The best way to clean garage floors – the one method experts swear by

This method for cleaning garage floors is the best option experts have found – and it only uses one product

design house mendham garage
(Image credit: Antoine Bootz)

A garage floor doesn't need to be clean enough to eat off of, but keeping it tidy is essential to maintaining a space that's both functional and safe. But what is the best way to clean this stubborn spot? 

Exposed to all manner of dirt, soil, and oil, garage floors can prove difficult to scrub completely clean – especially when they are made of such a porous material as concrete. As a result, you need some clever cleaning tips and tricks to remove rust stains and oil marks to get this area looking its best. 

This is the best way to clean garage floors according to experts.

Best way to clean garage floors  

Although there is a myriad of ways you can clean a garage floor, the best technique uses a good degreaser and a stiff-bristled brush. This is all you need to work away the toughest of outdoor stains and marks, cleaning experts concur. 

To begin, start by clearing the floor and working out which things you can get rid of from your garage to make space for cleaning, identifying if you have any spots with oil pools or stains.  

Two story home with three car garage in southwestern neighborhood of Scottsdale

(Image credit: Getty Images)

1. Sweep up any loose debris

As with cleaning kitchen floors or cleaning stone floors, the first step is to sweep up any loose debris for a quick surface clean. Ahmad Jamal, a cleaning expert at Cleaners Advisor suggests using a broom or dust mop to collect loose dirt and sweep it out of your garage door to prevent any dirt from scratching the floor during the cleaning process. 

If you have an industrial-grade shop vac you could also use that to help clean the floor too, although avoid using your home vacuum cleaner as, more often than not, garage dirt will be too harsh for the indoor filter.  

Ahmad Jamal

Ahmad is a self-proclaimed 'clean-freak', with years of experience tackling tough cleaning projects and advising others on how to deal with the worst of messes. 

2. Apply the degreasing solution and scrub

We usually only think of using degreasers when cleaning kitchen grease, but these powerful solutions are perfect for breaking down the oils, lubricants, and dirt from porous concrete explains Paulo Filho, cleaning expert and owner of Celestial Cleaning Service

‘Apply the degreaser to the floor and spread it around evenly so it can start to break down the oils left by cars. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label and wear personal protective equipment such as cleaning gloves, closed-toe shoes, and long trousers to prevent irritating your skin as you work. 

‘You can use a stiff bristled scrub brush to work the degreaser into the concrete evenly,’ he adds. ‘You will want to scrub the floor in sections, paying more attention to areas with stains.’

When picking out a product for your garage floor, Adam Moore, professional cleaner and owner of Paradise Home Cleaning suggests brands such as Simple Green, Krud Kutter, or Zep Heavy-Duty Citrus Degreaser, all available at Amazon.

‘To make this job easier you could also use a pressure washer or hose to distribute the degreaser and wash it away,’ Adam adds, making sure you wear protective eyewear if so.

3. Rinse the floor and allow it to dry thoroughly

Once you have scrubbed the area with a degreaser you can use a bucket of water and dish soap with your broom to help wash the dirt away, move the water in the direction of your garage door, or use a pressure washer to help blast away dirt. 

Once it is clean, try using a squeegee or a mop to remove excess water before leaving the garage doors and windows open to allow for proper air circulation and drying, says cleaning expert Ahmad Jamal. For this reason, it is best to do this on a warmer day. 

‘You can also use fans or a dehumidifier to speed up the drying process,’ Ahmad suggests. ‘Make sure the floor is completely dry before using it again, as moisture can cause slip hazards or damage to the floor surface.’ 


Is it OK to pressure wash a garage floor?

A pressure washer is a great way to clean a garage floor quickly, especially if it is particularly dirty. Start by sweeping the floor first (or using a shop vac if you have one) to remove any loose debris and clear out any obstacles covering the floor. You can then use a pressure washer to remove any tough stains from the floor, leaving the garage door open to allow the floor to dry out.  

Can you steam-clean concrete garage floors?

Steam cleaning a concrete garage floor is often not powerful enough to help remove tough stains from the porous material but it is a good option if you are looking for a chemical-free way to shift surface-level dirt and stains and are not too bothered about having a completely mark-free surface.  

The best way to clean a garage floor may be hard work but renders the best-looking results for these high-traffic spaces. Keeping a garage floor clean with regular sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping up spillages like oil is the best way to prevent tough stains from taking hold and reduce how often you need to deep clean your flooring.  

Chiana Dickson
Content Editor

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for two years, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.