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View Full Version : Cleaning the shop floor - what do you use?



Metalmelter
09-15-2011, 07:28 AM
Just looking to see what's worked for you guys. There used to be a powder that when sprinkled on the floor and watered down would turn green like antifreeze and then you would scrub the floor. It worked great for the mechanic bays. Anyone know what that was? I'm going back 20 years now too. It came in a pale and was made for shop floor cleaning. I guess it's no good anymore with all the environmental issues so what do you use that's effective at removing grease and oils and just bringing back some of the concrete under the mess?

vpt
09-15-2011, 07:31 AM
I use E-85.

RussZHC
09-15-2011, 07:33 AM
Don't know what its called, suspect more than one "name", but I'd go looking where they sell those kits for painting garage floors...IIRC, part of the kit (and available separately) are a series of washes (some acid) for prepping the floor...should help some...

Black Forest
09-15-2011, 08:13 AM
I know one memeber you won't be getting an answer from! He hasn't seen his shop floor in years!

I'll give you a hint. POS bridgeport.

Gavin
09-15-2011, 08:26 AM
According to my wife, the best thing for cleaning the workshop floor of oil and swarf are my workboots. They manage to get it all off the workshop floor and bring it into the house and onto the carpet.

J Tiers
09-15-2011, 08:40 AM
A broom works well, followed by a vacuum.

If I ever decide to try to clean oil etc, one thing is for sure....

I WILL NOT BE USING E85 !!!!!!!

Probably I will use some detergent cleaner, or maybe "purple cleaner".... it won't hurt the concrete, it prevents rust, and it does clean up oil.

DICKEYBIRD
09-15-2011, 09:08 AM
The yellow/green powder concrete cleaner that we used in the auto shop where I worked was called "Hound Dog." It worked great.

gary350
09-15-2011, 09:11 AM
I use sawdust to clean up oil. I have a cheap $99 chinese table saw on the far side of the shop I save all the saw dust from it. I sprinkle saw dust on the floor it soaks up the oil and it seems to suck it right out of the cement floor. If I get oil all over my mill or lathe I sprinkle saw dust on them at the end of the day. Next morning the shop vac sucks off all the saw dust and the oil is gone too. It takes 30 seconds to sprinkle saw dust and about 1 minute to suck it up you can't beat that for quick clean up.

If I run out of saw dust I cut up a few scrap board to make more. About 3 or 4 coffee cups of saw dust is about all I need to clean my mill or lathe.

John Stevenson
09-15-2011, 09:50 AM
I know one memeber you won't be getting an answer from! He hasn't seen his shop floor in years!

I'll give you a hint. POS bridgeport.

Libellous remarks :D

I had a sweep up last week, cleaned the benches down and vacuum'd up round the Bridgeport.

Getting a new 16 year old apprentice on Monday, need to start him off right :rolleyes:

Carld
09-15-2011, 09:54 AM
Greasy or oily floors are cleaned by brushing kerosene on the oily areas and then putting floor dry on overnight. Then sweeping the floor the next day.

jugs
09-15-2011, 10:23 AM
I use the dog :eek:

he used to be white but now has a glossy gray/black coat :D :D

nb; cheaper than sawdust :cool:

Highpower
09-15-2011, 10:26 AM
Just looking to see what's worked for you guys. There used to be a powder that when sprinkled on the floor and watered down would turn green like antifreeze and then you would scrub the floor. It worked great for the mechanic bays. Anyone know what that was?
http://www.interstateproducts.com/concrete_cleaners.htm

Metalmelter
09-15-2011, 10:26 AM
I know one memeber you won't be getting an answer from! He hasn't seen his shop floor in years!

I'll give you a hint. POS bridgeport.

You make me laugh ;)

Metalmelter
09-15-2011, 10:30 AM
The yellow/green powder concrete cleaner that we used in the auto shop where I worked was called "Hound Dog." It worked great.

Finally !!!!!! You know how many years I've tried to at least put a name to that stuff? Damn right - it did work very good too!!! All we did was work it in with a stiff bristle floor broom. Then simply hosed it off and used a squeegee after that. Now I need to find if it's around still... Thanks!

edit: it still is: http://www.americanplus5.com/product952.html

C - ROSS
09-15-2011, 10:33 AM
Use Oil Dry from any automotive store. Put it on the grease /oil let it set over night and then rub with a brick or piece of 2X4 then pick it up. Kinda dusty but works good.

Ross

HWooldridge
09-15-2011, 10:58 AM
I use a rake then water down the dust with a hose...:D

jeremy13
09-15-2011, 11:03 AM
We use dish washing machine soap (cascade) if it is the powder make a paste and let sit overnight. Then work with brush. Then clean with whet rag. The liquid works well to.

madwilliamflint
09-15-2011, 12:07 PM
Libellous remarks :D

I had a sweep up last week, cleaned the benches down and vacuum'd up round the Bridgeport.

Getting a new 16 year old apprentice on Monday, need to start him off right :rolleyes:

Wait... start him off right?

Then why were YOU sweeping?

Black Forest
09-15-2011, 01:44 PM
Hey John, NO names were mentioned but if you took it to heart well.....

Did you get any pictures of the floor just after you cleaned up? Might be awhile before you see it again!!!!

tmc_31
09-15-2011, 07:10 PM
It would probably cause a environmental catastrophe today but many years ago when I owned a full service gas station we cleaned the shop bays and the fuel islands with Tide laundry soap. Tried many things but Tide worked the best.

