Maintaining Garage Floor Tiles: Creative Ideas to Remove and Prevent Stains
| Fact Checked By: Lamont Robbins
Published: January 22, 2020 | Updated: July 19, 2021
Garage flooring tiles help prevent stains on your concrete floor, but what happens when your soft tiles are stained too? Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines, and discover how to clean, and potentially prevent staining from happening on your garage floor in the future.
Stains, they’re actually the worst, right? No matter the surface, stains cause an automatic eye roll. But of all the places to worry about stains, did you ever think it would be on your super awesome garage flooring?
Soft garage tiles or rolls can get stained from dirt and tar, among other things. But what can you do to remove those stains, and prevent them from appearing again? Let’s talk it out and explore the different ways garage flooring can get stained, options for cleaning them up, and taking the necessary precautions to ward off unwanted stains.
What Makes Garage Flooring Special
Before we get into the whole stain thing, you might be thinking, “If garage flooring can stain too, what’s the point in having it?”
I like the way you think!
Fun-fact of the day: without the proper sealant, concrete floors absorb stains. Whereas tiles or rolls stop the stains from getting to the subfloor and take one for the team. With the proper tools, you can remove stains or replace tiles, but with concrete that’s not the case.
Typically, hard plastic garage tiles are stain-resistant, while soft garage flooring is more prone to stains. That’s why it’s important to understand not only the stains you’re working with but the material that makes up your garage floor, so you can handle any stain that might befall your soft garage floor.
Soft garage flooring is made of polyvinyl chloride or PVC for short and comes in both tiles and rolls for your convenience. These aren’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill garage floor covers; they come in a variety of colors and patterns to take your garage from average to eye-catching.
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Types of Garage Flooring Stains
But wait, what’s that on your beautiful, eye-catching garage floor? Stains on garage floors are a little different than the stains you might find on your shirt or carpet. The garage is essentially your, and your cars’, everyday entry or foyer, so it catches all the outside substances that you carry in on your shoes and tires.
Some of the most common stains found on garage floors are dirt, oil, tar, and tire marks.
Stains like dirt, tar or grease can be wiped away with a power washer, solvents, and degreasers; but tire marks or stains are a chemical reaction, and cannot be removed from soft garage tiles or rolls.
Tire Marks and Stains
Vehicles today can’t get anywhere without their tires, and sometimes those tires can be a pain to clean up after. But why are they so difficult? Allow me to explain.
The fact of the matter is, tire marks are typically left behind by the softer, high-performance tire. However, your average tire can also leave tire marks, as it all depends on what compounds and chemicals are used to make the tire.
The black marks that tires leave behind are from a process called, “plasticizer migration.” Plasticizers are a combination of polymer compounds and other chemicals used in rubber to make it more flexible and to improve traction. Therefore, as the tires run across surfaces, they heat up, and the plasticizers soften, which causes a chemical reaction that can leak out of the tire.
Since this is a chemical reaction, tire marks are unable to be removed from soft garage flooring. But don’t lose hope! Just because cleaners won’t remove tire marks, doesn’t mean you can’t work around the stain with creative and strategic measures.
Dirt, Oil, and Tar Stains
In a garage, it’s not hard to understand how dirt, tar, and oil stains appear. Dirt can come in on your shoes, or vehicle; tar from the road; and oil from a leak or while doing work under the hood of your vehicle. Try as you might, they’re bound to show up every once in a while.
Thankfully, there are several cleaning products that can help you remove stains that come from dirt, or grease with ease.
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Methods of Cleaning and Preventing Garage Floor Stains
Whether it be replacing or cleaning tiles, it’s important to know all of the options for resolving any stained garage flooring issues. Here are a few methods you can consider.
Garage Floor Cleaner
Recommended for: dirt, grease, and tar
Products like Super Clean, Spray Nine, and Purple Power are great for removing those pesky dirt and grease stains on your garage tile or roll. In this particular example, we will be looking at the process of removing stains using Purple Power. However, the process is virtually the same for each of these degreaser products.
Purple Power is a multi-purpose, industrial-strength cleaner/degreaser that lifts stains quickly on a variety of surfaces. This formula creates a barrier between the stain and the surface being cleaned for fast and easy removal.
When using the product wear rubber gloves, and protect your eyes from direct contact; use with adequate ventilation and do not use on exterior car surfaces, glass, painted surfaces, or wheel rims. It’s also suggested you test an out-of-sight area to determine surface acceptance and colorfastness to avoid damage.
Using Purple Power on your garage tile or roll is a simple procedure. It takes a soft bristle brush or cloth, gloves, the solvent, and of course the stain, then you’re set! You can use the Purple Power spray, or dilute the solvent with water, and follow these steps.
- Locate the stain, and cover the surface with Purple Power, allowing time to dissolve dirt and grease. Note: Do not allow the cleaner to dry onto the surface being cleaned.
- If the stain is stubborn or caked on to the surface, use a cloth, or soft bristle brush to briefly agitate the stain
- Rinse with water.
You can use this solvent at commercial strength, or dilute it with water, depending on your desired result.
Replacing Garage Floor Tiles
Recommended for: grease, tar, and tire marks
The beauty of garage tiles is the accessibility you have in replacing them. Our garage tiles come with simple installation that allows you to take up the tile, then easily put it back together. Therefore, if you have a tile with the most stubborn stain, you can uninstall that tile and put a clean one in its place.
Garage Floor Color
Recommended for: tar and tire marks
Garage tiles and rolls are a wonderful protector for your subfloor. It is, however, important to consider the color of flooring, as lighter colors show everything.
Choosing a dark tile or roll can assist in hiding those stubborn stains, so while basic sweeping would be ideal, you wouldn’t have to buy all of those cleaners to remove the stains.
If you do choose a light-colored floor, as previously mentioned dirt or grease can be removed with proper cleaner, but stubborn stains like tire marks will remain visible, as they cannot be removed. You can use degreasers as an attempt to fade the marks, but this is not a guaranteed method.
Garage Tile Layout
Recommended for: dirt, grease, tar, and tire marks
Coupled with the color of your garage floor, the layout in which you choose to place your garage tiles or rolls can also help hide those unwanted stains. Using a dark-colored garage roll can mask those stains; but if you want more variety in your garage flooring, you can also strategically place tiles to work with those spots that see the most stains.
By creating parking lines or covering a portion of your garage with dark tiles or rolls to align with where your vehicle stops on a daily basis, you can keep those stains out of sight, and away from your subfloor.
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Stains happen, just as life happens; and while attempting to tread lightly on your durable garage floor sounds like a fun challenge, you now know there are other options to remove and prevent staining. Between powerful cleaners, replaceable tiles, and good ol’ fashioned imagination, the possibilities for your garage floors are endless.
Face garage floor staining with confidence, and discover the perfect garage flooring for you!