If you’re like me, clean, glossy epoxy floors are a sight to behold. The sheen is unbeatable, highlighting the colors beneath. That’s why dirty epoxy flooring is such a disappointment, as it just isn’t the same without that characteristic shine. Fortunately, if you need to know how to clean epoxy floors, the process isn’t difficult.
In most cases, all you need to clean epoxy floors are to sweep, vacuum, and mop with warm water. Using a steam mop is also an option, as well as removing excess water with a squeegee to speed drying and prevent spotting. For stuck-on dirt, a dish soap solution is potentially all you need.
However, if you’re dealing with heavy grime, oil spots, or similar problems, you might need something stronger. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here’s a look at how to clean epoxy floors correctly.
Contents (Jump to Topic)
- How to Clean Epoxy Floors
- What Is the Best Cleaner for Epoxy Floors?
- How to Fix Dull or Cloudy Epoxy Floors
- How to Remove Stains from Epoxy Floors
- How to Fix (and Prevent) Yellowing Epoxy Floors
- Can You Steam Clean Epoxy Floors?
- Can You Clean Epoxy Floors with Windex?
- Can You Use Pine Sol on Epoxy Floors?
- What Not to Use on an Epoxy Floor
- The Best Way to Clean Epoxy Floors
How to Clean Epoxy Floors
Sweep and Vacuum
The first step you want to take when cleaning epoxy floors is to sweep. Use a soft-bristled broom or a microfiber dust mop to remove surface dirt, dust, and debris. Avoid stiff brooms, as the bristles could scratch the surface.
After that, you can vacuum the floor to remove more dirt. You’ll want to use a padded hard floor attachment. The padding helps prevent scratching, while the nozzle position improves suction.
When you vacuum, you may need a crevice attachment to get into corners or seams if your epoxy floor has them. That allows you to carefully direct the suction, making it easier to remove trapped dust and dirt.
Mop with Water
In most cases, you don’t need cleaners to handle regularly stuck-on dirt and grime if you have an epoxy floor. Instead, you can mop with clean water.
Generally speaking, it’s best to use a microfiber mop. The material is soft, so it won’t leave any scratches as you clean.
Fill a bucket with clean, warm water. Dip the mop and wring out any excess moisture. Then, start mopping, beginning in a corner or near a wall farthest from the door.
As you mop, make sure to rinse your mop regularly to release trapped dirt and dust. If your mop water in the bucket gets cloudy, replace it with fresh warm water.
Continue mopping until you tackle the entire floor. Finally, rinse your mop and clean out your bucket so they are ready for the next time you clean.
Spot Clean with Dish Soap
If you have stubborn stuck-on dirt, grime, oil, or grease, dish soap can typically remove it from your epoxy floor. Start by creating a dish soap solution. Usually, you only need a ¼ cup per gallon of water to see results.
After making the solution, apply a microfiber cloth or mop to the stain or stubborn buildup. Let it sit for a few minutes, then use the cloth or mop to gently wipe away the dirt, grime, or oil.
If necessary, apply the dish soap solution and wiping until the spot is gone. Finally, rinse the area with clean water and a clean microfiber mop or range to remove any cleaner residue.
Use a Squeegee to Remove Excess Water
If your floor isn’t completely dry, you can speed up the process and reduce the odds of spotting by using a squeegee. With a squeegee, you can push the water off of your flooring and into a drain, out of a door and into your yard, or toward a pile of absorbent towels. You could also suck up the water with a wet/dry vacuum.
You can simplify this process by getting a squeegee attached to a broom handle. That way, you can remain standing the entire time. It’s also wise to choose a wider squeegee to cover more area.
As you squeegee, keep the squeegee at an angle. That allows you to direct the water in a single direction, ensuring it doesn’t spread to areas you’ve already covered.
Let the Floor Air Dry
Once you’ve mopped, spot cleaned, and squeegeed your epoxy floor, you can let it air dry. Avoid walking on the surface until it’s no longer damp to get the best result.
If you want to speed up the process, focus on airflow. Fans or breezes through windows can potentially help. Heating the area promotes evaporation, so you can also warm the space to hurry things along.
What Is the Best Cleaner for Epoxy Floors?
While the water and dish soap options above will handle most messes on epoxy floors, there are situations where you may need something stronger. When that happens, specific cleaners are better suited to the material.
Additionally, some cleaners can harm epoxy floors. As a result, you need to choose the right option to ensure your epoxy flooring ends up looking its best. Here’s a look at two preferred options when cleaning epoxy floors with commercial cleaners.
