The oils, stains, debris, and other dirt on your garage door can be irritating. A garage is not only a place to work. Sometimes, you can convert your garage space to a gym, a place for leisure, or rest after a long day with some cold beer or beverage.
However, if the environment is untidy or unkempt, your stay in the garage will be limited. Also, the oils or grease on the garage floors can cause accidents due to their slippery nature on the concrete.
As cleaning your garage floor is imperative, choosing a product to help remove all the garage stains is also crucial. Muriatic acid is a powerful chemical to clean garage floors as it can effectively remove rust, stains, grease, and oils from the floor’s surface.
However, choosing the right product does not translate to the desired outcome if you do not know how to apply or use it correctly on the garage floor. For instance, Muriatic acid requires proper handling and safety precautions. Also, most home or garage owners have not interacted with the acid and may not know how to apply it to their garage floors. This, however, might not be an issue anymore!
Read along to learn how to clean a garage floor with Muriatic acid.
What is Muriatic Acid?
For most home and garage owners, the name Muriatic acid is new, and you must also be wondering which acid it is owing to the common types of acids we learnt at school.
Muriatic acid is also called Hydrochloric acid. Yes. You got that right! Any person who has interacted with hydrochloric recalls it is a strong acid that in high concentration can pose significant danger, burning skin, damaging surfaces, and even eating away concrete.
Despite the risks, muriatic acid has broad applications, including cleaning concrete floor surfaces. However, in high concentrations, the acid can be highly corrosive and pose the risk of burning individuals who come in contact with it, so you must dilute the acid with water before using it. Also, ensure you have put on protective gear when handling the acid.
The muriatic acid is ideal for concrete surfaces and can remove all grease, oil, and other tough stains on your garage floor. All you need is to handle the acid properly and apply it correctly.
How To Clean a Garage Floor with Muriatic Acid
Cleaning the garage floor with Muriatic acid involves putting on protective clothing, cleaning the floor to remove the debris and dirt, preparing the solution by diluting the acid with water, applying the solution onto the wet floor, and allowing it to sit for a few minutes, neutralizing the acid with baking soda, and finally using a hose pipe to clean the residues from the floor surface and allowing it to dry.
Follow the below step-by-step process:
Step 1: Wear Protective clothing
Muriatic acid is a strong acid and can cause burns when handling it. As a result, you must put on protective clothing, including rubber gloves, goggles, and a respirator, before you begin the cleaning process. This is an essential precautionary step that is crucial during cleaning.
Step 2: Prepare the Garage Floor
Clean your garage floor to remove grease, oils, stains, or dirt from its surface. You can use a broom or vacuum cleaner to remove the dirt.
However, you may be forced to use an alkaline concrete degreaser like baking soda (pH 8 to 9) and castile soap (pH 8.9) to break down oil and grease stains as they may not be removed by vacuum cleaners or broom.
Once the floor is clean, cover any areas you don’t want to be exposed to the cleaning solution, such as nearby plants or vehicles.
Step 3: Prepare the Cleaning Solution
In a plastic bucket, mix one-part muriatic acid with ten parts water (1:10). Be sure to add the acid to the water, not the other way around, and stir the solution carefully. Ensure you are sensitive to the manufacturer’s instructions when adding the acid to the water.
In this step, ensure you have put on the safety equipment, including respirators and acid-resistant gloves.
Besides, ensure you have baking soda when making the solution to help neutralize the acid in case of any unwanted spills. Also, you must not use a metallic bucket as muriatic acid is highly reactive with the metals.
Step 4: Apply the Solution
Pour the solution onto the garage floor evenly with a broom or stiff-bristled brush. Be sure to work in small areas to ensure the acid solution doesn’t dry out before it can work. One essential consideration element in this step is that the concrete surface must be wet. Otherwise, you may not realize the desired outcome.
As a result, ensure that you have thoroughly rinsed your garage floor using a horse pipe while everything on the floor is covered or moved out where necessary before applying the solution onto the floor.
