago, CHuDWah said:

 

 

The obvious solution is to coat the whole floor with oil.  :D

 

CHuDWah,

Yup !

That seems to be a really slick solution

Edited by Marty Roth (see edit history)
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Baking soda works better than cat litter. Smaller particles with great affinity for absorption. Spread it, let it sit, broom it around then sweep it up and dispose of it. 

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I put the dark and light tiles like a grocery store has on my shop floor.

I have one of those scrubber machines that one needs to balance perfectly or it will drag you across the shop in a hurry.

I clean it with Simple Green and use the same sealer that the stores use after it dries. Expensive yes, but I think it was worth it in the long run.

The nice thing about a good clean floor is that I may not hesitate crawling if I have to and if I get a few drops of oil (often) it wipes right up. But it doesn't like gasoline spills. No permanent damage but I get worried when I see the adhesive bleeding up thru the seems.

 

34, 28, 56 053.jpg

34, 28, 56 054.jpg

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