AmmoniaPure ammonia is a popular and effective household cleaner that works well on epoxy floors, particularly if you’re dealing with challenging stains. Before you start cleaning, you need to dilute the pure ammonia to get it to the right strength. Additionally, make sure the room is well-ventilated.
Generally, adding ½ cup of ammonia to a gallon of hot water in a bucket is enough. Make sure to stir the solution so that it’s thoroughly combined before you begin. It’s also wise to have a second bucket of hot water for rinsing.
After making the solution:
- Apply it using a microfiber mop.
- Dip the mop and ring it out.
- Clean a small section of your floor before rinsing.
Continue the process by cleaning a series of small sections, from an outer edge or corner of the room to the door. If your rinse water gets dirty along the way, replace it with fresh hot water.
Once you’re finished mopping, you need to rinse. Use a bucket of clean, warm water and go over your entire floor. Make sure to rinse the mop regularly and replace the warm water whenever it starts looking dirty for the best results.
Afterward, you can use a squeegee to remove excess water, using the process described early in the article. Finally, let your floor air dry.
Simple GreenIf you prefer using biodegradable and non-toxic cleaners, you can use Simple Green on your epoxy floor. It’s still wise to keep the room well-ventilated, as that makes the experience more comfortable and reduces the odds of respiratory irritation.
Make your Simple Green cleaner by adding ½ cup to a gallon of hot water in a bucket. Stir the solution to ensure it’s thoroughly combined. Additionally, have a second bucket of clean hot water for rinsing.
Using a microfiber mop, dip the mop in the cleaning solution. Wring out your mop and then clean a small section of your floor. Rinse the mop in the bucket filled with water, wring it out, dunk the mop in the cleaner, and wring it out again. Then, clean the next section.
As you clean, make sure to replace the rinsing hot water whenever it starts looking dirty. Additionally, it’s best to mop from a wall or corner toward a door.
After you finish cleaning, you’ll want to rinse to remove residue. Take a clean microfiber mop and a bucket of fresh warm water. Work in small sections, rinsing your mop regularly. Replace the warm water when it looks dirty, and keep rinsing until you finish the room.
Once the rinse is complete, use a squeegee to get rid of any excess water, and allow your epoxy floor to air dry.
How to Fix Dull or Cloudy Epoxy Floors
Epoxy floors can look dull or cloudy for a variety of reasons. Dullness can occur due to subtle scratches on the surface. The minor damage alters how light bounces off the top coat, making it look less glossy.
Cleaner residue can also lead to dullness. If you use too much cleaner or the wrong type, the residue sits on the surface, making your floors less glossy.
Cloudiness usually occurs during the installation or curing process. Typically, moisture or high humidity is to blame, however, a too thick coating may also look milky when cured.
Regardless of the cause, you can restore the look of your epoxy floors by removing the existing top coat and replacing it. In most cases, you’ll need to sand first. Then, buff the floor, clean the surface, and apply the new coating.
For dull epoxy floors caused by scratches, applying a new layer of top coat could be enough. While you’d still need to clean the surface before you begin, it might let you avoid sanding. However, sanding leads to better adhesion, so it’s wise to do it even if it isn’t necessary.
If the dullness is caused by cleaners, a water rinse may restore the shine. Simply go over your floor with clean water and squeegee it before letting it air dry.
How to Remove Stains from Epoxy Floors
If you have stains on your epoxy floor that aren’t coming off during routine cleaning, you can spot-treat them for better results. Usually, ammonia is the best choice in this situation.
When you make the ammonia solution, you’ll want it stronger than you use for typical cleaning. In many cases, around 2/3 cup per gallon of hot water will do the trick, so start there.
Make sure you put on gloves before you start cleaning. Then, apply the cleaner using a nylon brush. Scrub the spot using moderate pressure and circular motions.
After the initial scrub, wipe the area with a clean microfiber cloth to see if the stain is gone, repeat the process until you finish removing the spot.
Once you’ve handled the stain, rinse the area with a clean cloth and warm water. Finally, dry the spot with a clean towel.
How to Fix (and Prevent) Yellowing Epoxy Floors
Sometimes, the top coat on your epoxy floor will start to yellow over time. Usually, this is caused by UV exposure and direct sunlight. However, there are other potential reasons for a yellowing floor.
For example, applying a top coat, that’s past its best-use-by date may increase the chances of yellowing. Top coats that weren’t correctly stored before use are also more likely to yellow after application. Exposure to water or heat during the curing process may also cause discoloration.