Step 5: Scrub the Floor
Once you have applied the acid on the floor, use a stiff-bristled brush or broom to scrub or brush the solution into the garage floor, focusing on any particularly dirty or stained areas. Let the solution sit for 5-10 minutes after applying the acid.
Step 6: Neutralize the Acid
Choose a neutralizing product such as garden lime and baking soda to neutralize the acid on your garage floor. You must effectively apply the basic solution to ensure that all the acidic content on the floor area is neutralized. Let the basic substance rest on the surface for about 10 minutes for the acid to neutralize completely.
Mix one cup of baking soda with one gallon of water when using the baking soda as a neutralizer. Pour this solution over the garage floor, scrub it in with a clean brush or broom, and let it sit for some minutes.
Step 7: Rinse the Floor and let the Floor Dry
Rinse the garage floor thoroughly with a hose or pressure washer, removing all traces of the cleaning solution. Repeat the rinsing process until all the acid is removed.
Once you have removed all the acid, let the floor dry completely before using it.
Note: Muriatic acid is a strong acid that can damage certain flooring types. Always test a small, discreet area on the whole floor before using it, and observe all safety precautions.
Moreover, before you begin cleaning with muriatic acid, determine the type of finish that your concrete floor has. For instance, assess whether your concrete floor has a sealer and the type used. Often, cleaning epoxy-coated concrete will differ from unsealed brushed concrete.
The Video below shows how to remove oil stain in your driveway using Muriatic Acid.
What is the best liquid to clean concrete floors?
The best liquid to clean your concrete floor will depend on the type of stain or dirt you intend to remove. A neutral PH cleaner or a mixture of warm water and mild or castle soap will be effective for the concrete floor’s general cleaning. Other cleaners, such as liquid dish detergent and mild floor cleaners, are ideal.
For the general cleaning, you need to mix a solution of warm water with the soap in a bucket and dip a mop into the solution and mop the floor. You can also use a stiff brush to scrub the floor surface once you have applied the soap solution before you finally rinse the floor with clean water, allowing it to dry.
However, suppose your floor surface contains tougher stains like grease, rust, or oil, use a more powerful degreaser such as Zep Driveway Concrete Cleaner and Degreaser or a cleaning product such as muriatic acid. For the Muriatic acid, you must dilute 1 part acid with 10 parts water as it is a strong acid that can eat away your concrete floor surface when applied in high concentrations.
You must avoid applying strong acids or bleach directly, as they can damage your concrete floor surface over time. Also, avoid using abrasive cleaners or tools like wire brushes or steel wool, as these can also scratch the concrete surface.
Even using these effective cleaning products, you must first prepare the concrete surface by sweeping the floor using a broom or vacuum cleaner to remove the loose debris and dirt. The cleaning solution should be applied to a surface free of dirt or debris. Also, once the cleaning solution has been used and allowed to sit on the floor for some time, say 10 minutes, you must rinse all the residues with clean water.
What is a concrete degreaser?
A concrete degreaser is a cleaning solution that removes oil, grease, and other petroleum-based stains from concrete surfaces. These stains are common in garages, driveways, parking lots, and other areas where automobiles are present.
Concrete degreasers are developed with particular components that break down and dissolve the oils and greases on the surface of the concrete. However, most concrete degreasers are highly concentrated and may require diluting with water before use.
Some concrete degreasers use solvents such as butyl or citrus-based cleansers, while others are solvent-free and employ natural components such as bacteria or enzymes to break down the stains. Choosing a concrete degreaser suited for the specific type of stain and the surface being cleaned is crucial.
Also, following the manufacturer’s recommendations is vital when using a concrete degreaser, as some products may require protective gear such as gloves and eye protection. Additionally, you should avoid letting the solution dry on the surface of the concrete since this might cause harm. Always rinse the surface thoroughly with clean water after cleaning to remove any leftover residue.
Examples of Concrete Degreasers
There is a wide variety of concrete degreasers available on the market today. These cleaners can range from professional-grade solutions used in commercial settings to consumer-grade items utilized in residential areas.
