Can You Power Wash A Garage Floor? (Find Out Now!)

Brigid Levi
by Brigid Levi
Garages have become so much more than just a place to park your car. Mine includes an elliptical, a workbench, power tools, holiday decorations, and lots of bicycles. For many,

Garages have become so much more than just a place to park your car. Mine includes an elliptical, a workbench, power tools, holiday decorations, and lots of bicycles.

For many, the garage is an extension of the house. Whether you park your car there or not, the garage can accumulate lots of dust, dirt, and grime. It deserves a good cleaning every once in a while.

You only need to use a power washer if your garage floor is especially oily. Otherwise, a pressure washer is effective enough to remove normal dirt levels. The type of pressure washer you use depends on the level of dirt. Pre-treat any stains with detergent and scrub with a brush before rinsing.

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Power Washer vs. Pressure Washer

Despite their interchangeable usage, power washers and pressure washers are not the same things. Power washers use heat while pressure washers do not.

Materials like concrete and cement are ideal for power washing because they are less likely to be damaged by heat. So, wouldn’t a garage floor be the perfect candidate for a power washer?

Yes and no. Hot water is better at breaking down oils, so a power washer is recommended if you have an excessively oily floor. Because of the extra weight of their heating coils, power washers are much heavier than pressure washers. They’re also more expensive to rent.

Pressure washers work just as well on garages floors with an average amount of dirt build-up. Using a power washer on your garage floor is perfectly fine. If you already own one, by all means, use it! But if you’re looking to save money when renting a washer and your floor isn’t too oily, a pressure washer is best.

How to Power Wash Your Garage Floor

Before any major cleaning takes place, clear your garage as best you can. At the very least, make sure nothing is on the floor. You may also want to remove any items that may be damaged by the high-pressure water spray. Or consider hanging plastic drop cloths to the bottom third of the wall to protect the drywall from overspray.

Wet the Floor First

Before applying detergent, wet the floor. This cuts down on streaking that tends to occur as the floor dries. Working in small sections allows the floor to stay wet which also helps cut down on streaking.

You may want to sweep before anything else, but that’s totally up to you. If you apply the initial coating of water with low pressure, you can get around sweeping.

Pre-treat Stains

Apply degreaser to tough, set-in stains and allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes. Occasionally wet these spots using low water pressure to keep the area from drying.

Apply Detergent

Spray detergent and water under low pressure to apply the cleaner without kicking dust and debris into the air. If the garage floor is extra oily, spray the floor with a strong degreaser. Otherwise, apply cement cleaner.

Use a Brush

Most power washers have a brush attachment which is ideal for working detergent into tough stains. If you chose not to sweep, use the brush to push the larger debris out of the garage while also working in the detergent.

Rinse Clean

After allowing the detergent some time to sit, switch the power washer to a higher pressure to rinse the floor. Starting at the back of the garage, move forward as you spray. Position the hose in front of you and aim at the floor. The high pressure pushes the water out of the garage.

If you had a particularly tough or oily stain, you may need to clean that area a second time.

Pressure Washing Garage Floors

There are some important things to note when using a pressure washer instead of a power washer on your garage floors.

The most effective pressure washer for bare concrete has a minimum rating of 3,000 PSI and a water flow rate of 3 GPM. It will take much longer to remove dirt and stains with anything less. Most pressure washers with these ratings will be gas-powered. Typically, electric pressure washers only reach 2,000 PSI.

Keep in mind if you have an oily floor, you’ll need the heat of the power washer to lift those stains.

Safety Tips

  • Wear proper protective gear, including shoes or rubber boots and eye protection.
  • Never check the pressure by running your hand or another body part through the water. The high pressure will immediately cause injury.
  • How your driveway before you start washing the garage. This ensures no contaminates linger in your driveway as the dirty water washes down.
  • If using a gas-powered washer, place the pressure unit outside of the garage to avoid ingesting its harmful fumes.

Related Questions

Keep reading to find out more useful information about power washing!

Can you damage concrete by power washing?

It is possible to damage concrete when power washing. By using the wrong nozzle tip or using too much pressure can scratch the concrete, sometimes severely.

Do you have to seal concrete after pressure washing?

While it’s not required, sealing a concrete floor after pressure washing is a good idea. The sealer helps repel stains, which may mean you won’t have to pressure wash your garage floor as often. Think of sealing a floor in the same way as painting a wall. Be sure to apply the sealer 24 hours after the concrete has dried.

How often should you pressure wash concrete?

It’s recommended to pressure wash concrete at least once a year. Pressure washing a garage floor is certainly a big task, but if you do it every year, it’s less likely you’ll have giant stains.

Do You Need Power Washing Services?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.


Power washing is a great cleaning option for your garage floor, but so is pressure washing. If your floor has excessive oil stains, the heat from power washing effectively breaks down the oil. Otherwise, a regular pressure washer does a fine job.

Make sure to pre-treat tough stains and apply appropriate detergent for the job. And always protect yourself when using high-pressure washers.

Brigid Levi
Brigid Levi

Brigid Levi is a wife, mother, and freelance writer who enjoys a good DIY project and creating beautiful spaces within her home. From cleaning and organization hacks to home decor ideas, she loves helping people in their quest to turn a house into a home. Her hobbies include pretending to be Joanna Gaines while updating her home with her husband and performing in local theater productions.

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