Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Clean up on aisle seven
Old 06-30-2013, 12:18 PM   #1
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,449
Clean up on aisle seven

Any suggestions how to clean up lots of power steering fluid from a concrete floor so it doesn't leave a stain, without special tools and using products that are available at the local Home Depot or Target?
__________________

__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-30-2013, 12:58 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,881
I'd start with cheap clay kitty litter. Grind it into the surface with your foot until the cement looks powdery.
__________________

__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 12:59 PM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 99
Not exactly about PS fluid, but all other oils I use engine cleaner.

Soak it up, soak it up. towels down and something heavy on top.

If you have cat litter(I do not) that would be absorbant.

Good Luck,
__________________
Cessna5354 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 01:11 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,881
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cessna5354 View Post
.........If you have cat litter(I do not) that would be absorbent...
I buy bags of kitty litter at Dollar Tree. It is the cheap stuff that works best for oil. Some of the more expensive kinds are like little BBs and make the floor hazardous.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 01:26 PM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
lemming's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 415
Read the labels for flammability warnings. Not on the kitty litter but any solvents they might sell you.
__________________
lemming is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 01:59 PM   #6
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,449
Cheap clay kitty litter to begin, followed by engine cleaner? OK. Hopefully that will pick up some of the stain as well. There is a lot on the garage floor.
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 02:03 PM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
bjorn2bwild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Western US
Posts: 690
"Simple Green" in the spray bottle works great as a low toxic, non-flamable detergent type cleaner.
__________________
How's it going to end..............
bjorn2bwild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 02:04 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
calmloki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Independence
Posts: 5,459
PS fluid is tough - it is very light and has a bunch of detergents in it to start with. On my leaky PS BMW stains I use dishwasher detergent, like Cascade. lotsa phosphates. It doesn't get it all, problem is the PS fluid soaks into the interstices by design and does a darn good job of it - tough to pull it back up to the surface.
__________________
calmloki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 02:32 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,280
EZ - just remind yourself this is a garage, not a living room. What's a little (or a lot) of stain gonna hurt? Your car covers it when you are home, and when the car is gone, so are you. Problem solved

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 02:40 PM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 99
Along these lines, without derailing the OP,

What has anyone sucessfully to paint/coat the garage cement floor ??

One thing I am putting off for ER.
__________________
Cessna5354 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 02:59 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cessna5354 View Post
Along these lines, without derailing the OP,

What has anyone sucessfully to paint/coat the garage cement floor ??

One thing I am putting off for ER.
I've heard power steering fluid works well!

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 03:19 PM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
bjorn2bwild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Western US
Posts: 690
More detailed answer-
Untreated concrete is porous.
1. Spilled oil will wick into the surface, so clean a fresh spill as quickly as possible. Use either rags or kitty litter to soak up the oil and contain the spill.
2. Pour on a low volatile solvent like mineral spirits to thin the remaining stain and sop up with rags/litter.
3. Finally, use a detergent like Simple Green to emulsify and clean the stain, full strength, finishing with wet rags as mop up.

Clean, untreated concrete can be sealed with a clear concrete sealant to make future spills easy to wipe up.

Stained concrete can be painted with epoxy paint designed for this purpose. It can be a nasty time consuming job requiring oil stains to be well cleaned plus the paint is pretty toxic when inhaled - use a respirator. Remember to use grit (sand) to make the surface non-skid when wet.
__________________
How's it going to end..............
bjorn2bwild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 04:47 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
timo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Rio Rancho
Posts: 1,438
I wonder if heat would draw it out, without catching it on fire? I saw something on TV (everything on TV is true, right?) that heat would draw liquids out of untreated concrete. This was in reference to tribal healers who would pour animal blood onto the floor, let it soak in until it wasn't visible, then reheat the concrete later and the blood would come out of the floor, to impress everyone.
__________________
"We live the lives we lead because of the thoughts we think" Michael O’Neill
timo2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 06:57 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Lakewood90712's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,316
Start with cat litter or paper towels for the fluid, then a de-greaser like engine cleaner or something like formula 409. If still stained, wait a day or two, then naptha (coleman camping fuel) carefull here, this is technically"gasoline" , and flamable vapors travel along the surface . Dont use the solvent if anything like a water heater, or clothes dryer is in the garage, unless 100% shutdown during the cleaning. Quick and dirty solution is portland cement powder. This only works with a fresh spill , of clean oil/fluid etc.
__________________
Lakewood90712 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 07:25 PM   #15
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,449
I know it's just a garage (and the driveway too) but it still needs to be clean. The suggestions are good, I suspect I'll be trying more than one. The stain is over a day old, there is still fresh oil, tomorrow the car goes to the shop and I'll have room and opportunity to do some cleaning. There is a lot of PS fluid on the floor and in the driveway. Using heat scares me just a bit, but enough to not pursue that options just now.
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 09:24 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
I've usually just done the cat litter thing and called it a day. Some ideas (untested) after you try the suggested methods:
- Pressure washer (it seems to do a great job on grime in concrete). Use hot fluid and detergent. If splash/water in that area are a problem, rig up a shield (cut the bottom out of a 5 gal paint bucket) and use your shop vac to slurp up the working fluid.
- Steam cleaner (seems to do a darn good job on engines)
- Bleach. After all, you're probably not concerned about the PS fluid, you're concerned about the appearance of the PS fluid. Either use straight Clorox or maybe a wet paste of Ajax with plastic put over it to let the oxidation reaction do its magic.
-Muriatic acid? It's tough on concrete, so do a test spot.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 10:38 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Lakewood90712's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,316
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I've heard power steering fluid works well!

-ERD50
It actually does , as a first step on an old motor oil stain.
__________________
Lakewood90712 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 10:48 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
calmloki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Independence
Posts: 5,459
[QUOTE=samclem;......
-Muriatic acid? It's tough on concrete, so do a test spot.[/QUOTE]

Done that - and it etched the floor big time, leaving lots of tooth.
__________________
calmloki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 11:08 PM   #19
Full time employment: Posting here.
bjorn2bwild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Western US
Posts: 690
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Using heat scares me just a bit, but enough to not pursue that options just now.
Using heat should be limited to boiling hot water in the detergent cleanup phase. Too much heat in too short a time period can cause spalling - breakup of the concrete.
__________________
How's it going to end..............
bjorn2bwild is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2013, 11:18 PM   #20
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: seattle
Posts: 643
I've used this before, worked pretty well on motor oil drippings and gear oil. I think it was from HD.

BEHR PREMIUM® Concrete & Masonry Cleaner/Degreaser No. 990 | Behr Paint
__________________

__________________
bld999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:37 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.