Keeping floors clean goes way beyond the surface quite literally! It is also about keeping them germ-free and hygienic. When it comes to epoxy floors, you have to choose the right cleaner among various options, like mild soap, vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia.
So far, among all these options, ammonia has been proven to be the best cleaner for epoxy floors. Certain additions to the cleaning method, such as using hot or warm water instead of cold, also enhance the cleaning process. Still confused about how to get started? This article will guide you step by step on how to clean epoxy floors.
Comparison of Types of Cleaner
|Type of Cleaner||Benefits||Usage|
|1. Soap-based cleaners||Deal with the tougher spills.||Combine a few glasses of water and a few drops of the soap cleaner.|
|2. Vinegar cleaners||Remove any stubborn stains.||Apply one part vinegar to one part water.|
|3. Baking soda||Get rid of stubborn stains.||Mix with water to make a paste that can be applied to these stains.|
|4. Ammonia||For a streak-free clean.||Add five ounces of clear ammonia with one gallon of water.|
|5. Lactic acid-based cleaners||Remove filth, grease, and mildew.||Mix with water and allow it to sit on the hard stains and dirt.|
Is It Hard to Clean Epoxy Floors?
No, it is not hard to clean epoxy floors.
Once you have a good understanding of how to clean your epoxy floors with each particular type of cleaner, the process of cleaning just gets easier afterward. Epoxy floors are pretty low maintenance: a daily sweep followed by mopping with warm or hot water is a must in the cleaning routine.
You can easily keep the floors free of scratches, scrapes, and marks by regularly dusting and mopping away the dirt and germs that accumulate at the end of the day. Epoxy floors are also good at retaining their glossy surfaces, hence movement of heavy objects around the floor does not easily taint their luster. Vacuuming the nooks and corners once a month also goes a long way!
How do you Clean your Epoxy Floor?
With a few simple cleaning supplies at hand and routine maintenance, keep your epoxy floor clean, shiny, and durable. Here is how:
Getting Rid of Dust
To get rid of dust, leaves, and debris, sweeping the floor is the go-to option. Especially during moving heavy objects along the floor, any dust that had accumulated under them should be swept away and cleaned.
If dirt, leaves, and debris build up anywhere on the floor, they can slowly damage it, most often leaving hard stains. Hence, regular sweeping of epoxy floors is utterly important, and repetitive scratches from moving heavy objects must be taken into account and avoided as well.
Other than sweeping, the second best or if you are into shortcuts, then the best option is to use a vacuum cleaner. It is a far more convenient, time-saving, and practical alternative as you can effortlessly reach all the gaps in between objects without moving them and avoid scratches too.
Cleaning with a Stiff and Bristle Brush
Although stiff brushes are recommended for deep cleaning floors, it is important to keep in mind that epoxy floors particularly require brushes with soft bristles. Scrubbing epoxy floors using a stiff brush having soft bristles is required once a week.
A biweekly scrub may also be needed considering how well and how frequently you are scrubbing your epoxy floor. Using hard bristle brushes is a big no as they can cause scratches and dullen the floor’s gloss.
Mix Hot Water and Simple Green or Any Other Cleaner
As previously stated, replacing normal cleaning water with warm or hot water can make the cleaning much more efficient. In addition to that, you should also add ammonia to your cleaning water for maximum disinfection. For this, mix five ounces of ammonia with one gallon of water.
If you want more options, you can try using cleaning products that contain ammonia, such as Simple Green. Use an 8:1 ratio of Simple Green and hot water, preferably in a spray bottle, for the procedure.
Cleaning with Squeegee
A squeegee is the perfect tool for cleaning and wiping off flat surfaces and is very suitable for epoxy floors. You can use floor squeegees, or neoprene squeegees, either to swipe off dust and debris from your epoxy floor or get any remains left after washing off the floor by wiping them towards the drain.
Squeegees can also leave your epoxy floors looking free of any streaks, which anyone would prefer over the tiny fabrics and fragments that get left and stuck behind when wiping with towels.
