Alongside its durability, one of the main benefits that you will hear for an epoxy floor is its easy maintenance. And it is true. Epoxy floors are easy to clean and maintain compared to other floor surface types and they require minimal cleaning compounds and products. With that being said, there are definitely some pitfalls to avoid with epoxy floor maintenance as some methods can damage the resin surface. Here at the Epoxy Gang, we understand how important it is to keep your epoxy flooring in the best condition so let's take a look at the dos and don'ts of how to clean epoxy flooring.
Before we jump into the best methods for cleaning an epoxy floor surface, we should take a quick look at what methods you should be avoiding.
It is tempting to reach for the soap as soon as you spot a spill or a stain but if you have an epoxy floor, this is something you generally shouldn't do. This is because the soap can leave behind a residue that will dull and cloud the surface of the resin and can cause it to be more slippery.
You can also check out our post "Is Epoxy Resin Flooring Slippery" for additional insights.
Even if you have a very dirty epoxy floor, you shouldn't use citrus cleaners or acidic cleaners. These can damage the epoxy surface because they can actually break down the epoxy catalyst.
A steel wool brush is not suitable for cleaning an epoxy floor as it can cause scratches. These will be extremely difficult to cover up and they could interfere with the durability and performance of the floor.
So now we know what not to do, let's take a look at the methods you should be using to maintain your epoxy floor. As with most cleaning, a schedule where you use different methods for light cleaning, deep cleaning, and spot cleaning is the right approach to take.
The day-to-day maintenance of an epoxy floor is easy and quick. The most important task is to ensure that you regularly remove any dust and loose dirt and grit. You should do this often not just to ensure the hygiene and cleanliness of the floor surface but also to prevent any damage.
Dirt and grit don't just look unsightly, but they can also cause problems down the line for your epoxy floor. This is especially important if you have an epoxy garage floor or your epoxy flooring is in a place where heavy machinery or equipment is likely to be found.
Epoxy garage floors are easily able to withstand the weight of heavy vehicles and epoxy floors are also able to hold heavy machinery with ease. But if you have loose dirt and grit on the floor, then the movement of these heavy loads can force the particles into the resin.
This can lead to pockmarks and scratches which can damage the floor surface and can mean that it loses its durability, waterproofing, and resistant properties.
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The easiest way to remove dust, loose dirt, and grit from an epoxy floor is to use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment. Running the vacuum cleaner over the epoxy surface regularly is all you need to do to remove all the surface dirt. There are no nooks and crannies in epoxy floors for dirt to collect so you only need to focus on the dirt that has collected on the surface.
For smaller epoxy floors, you could also use a dustpan and brush to remove the dust and dirt.
Spot cleaning is an important element of any cleaning regime. As soon as any liquid spills occur or you notice a stain you should clean it immediately. This will help to protect your epoxy floor coating, prevent any slip accidents, and remove any hygiene or hazard issues associated with the spill.
You can mop up liquid spills using shop towels or paper towels. For larger spills, a hard foam mop can help to remove the moisture from the floor. If there is any residue left behind, you should mop this up with warm water before it has a chance to dry.
For stains such as rust stains, you should use a moderately abrasive scrubbing pad. Something like a kitchen scrubbing sponge would be ideal. Remember not to use anything more abrasive like a steel wool brush.
You won't usually need any chemicals, just your kitchen scrubbing sponge and some warm water will usually be enough. For larger stains, you can use a deck scrubbing brush or soft deck brush with warm water as this will allow you to cover a bigger area more quickly and efficiently.
If you have a dirty epoxy floor and spot cleaning isn't going to be enough, you should set aside some time for a more thorough cleaning. It is good practice to deep clean epoxy floor coatings once every few months anyway. Even if they don't look dirty, you could still be missing some dirt when you are vacuuming.
The less intensive way of deep cleaning an epoxy floor is to mop and this should be used for an epoxy floor surface that is only moderately soiled. In the next section, we will talk about how to clean heavily soiled epoxy floors using scrubbing methods.
Before you begin mopping, you should vacuum with a soft brush attachment to pick up any loose dirt.
It isn't usually advised to use a standard mop and bucket to clean epoxy floors. It is very difficult to fully remove the dirty water when mopping using this method so it often happens that the dirt merely gets smeared around the surface. This won't leave your epoxy with the bright and shiny finish that you are looking for.
Instead, a hard foam mop is usually your best bet. The foam is highly absorbent so will remove the surface dirt along with the water, although it will need to be wrung out regularly to make sure you're not adding dirt back onto your epoxy-coated floor.
For heavily soiled epoxy floor surfaces, vacuuming and mopping may not be enough. In these situations scrubbing the flooring surface is often your best chance for removing the surface's dirt. You are likely to see this type of soiling on epoxy garage floors, industrial floors, high-traffic hallways, and other environments where there is likely to be a large amount of spills or material that has fallen onto the floor coating.
For smaller floor areas with an epoxy coating, you may be able to scrub the surface manually. You don't have to use cleaning compounds to get a good clean but if you want to ensure that the surface is fully clean, you may want to. Remember not to use any acidic or citrus cleaners. Instead, you can use a low-alkaline cleaner like diluted ammonia or you can buy cleaners that are specifically designed to clean an epoxy coating.
It is important to vacuum thoroughly before scrubbing to ensure that the flooring surface is dirt and grit free. If you scrub when there is loose grit on the floor, you run the risk of forcing the grit deeper into the epoxy coating which can cause damage.
If you are using a cleaning solution, you should apply this to the floor and then work it in using a soft deck brush. Leave it a few minutes to work and then flood the entire area with clean warm water, before going back in and scrubbing the floor with your brush.
Don't let the dirty water sit on the floor. Remove it as quickly as possible either using a squeegee or a wet vac. It is usually a good idea to then flood the floor again to make sure that the dirt has been fully removed.
A mechanical scrubbing machine can be a worthwhile investment for something like an epoxy garage floor that is likely to get heavily soiled fairly regularly. There are a few different types on the market, some of which are push-along and some of which can be ridden, and the type you choose will depend on the size of your floor and the type of dirt you will be encountering.
In general, however, you can expect a scrubbing machine to automate the steps you would take when manually scrubbing. So it will dispense your cleaning solution if you are using one, use rotary brushes to scrub the floor continuously, and will remove the dirty water either with a squeegee or a vacuum.
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Pressure washing can be used to clean epoxy floors although you do need to be careful not to use a psi that is too high and not to focus the stream on a concentrated area for too long. The power of a pressure washer can cause damage to an epoxy floor coating if used improperly. This can include scratches and pockmarks.
Yes, you can wax an epoxy floor. Waxing will give a dull floor a new shine and can help to protect it. You should aim to wax your epoxy floor around once every six months.
The use of diamond-impregnated pads is becoming a popular cleaning method for epoxy floors. This is a machine that has pads with microscopic diamonds set into them. When used on an epoxy floor, these diamonds will both clean and polish without the need for any cleaning solution at all.
This method is eco-friendly and cost-effective. It also provides a deep and hygienic clean without leaving behind any soapy residue. And it can even buff out small scratches in the epoxy surface!
Keeping your epoxy floors clean doesn't just help them look their best but it can also be an important health and safety consideration and it can ensure that the durable epoxy surface retains its resistant features. Thankfully, epoxy floors are relatively easy to maintain and keep clean and you often won't need to use more than a vacuum cleaner, some warm water, and a mop or scrubber to keep your floor dirt and grit free.
If you need advice or help with your epoxy floor or you are looking to get an epoxy floor coating installed, don't hesitate to get in touch with us here at the Epoxy Gang. Our friendly team will be on hand to get you the help you need.