Regards,

Tim

Max_Power
09-15-2011, 07:23 PM
I would bet the product you are looking for is made by "ZEP" and called "Flash". the packaging may be different now, But it used to come in a blue cardboard drum with a gold colored lid. Todd

Don Young
09-15-2011, 09:26 PM
It would probably cause a environmental catastrophe today but many years ago when I owned a full service gas station we cleaned the shop bays and the fuel islands with Tide laundry soap. Tried many things but Tide worked the best.

Regards,

Tim
The original "Tide" in boiling water made an excellent degreaser/parts washer for sludged and varnished engine parts and carburetors as well as cleaning floors. Since they took the phosphate out it is not as good.

Bill736
09-15-2011, 10:07 PM
It's true that the phosphates are gone from Tide. They put in enzymes more recently to improve the cleaning ability, and try to compensate for the phosphate removal. You can, however, add your own phosphate by adding some TSP ( trisodium phosphate) , available at hardware stores and home centers, and online. In fact, you can also still buy washing soda and borax from online stores. When I'm trying to remove diesel fuel or heating oil from clothing, I make up a home brew of Tide , TSP, washing soda, and borax .
It helps, but it's only slightly better than Tide alone, and it still takes two washings. TSP makes a fine cleaner for scrubbing woodwork , cabinet doors, decks, etc. before refinishing, and doesn't leave any soapy or sudsy residue.

Flying-Phantom
09-15-2011, 10:46 PM
I believe the product is made by GUNK and I think the name is SWAB and it is still produced.

rdfeil
09-15-2011, 11:25 PM
Libellous remarks :D

I had a sweep up last week, cleaned the benches down and vacuum'd up round the Bridgeport.

Getting a new 16 year old apprentice on Monday, need to start him off right :rolleyes:


I feel sorry for the kid.....
Within a month he will be so far off plumb that he will actually like Sir Johns Bridgeport :p :p

Frank46
09-16-2011, 12:56 AM
Worked in a tank farm and we stored #6 fuel oil. The nastiest ,blackest stuff you ever did see. When it came time to clean the floors we spread kerosene around with a squeege and used stay dri (think kitty litter.) worked it around with a stiff floor broom. Let it sit for a couple hours and sweep it up. Sucked up all the oil and left the floors clean. Frank

DICKEYBIRD
09-16-2011, 08:34 AM
Finally !!!!!! You know how many years I've tried to at least put a name to that stuff?Me too; I couldn't remember the name either. It bugged me for hours after seeing your post so I called a buddy who used to be the parts manager & bought the stuff for us. He remembered it instantly...freakin' parts guys!:rolleyes:

vpt
09-16-2011, 08:51 AM
I feel sorry for the kid.....
Within a month he will be so far off plumb that he will actually like Sir Johns Bridgeport :p :p



I can just see it, kids walks into the shop and hie eyes light up and he says "OMG, a bridgeport! thats so awesome!"

Black Forest
09-16-2011, 09:13 AM
"OMG, a bridgeport! thats so awesome!"


I am thinking fired on the spot!

1-800miner
09-16-2011, 11:15 AM
I just back drag with the loader bucket:o

tmc_31
09-16-2011, 11:30 AM
The original "Tide" in boiling water made an excellent degreaser/parts washer for sludged and varnished engine parts and carburetors as well as cleaning floors. Since they took the phosphate out it is not as good.

Yeah, that was back in the late 70's when I had the gas station (think "full service"). I do imagine that Tide has been reformulated since.

Tim

John Stevenson
09-16-2011, 04:18 PM
A lot of the old time cleaners were good for that, I used to use one called Daz, strong solution in a big old stew pot and load all the bits of the racing bike engines into it and boil away for a couple of hours.

Used to remove most of the burnt on oil and they used to come out matt all over just like heat treated alloy.

I often wonder what is in the modern stuff because you have to buy the powder, add a whitener, add a stain remover, add something for hard water, add something for colours WTF was the point of buying the powered in the first place.

Same with dishwashers, I hate the damn things, buy the powder or cube, buy salts, buy something to clean it out etc etc.

We are supposed to be energy conscious and you start this thing up, usually only half loaded but even when fully loaded they hold sod all. Then it fills with cold water, heats it up all the while it's stood next to a hot water supply you have already paid to freaking heat up.

Black Forest
09-16-2011, 04:41 PM
Our dishwasher uses some really strong soap. It gets pumped out of the 20 liter container is comes in. If you get it on your hands undiluted it feels like you stuck your hands in some thisles. But it does get our dishes clean!

I use that dishwasher to wash my hats. Stick the ball caps in the dishwasher and three minutes later when it is done the hats are clean. That is some great soap! Maybe I should try it on the shop floor tomorrow.

motorcyclemac
09-16-2011, 04:55 PM
I simply spray the oil spots on the floor with Castrol Purple and scrub them with a stiff nylon brush ....then mop with hot water mixed with a cup of TSP. My shop floor is clean enough you can eat off it . I sweep it at the end of the day when I work. I find it stays clean for a long time now since I am too crippled up to get much time out there. Do nothing and there is no mess to clean up.

Cheers
Mac.

jhe.1973
09-16-2011, 05:04 PM
I know one memeber you won't be getting an answer from! He hasn't seen his shop floor in years!

I'll give you a hint. POS bridgeport.

What? Your shops have floors?

WOW, what a concept!
:D

dockrat
09-16-2011, 05:51 PM
My concrete floor was very rough and and hard to vacuum or sweep let alone clean up oil spills etc till I went to a local conveyor belting outfit and picked up a roll of used 3/8" x 4' and laid it down. Now its a snap to clean up :) I don't have a pic of the whole floor but you can see some of it under this roll away table I cobbled up out of some old bed frames and some left over hardwood flooring. It made it a lot easier on the feet too.

http://i253.photobucket.com/albums/hh67/Dockrat1/IMGP1433Medium.jpg