You can scrape your floor with squeegees every three to four months after rinsing or cleaning.
Rinse your Floor
Rinsing your epoxy floor clean is a no-brainer, and you must do so by pouring hot or warm water with a bucket or a hose. Direct the rinsing towards the drain, and repeat as many times as you need to.
Rinsing and Scrubbing
We have already briefly discussed rinsing epoxy floors for cleaning, but scrubbing before you do so makes a huge difference!
For scrubbing, there are various tools to choose from. A mechanical scrub brush can be used to remove fine dirt from the top while removing stubborn stains will call for a bristle deck brush and some elbow grease. But what do you scrub them with?
You can scrub with soap-based cleaners, albeit they should be the last option as epoxy floors do not require soaps to begin with, and such cleaners can leave the floors cloudy.
The most basic choice is scrubbing with hot water, which is effective in removing stains like rust. Hot water opens the option of using a kitchen sponge or soft deck brush for scrubbing too.
Make sure that whenever you are scrubbing your epoxy floors, you do so gently. In addition to that, avoid using harsh chemicals like Comet, which contains abrasives.
Last but not least, how you dry your epoxy floors can decide the finishing touch. You can do so manually if you lack the patience for air drying.
To dry your epoxy floor manually, sweep it using a dry mop, squeegee, or a dry cotton cloth or towel. If you do not want your floor to end up with lines and wet patches, move in a single direction while sweeping the floor dry.
If you are someone patient yet lazy, take all your time and none of your energy to simply air dry! Just switch on your fans so that the air circulating the room can dry up your wet epoxy floor. Do not walk on the floor for 15 to 20 minutes, and in case you need to, wear socks before you walk over.
Best Cleaner for Epoxy Floors
Do you feel all over the place with so many options of cleaners that you are unclear about which one to opt for? We got you!
Although you may hear soap-based cleaners or vinegars being suggested for cleaning epoxy floors, consider their cons as they are quick to streak marks and make your floors slippery while wet. So what’s the best cleaner for epoxy floors? The answer is ammonia.
Ammonia is the ultimate pick as an epoxy floor cleaner. For a streak-free clean, mix five ounces of ammonia with one gallon of water.
You can also widen your options and try out ammonia-based cleaners, such as Simple Green and Goof Off. Take half a cup of such cleaner, and dilute it into a gallon of water. Make sure the water in all these cases is used hot or warm.
Proper Maintenance for Epoxy Garage Floors
You might assume that cleaning epoxy garage floors might require a different cleaning approach than normal epoxy floors, and you are right. Although most of the cleaning procedures are the same, epoxy garage floors need extra cleaning and protection because they undergo harsher states.
Here are some tips to help you maintain epoxy garage floors properly:
Protect the Floor
Unlike normal floors, epoxy garage floors need to be protected from all the movements of heavy objects and tire marks that they go through. Epoxy garage floors are more prone to getting messed up by soil, chemical spills, and the movement of heavy machinery.
For protection, epoxy garage floors can be covered with plywood and matting, keeping them safe from damage caused by garage equipment such as rolling jacks. Plywood and matting act as a block between such equipment and the floor.
The welding area of the garage must also be completely covered with a welding pad, to protect the epoxy floor from the heat.
To finish off, use a domestic floor wax of top-notch quality. These not only protect the epoxy garage floors but also ease the cleaning procedures, putting a fine shine on the floors.
For deep cleaning, remember to always choose ammonia first. If the stains are yet too hard to get off the epoxy floor, you can shift to a mixture of mild soap and hot water instead.
Still, there is another safe option to try if you are struggling to remove tough stains: you can use a lactic acid-based cleaner. These cleaners can remove stains such as grease and mildew. Here is how to use it:
- To mix the appropriate amount of cleaner with hot water, check for any instructions on the product.
- Apply the solution on the epoxy floor, and more so on the dirtier areas.
- Let the mixture stay on the floor for a few minutes so that it can break down all the filth and stains completely.
- Next, use a brush that has soft bristles or a mop to gently scrub the stains off.
