The durability and resilience of epoxy flooring need no introduction.
That’s why it finds use in many commercial spaces, like hospitals, warehouses, factories, laboratories, or garages. In fact, when maintained the right way, these floors can easily last for a couple of years without requiring any repairs or retouches.
The best part is that you can employ simple DIY cleaning methods to leave your epoxy flooring spotless and like new. And we have taken it upon ourselves to help with all the information you need for effective epoxy floor cleaning. We’ve also included a few maintenance tips to cut down on your efforts.
Let’s dive in now, shall we?
You may be wondering why we aren’t talking about preventing spills. Well, that’s because it’s practically impossible to prevent a spill (until you stop walking on the floor with oil, water, or chemicals).
Epoxy floorings in commercial spaces like public parking lots are susceptible to oil leaks. Likewise, engine oil can contain hazardous chemicals, which can be abrasive in nature. And if you let the spill, no matter how small, sit for too long, it may damage the epoxy coating.
The good news is that most spills can be removed effectively, provided you wipe off the area as soon as possible. For this purpose, you can simply use a soft and clean towel or cloth. However, some spills, especially that of oil, tend to leave a sticky residue or a film.
In such cases, you can use gentle floor cleaners (like Windex) or non-toxic cleaners (such as Simple Green) that can be diluted with water. But make sure you follow the instructions on the package before applying the solution.
Beyond that, some oil spills may leave stubborn spots on your epoxy floor, removing which may need heavy-duty chemical cleaners. Most of these products should be applied to the required areas and left for 10 minutes before being scrubbed off with a nylon brush or soft broom. But here again, you should adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions.
As the final step, rinse the areas with plenty of water and allow them to dry completely. Otherwise, people might slip and fall.
One of the biggest advantages of epoxy flooring is that they’re pretty easy to clean and maintain. And that’s what makes them a favourite for commercial spaces, which see a lot of footfall on a regular basis. Besides, they can resist a great deal of scratching and abrasion before showing any signs of degradation.
That said, it’s still a good idea to eliminate any loose dirt or sand particles from the surface, which may otherwise settle in the epoxy. In this regard, sweeping the floor regularly to remove any dirt, dust, or grime can help prolong the life of the floor. You can use a soft broom or dry vacuum with a soft brush attachment to keep the surface clean and smooth.
Other than that, here are a few more things you can do to keep the epoxy flooring in pristine condition all year round:
It’s generally recommended to deep clean the epoxy flooring at least once every three months. But you may need to do it more frequently if the surface is constantly exposed to vehicles or machinery, which are more likely to spill oil and grease. You will need:
Start by moving any vehicles, machinery, tools, or furniture from the floor and vacuuming the surface. Then, prepare the cleanser according to the instructions on the pack.
From what we have seen, you’d mostly be instructed to mix about ½ cup (120 ml) of the cleanser with nearly 3.8 litres of warm water in a bucket. But be careful about the measurements, as a concentrated solution can leave an unwanted film on the floor. At the same time, prepare another bucket with warm water.
Dip the mop in the cleaning solution, ring it out, and begin wiping the floor. Pay special attention to the corners and crevices, as most of the dirt accumulates in these gaps.
Once this step is complete, wash the mop with normal water, dip it in the warm water bucket, and wipe the floor again to remove the cleaner. Finally, use the towel to dry off the floor.
Aside from oil and chemical spills, tyres and rust tend to leave stubborn marks on epoxy floorings, which can be removed using either a slightly concentrated cleansing solution or a concrete degreaser.
For the former, mix equal parts of the cleanser and warm water in a spraying bottle and spray directly on the stains. You may also leave them soaked in the solution for a couple of minutes. Then, scrub the area with a stiff nylon brush until the marks come off, rinse with plain water, and wipe with a dry towel.
Many people prefer using concrete degreasers to clean tyre marks as they are stronger and don’t require any mixing. All you have to do is pour the liquid on the stains and let them submerge for 5 to 10 minutes.
You can use the same nylon brush to scrub off the spots and rinse with cold water when done. If the marks are old, you may need multiple passes of the solution, so make sure you have adequate time in hand.
Apart from that, you can use lactic acid-based cleaners, which will come in especially handy to remove rust stains or salt film with minimal effort. Mix the cleaner and warm water in equal parts in a spray bottle (or any container with a narrow mouth) and pour on the required areas.
Scrub with a scrub brush or soft pad after a couple of minutes and rinse with cold water, but don’t leave the cleanser on the surface for more than 2 minutes.
There are some simple steps that you can employ to protect your precious epoxy flooring without burning a hole in your pocket.
For one, place rubber mats on the surface, especially in areas exposed to tyres, machinery, or any other equipment that may stain the floor or cause spills. The mats will absorb all the moisture and dirt, and you can clean them very easily. Plus, they will prevent the floor from scratches.
On that note, here’s a tip for removing existing scratches: apply a tiny amount (not more than the size of a quarter) of clear furniture polish to a lint-free fabric. Rub it in circular motions to evenly distribute the polish on the scratches until they are no longer visible.
Secondly, always ensure that the floor is dried well after cleaning, as any leftover moisture can seep into the epoxy layer, thereby causing structural damage. Any cracks or peel-offs should be fixed with the help of professionals as soon as possible to limit the extent of the damage.
With that, we have come to the end of this guide.
Although cleaning epoxy flooring may seem intimidating initially, it’s a pretty simple affair, even if you aren’t a pro at DIY cleaning. But if you aren’t feeling confident or don’t have the time, feel free to contact a professional.
And for those who can’t wait to take on this new project and are heading to a hardware store, be wary of citrus or vinegar-based cleaners, as they can remove the shine of the epoxy coating.
Likewise, soap-based cleaners may leave nasty streaks on the floor and reduce the shine of the surface. Besides, they make the floor slippery if not cleaned well.
We will see you next time. Till then, adios!