As you drive your vehicles in and out of your garage during the winter months, there is often an endless trail of snow, ice, water, dirt, mud, and salt that comes with it. All of these items can leave your garage floor a complete mess – a mess that not only looks gross, but can damage your garage floor, ruin stored items and create a dangerous situation for anyone walking through. Here are some tips to help you keep your garage floor clean through the winter, and avoid these situations altogether.

The first thing you should consider when cleaning your garage floor is what materials it’s made of. Standard garage floors are done in concrete. You can protect that concrete from the salt and other chemicals by covering it with a protective coating. You can also cover the concrete with other materials, such as tiles and epoxy. All materials have different pros and cons, so talk to your garage specialist about which type of floor is best for you according to your climate and how you use your garage.

The second thing to consider is protective coverings for your garage floor. You can go the do-it-yourself route by placing cardboard or old carpet under the areas that are the messiest. There are also several different companies that make garage mats. Garage mats are large floor coverings made out of durable, waterproof materials (such as vinyl). The mats can cover specific spots in your garage (such as where you park your vehicle) or your entire floor. These mats catch all materials tracked into your garage

The third thing to consider is actually cleaning your garage floor. You do not want to have excess water on your garage floor because it can freeze, creating dangerous ice patches. Instead, to clean your garage floor, start by running a vacuum over the floor to collect all the debris (such as salt chunks or dirt) that has collected on the floor (it is recommended that you use an old vacuum). Once the large elements have been removed, mop the floor with a mix of hot water and soap. You can use liquid dish soap (about 20 drops for every gallon of hot water) or laundry detergent (1 scoop of powdered laundry detergent for every gallon of hot water). Just make sure to fully wring out the map before putting it on the floor so that there is no excess water. Finish by running a dry mop or towels over the floor to remove any moisture.

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