Rubber Garage Flooring
Before we get to far into cleaning rubber garage flooring, we want to make sure we are clear that rubber flooring is not a great fit for most garage applications. PVC garage floor mats or garage floor tiles are much better for automotive applications.
Rubber Garage flooring is a great flooring solution for home gyms, game rooms, workshop or workspaces or other high traffic areas in home garages. It offers a great balance of comfort, durability, versatility, and mobility while giving the space a uniform and organized look. Many home and business owners choose garage flooring for these reasons and because it is a resilient yet non-permanent flooring solution that can move when you do, should you need to relocate. Another benefit is that it is also low maintenance, offers extra safety due to low or no slippage and extra friction, and it is fairly easy to keep clean. Routine cleaning will keep your rubber garage flooring looking its best and will help keep it in good condition for many years. But how do you clean rubber flooring? There are a few ways to do it and several steps, but it should not be cleaned the same way epoxy or tile flooring is cleaned or washed. Here’s our guide on how to clean your rubber garage flooring properly:
Routine Cleaning for Rubber Garage Flooring
Step 1: Vacuum
Get rid of debris, grit, and dirt first by vacuuming. All of these can cause the rubber flooring to wear unevenly and lose their shine. You’ll want to use a rolling, soft beater brush style vacuum set to medium.
Step 2: Create a Cleaning Solution
Next, you’ll want to create a cleaning solution that is appropriate for the rubber flooring. Fill a bucket with warm water and add a quarter of a cup of mild dish soap and/or neutral pH cleaner. Stick to this measurement of soap or cleaner, as adding too much can quickly create a filmy residue on your floor that could become slippery or sticky. The aim of adding this small amount is to appropriately dilute the cleaner in the water so as not to leave any residue on the flooring.
Step 3: Mop with your Cleaning Solution
Once your cleaning solution is ready, you’ll want to mop the floor with a nylon, microfiber, or sponge mop. Start at the furthest area from the door of the room and start working your way towards the exit. Pay special attention to the most stubborn and dirty areas. Changing the soapy water frequently helps ensure you’re not spreading dirty water around and will give you the cleanest floor. You can also reserve one bucket of soapy and one bucket of rinse water. Mop or wet-vacuum up all residue.
Step 4: Allow to Air Dry
Once mopped, theres no need to towel dry the washed floor, letting it air dry is sufficient. If this happens to have poor ventilation, turning on a fan or opening a window can help dry it out.
For Tough Water Based Stains
Avoid using any harsh chemicals as this can really erode the rubber flooring. Instead, use a white vinegar solution for water-based stains. For stains caused by water-based solutions like sodas, beverages, or sweat, mix a solution of half water half white vinegar and use a towel to rub the mixture onto the stained area in small circles to help lift the stain as much as possible. Once complete, mop the area with mild dish soap and water, then allow to air dry.
For Tough Oil-Based Stains
For slightly more challenging, oil-based stains, you can use turpentine. However, use great caution with this as it is highly toxic. Use rubber gloves, make sure the area is properly ventilated, and be sure children and pets are not able to access the area while you’re cleaning or after. Put three teaspoons of turpentine onto a clean, dry cloth and use it to blot the area to lift the stain. Once complete, mop the area with soap and water and allow to air dry. Be aware that in addition to being toxic, it can also cause staining when used in excess, so adhere to the recommended amount and reserve for only severe, oil-based stains.
For Pain Stains
In case any paint stains make it onto your rubber garage flooring, use a small amount of paint thinner to clean the drips. Use rubber gloves and be sure the area is ventilated well, also making sure pets and kids are nowhere near the area before you start working on this. Put a small amount of paint thinner on a clean, dry cloth and wipe the areas with paint using a sweeping motion, each time utilizing a clean part of the cloth. This will help to peel and lift the bits of paint. Sweep the paint chips into a dustpan and throw away. Once finished, mop with warm water and soap, like normal and allow to air dry.
Long Term Maintenance
For the routine cleaning outlined here, work out a schedule of once a week for mopping and once every other day for vacuuming to ensure that no dirt, grit or debris starts wearing away at the rubber. If your rubber garage flooring is newly installed, do not clean within the first 72 hours of installing as rubber flooring hardens over time and cleaning it too early can damage it. Moving forward, take care of spills and stains right away to keep them from setting in and becoming permanent or requiring harsh cleaning procedures that can also take a toll on the rubber. The first 6-12 months are crucial in ensuring your rubber flooring is set up for longevity. To help extend its life, be diligent about vacuuming and mopping on a regular schedule.