The following represents some of examples;
This cleaner is safe for concrete surfaces as it is biodegradable and does not include dangerous chemicals. It is formulated with a mixture of surfactants, enzymes, and citrus extracts to remove oil, grease, and other stains successfully.
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The Zep Heavy-Duty Citrus Degreaser is a powerful degreaser formulated to break down and eliminate stubborn oil and grease stains. It is made with natural citrus solvents that are tough on stains yet gentle on the environment, making it an ideal cleaning product for concrete floor surfaces.
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This is a cleaner of the professional grade used by maintenance personnel working in industrial settings and contractors. Concrete & Driveway Cleaner by Krud Kutter is designed to quickly dissolve and remove oil, grease, and other stains. It is formulated using a mixture of surfactants and solvents that makes it ideal for removing tougher stains on the concrete floor surface.
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Motsenbocker’s Lift Off Oil and Grease Remover refer to a cleaner that does not contain solvents but depends on a secret formula to dissolve oil and grease stains for easy removal. It may be used on surfaces like concrete, asphalt, and others without risk.
It is essential to remember that the type and intensity of the stain and the condition of the concrete surface can significantly impact the degree to which a concrete degreaser can remove the stain. Always follow the directions provided by the manufacturer, and perform a test on the cleaner in a discrete area before applying it to a more prominent stain or surface.
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Frequently Asked Questions-FAQs
Q1. Can you use muriatic acid to clean concrete floors?
Yes. Muriatic acid is perfect for filthy concrete floors and can remove tough rusty stains.
However, before using muriatic acid, you must dilute it with water in a well-ventilated area, wearing protective clothing, gloves, and eyewear. The recommended dilution ratio is one-part muriatic acid to ten parts water.
Also, it is essential to note that muriatic acid should not be used on colored or polished concrete floors, as it can damage the surface. Additionally, it should not be used on concrete recently poured or surfaces containing metal, as it can cause corrosion.
Q2. Will Muriatic acid eat Plastic?
Yes. Muriatic acid is a strong acid that can eat plastic materials if not used in the right concentration. However, you can make its concentration in a plastic material by diluting it with water in a ratio of 1:10. The resultant solution will not impact the plastic material due to the weak acidic content in the solution. While using a plastic sprayer, ensure you have some extra pieces if you need a replacement.
Q3. How do you apply muriatic acid to concrete?
You need to first make a Muriatic acid solution by mixing 1 part acid with 10 parts water. First, add the acid water to the plastic bucket and then add the acid to the water. Use a plastic sprayer to apply the resultant solution on the floor. Ensure you evenly apply the acid solution on the floor and rub it on the floor using a brush or broom and allow it to settle on the floor for some time, say 5 to 10 minutes, before you neutralize and finally rinse the residues.
Q4. How long do you leave muriatic acid on concrete?
The diluted solution of Muriatic acid should be left on the concrete floor for 5 to 10 mins before you scrub to remove the dirt and other sticky filthy debris. You must, however, ensure that you have diluted the acid as Muriatic is a strong acid that can eat away the concrete surface when in high concentration.
Also, ensure that before you rinse the residue, apply an alkaline solution such as baking soda or garden line to neutralize the acid. The lime should also sit on the concrete surface for up to 10 minutes before you rinse the residues with horse-piped water.
Muriatic acid is perfect for concrete floors. If you have trouble cleaning the hard, filthy stains, grease, oils, and other residues on your garage floor, then Muriatic is your ideal choice.
However, you must handle the acid cautiously due to its potential dangers. As a result, you should first dilute the acid with water and ensure that you put on protective clothing and eyewear when making the solution or applying it on the floor.
Moreover, you must not use acid on your colored or polished concrete floor surfaces or those that contain metals, as the acidic nature may damage or corrode these surfaces. Always ensure that after applying the acid and neutralizing it with the essential elements such as baking soda solution, rinse the residues with water and allow the floor to dry before using it.