Generally, you can’t repair a yellowed top coat. However, you can fix the issue by applying a new top layer. In most cases, you’ll need to sand the floor to remove the discolored top coat. Then, you can add a fresh coat to protect the underlying color.
Applying a UV-resistant top coat or non-yellowing sealer when installing your epoxy floors can also prevent yellowing from the beginning. Sometimes, you can also put a UV-resistant layer over an existing top coat to avoid yellowing.
Make sure the coating isn’t expired and is correctly stored before application. Additionally, managing the humidity and temperature in the space while the coating cures to get the best result.
Can You Steam Clean Epoxy Floors?
You can steam clean an epoxy floor instead of using a traditional mop and bucket of hot water. It will help break down grime and buildup, making the dirt easier to remove. Plus, it doesn’t involve cleaners, which some people prefer.
Steam mops are also a solid solution for rinsing away other cleaners you’ve used. With this approach, you need to make sure you’re using a steam cleaner that vacuums up the water, putting the dirty water in a separate reservoir. Otherwise, it’s just moving the cleaner around, which can lead to spots.
However, you can only steam-clean epoxy floors that are fully cured. If they aren’t cured yet, steam cleaning can cause cloudiness. As a result, you shouldn’t steam mop newly installed epoxy floors.
Can You Clean Epoxy Floors with Windex?
You can clean epoxy floors with Windex. Windex is an ammonia-based cleaner, so it gives you similar results to using diluted pure ammonia.
Usually, you’ll want to use one cup of Windex and three cups of warm water to create a workable cleaning solution. Apply the cleaner with a microfiber mop, rinse the floor with clean water, squeegee the excess away, and let the floor air dry.
Can You Use Pine Sol on Epoxy Floors?
While you can use Pine Sol on epoxy floors, it isn’t generally recommended. Technically, Pine Sol won’t hurt the epoxy. However, there’s a greater chance that Pine Sol will leave behind residue than some alternatives.
Since residue can lead to dullness, it’s better to go with ammonia, Windex, Simple Green, or a steam cleaner. If you do use Pine Sol, make sure it’s suitably diluted. Additionally, rinse thoroughly after cleaning to reduce your odds of residue.
What Not to Use on an Epoxy Floor
Bleach is a powerful chemical that can damage the top coat on your epoxy floors. Depending on the damage, it can cause dull spots or discoloration, essentially deglossing the coating or altering the look of your flooring.
Vinegar is acidic, so it isn’t the best for your epoxy floors. It can damage the top coat even when diluted, leading to dullness. If that happens, you’ll need to apply a fresh, top coat to restore the shine.
Comet, Ajax, or Other Abrasive Cleaners
Materials like Comet, Ajax, and baking soda are naturally abrasive. As a result, they’re a poor choice for glossy floors. When you clean with them, you’ll scratch the finish, leading to dullness.
Acidic cleaners, including those featuring citrus, aren’t a good match for epoxy. Over time, they’ll damage the protective coating, essentially deglossing the surface. That can lead to a dull or hazy look, one that’s only fixed by applying a new top coat.
Steel wool is incredibly abrasive, so it can scratch away your top coat. In some cases, using it once is enough to leave a dull spot, and repeated use may even work through the coating entirely. Even if you’re dealing with stuck-on grime, choose another option to avoid damaging your floor.
Magic Eraser is an abrasive material. Since that’s the case, it can lead to fine scratches on your epoxy floor, resulting in a dull spot.
Usually, you won’t notice an issue if you only use a Magic Eraser once, particularly if you’re trying to get through stuck-on grime. However, damage can occur right away. Additionally, subsequent use in the same area increases the odds of dull spots.
Scouring Pads or Sponges
Scouring pads or rough sponges also clean through abrasion. Since that’s the case, they can wear away at your top coating, leaving dull areas.
Instead, stick with softer materials. Microfiber is an excellent choice, as it won’t harm the flooring. You can also use softer nylon brushes or sponges if you need slight scrubbing power.
The Best Way to Clean Epoxy Floors
In most cases, the best way to clean epoxy floors is by sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping with clean water. A steam mop is also an excellent choice for most situations. However, if you have stuck-on grime, diluted dish soap, ammonia, and Simple Green are worth considering. Just use those alternatives sparingly to preserve the look of your floors.
Did you learn everything you wanted to learn about cleaning epoxy floors? If you know someone trying to figure out the best way to clean their epoxy floors, please share the article.