How to clean a concrete basement floor

how to clean a concreate basement floor

The garage is a prime location for carrying out minor maintenance work on the car. However, over time or by carelessness, stains end up accumulating on the ground due to used oil and other things. Here are all the tips you need to know to clean oil stains in the garage and find a spotlessly clean floor.


Avoid further damaging the garage floor


First of all, here is what not to do to avoid further damaging the garage floor:

Avoid using a wire brush or abrasive to scrape the floor as this will damage the coating.

Forget about acidic products that attack concrete such as ammonia or bleach. Give preference to products with a neutral pH . This information can be verified on the product packaging.

Avoid household soap, as it could turn the floor into an ice rink and dull the finish as time goes on.

Clean the garage floor with soda

It is quite surprising that a drink such as cola is a powerful detergent that manages to get rid of an oil stain . Its effectiveness is however proven. Cola soda is perfectly suited, whether cleaning a garment or a stained coating like concrete. This is one of the simplest and most accessible tips. Note, however, that this drink only acts on small oil stains.


  1. Pour soda on the oil stains;
  2. Leave the drink to act for 24 hours;
  3. Rinse with pressurized water or using a bucket.
  4. If the stains resist this method, do not insist and move on to the next!



Clean with baking soda


The baking soda is harmless for Human nor for nature, besides it is 100% biodegradable. This premium cleaner and degreaser easily removes oil stains. Sold as a white powder, it should be dissolved in water before being used. Baking soda is sold in the drugstore department at an average price of € 3 per 300 g sachet.


If the oil stains have dried on the garage floor:


Wet the soil with hot water;

Sprinkle with an adequate amount of baking soda;

Scrub with a stiff brush;

Rinse off with water.

If the oil stains are recent or date from the day before:


Pour enough water into a bucket to clean the garage floor.

Add a suitable amount of baking soda.

Stir to dissolve the baking soda.

Use a stiff brush to scrub the floor with this solution.

Repeat the operation if necessary, until the stains disappear completely.

Clean the garage floor using absorbent products

The cat litter is known for its absorbent property. This feature can be exploited to absorb freshly spilled oil before it penetrates deep into the garage floor. Favor only non-clumping litter . Otherwise, it is possible to substitute the litter with baby powder or fly ash.


Sprinkle the oil splash with one of the absorbents mentioned above;

Mix the oil and the absorbent product on the ground;

Wait 24 hours for the vast majority of the oil to be absorbed;

Sweep up the absorbent product and dispose of it, taking all appropriate precautions, knowing that it has become a flammable material;

Pour dishwashing liquid over the residual stain;

Add a reasonable amount of hot water;

Scrub with a hard plastic brush until you obtain a soap foam;


Repeat washing the floor with dish soap if the stain resists.

As an indication, it is good to know that baby talc is easily available on the market at a rate of € 3 per 300 g on average. As for dishwashing liquid , its price starts from € 2 per liter.


Make yourself a poultice


For the most resistant oil stains, a poultice can overcome them. This solution is both economical and efficient. As a precaution, it is strongly recommended to keep children and pets away.


Protect yourself with adequate safety equipment when handling components that contain harmful solvents.

Pour a sufficient amount of mineral spirits into a container, enough to clean off oil stains.

Add an absorbent component like flour , talcum powder or baking soda until you get a paste.

Test the poultice for half a day in an inconspicuous corner of the garage to see if the concrete holds up well. If the concrete has not withstood the mineral spirits, it is possible to replace this product with a dedicated varnishing thinner or acetone.

Apply the poultice directly to the oil stains if the concrete has not been weathered.

Cover the poultice with plastic wrap.

Tread gently to make it penetrate through the pores of the concrete.

Place something heavy enough on it to hold it in place.

Let stand for 48 hours while the poultice dries.

Remove the dried-up poultice and dispose of it, taking all appropriate precautions, knowing that it is a dangerous product.

Scrub the residual stain by washing it with clean water.

Repeat the entire operation if necessary.

Note that mineral spirits are available in DIY stores or on the internet at prices starting at € 4.50 per liter. Acetone costs an average of 5.30 € per liter.


Use sand and gasoline to clean the garage floor

Sand is used as a stripper to clean an oil stain. It is of proven effectiveness since it has the capacity to become embedded in the inaccessible pores of concrete.


Dilute the oil stain by pouring gasoline over it;

Soak up excess gasoline with a rag;

Sprinkle the residual stain with sand so as to cover it completely;

Scrub with a stiff brush;

Sweep the sand;

Rinse thoroughly with clear water.

Clean the garage floor with an engine cleaner

Pour a product intended for cleaning the engine on the soiled floor;

Sprinkle the product with sawdust (waste from sawing wood) or, failing that, non-clumping cat litter  ;

Leave to stand for a few hours so that the mixture can act;


Rinse with clean water while brushing vigorously.

Detach the garage floor with cement

Cement effectively absorbs oil, even if the oil has dried on the concrete. Gray cement is the most accessible, sold in 25 kg bags for around € 7.50.


Pour cement powder over the oil stain;

Leave to stand for 24 hours;

Brush vigorously to remove cement or wash with pressurized water.

Maintain the garage floor with scouring powder

This method is most suitable if the garage floor was made of brick.


Sprinkle the garage floor with scouring powder  ;

Let stand until the powder sticks;

Brush until the residue obtained is removed;

Clean remaining stains using soapy water  ;

Rinse thoroughly with clean water.

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