- Use hot water to rinse the floor, directing it towards the drain.
- Dry the floor with a squeegee or a cotton cloth/soft towel.
Garage floors are inevitably going to end up with tire marks on them, which have possibly all kinds of dirt and stains that come from the roads. To get rid of these, you will need a good degreaser.
You can remove tire marks from epoxy garage floors as follows:
- Apply the degreaser directly on the tire marks. In this case, you do not need to mix anything with hot water.
- Let the degreaser work on the tire marks for 5 to 10 minutes until all the mud, oils, dirt, and filth are broken down.
- For scrubbing them off, use a soft bristle brush. You can also use a nylon brush.
- You can either remove the residue with a wet cloth or towel or rinse the marks away with hot water.
- Air dry or manually dry the floor.
It is not only important to use the right cleaners and the correct methods of cleaning, but you should also know the proper way to use each cleaner. Here are some tips to follow for each kind of cleaner:
Soap-based floor cleaners
As previously discussed, these should be considered as the last alternative since soap-based cleaners create a hazy look over the epoxy floor with time. Add a few drops of a gentle soap-based cleaner into a bucket of warm or hot water to remove strong, stubborn stains.
Similar to soap-based cleaners, vinegar cleaners should also be considered only when removing stubborn stains. Mix equal parts of warm water and vinegar (ideally in a 1:1 ratio) for the cleaning procedure.
Yet another alternative to removing stains that do not get off easily, you can create a paste by mixing an appropriate amount of baking soda with water to do so. Apply the paste over the stains and allow them to sit for a few minutes before rinsing them away with warm water and drying.
Finally the option we should opt for at the first go, ammonia works wonders in cleaning epoxy floors. Mix five ounces of ammonia with a gallon of warm water for the procedure. Feel free to use ammonia-containing cleaners like Simple Green and Goof Off, by watering down half a cup of these cleaners. Use one gallon of water for this procedure.
Is Epoxy Easier to Clean than Concrete?
Yes, epoxy is easier to clean than concrete.
Epoxy has a smooth and waterproof exterior, and you will find it way easier to apply cleaners, rub and rinse stains off, and readily dry the surface because of the nature of epoxy floors. In contrast, concrete has dry surfaces with pores embedded in them, which makes room for stains and dirt to stick to them. If the stains are not cleaned immediately, they can grow old within the pores and become more difficult to remove with time, making concrete a high-maintenance surface that is harder to clean.
Yes. Pine Sol is a cleaner that can be used on epoxy floors. You can add one-fourth cup of Pine Sol to a gallon of water to remove both major and minor stains and can also deodorize the floors.
Even though epoxy floors develop scratch marks slowly over time, in general, they do not scratch easily. Epoxy itself is a resistant resin covering.
Yet carefulness must be maintained so as not to let any sharp or heavy objects skid or scratch the surface of epoxy floors.
The first thing that comes to anyone’s mind upon hearing bleach, is how strong and abrasive it is. Bleach must definitely not be used on epoxy floors as it can tarnish, discolor and even delaminate the surface. It can damage the epoxy coating to the point that the exterior is left with a bumpy, irregular feel to it.
An epoxy floor will last from 10 to 20 years, and its lastingness depends on its density, usage, and maintenance.
Hence epoxy floors make a better option than concrete floors, which are highly prone to chipping and wearing away.
Considering just the aesthetics of epoxy floors, they definitely add to home value. Epoxy floors come in a range of various designs and colors, and they can even be customized to your taste.
Additionally, its resilience, low maintenance, cost-efficiency, and sustainability largely increase home value.
Generally, using ammonia and warm water to clean, followed by a hot water rinse and air drying gives the perfect finish. Use soft bristle brushes for gentle scrubbing. For epoxy garage floors, go an extra mile to clean the tough tire marks and protect the floors from heavy movements.
Summing up all the do’s, don’ts, and how-tos of epoxy floor cleaning, our suggestions will solve all your confusion on how to clean epoxy floors and you can easily get started!