If you’re like me, you’ve probably got stubborn stains on your concrete floor that you can’t get rid of.
I’ve seen reviews of “the best concrete cleaners,” but it’s pretty apparent that the writers didn’t actually test them out.
I wanted to see for myself which ones would get rid of that stain on my garage floor.
How I Tested the Best Concrete Cleaners
My garage floor has epoxy paint that’s about four years old and has seen better days. Since it’s epoxy paint and not an epoxy coating, so it’s not as durable. If you have sealed concrete floors, these products should perform the same way.
The stains are spills from staining my wood front porch chairs on two occasions. The first was when we bought the chairs several years ago, and the darker colors were from re-staining those same chairs.
I’d tried unsuccessfully to clean my garage floor a few years ago with the pressure washer and cleaning solution. However, the stained surface still remained, so I decided that needed something stronger.
Since then, I’d basically given up and planned to upgrade my garage floor because this looked terrible.
Because the stains covered a reasonably big area of my garage floor, I used painter’s tape to section off sections to test each cleaner.
Three cleaners (Oil Eater, GP66, and Simple Green OxySolve) were quick to test. After applying the liquid cleaner to the stained area, wait a few minutes and scrub them off.
The other two cleaners, Pull It Out and ACT Concrete Cleaner, work differently. They need to dry completely, and then you can hose down the (hopefully) clean concrete section.
Every concrete cleaner I tested requires using some elbow grease. If you were hoping you could avoid scrubbing, let me shatter that illusion.
I picked up the Libman Scrub Kit, which has three different-sized brushes with stiff plastic bristles. I like this one because the brushes have comfortable handles, and the three-pack was relatively inexpensive.
You can use any scrub brush if the bristles are hard enough to break apart caked-on stains.
Best Concrete Cleaners for Garage Floors
I’ll go into the specifics for each concrete cleaner, but for now, here’s how each product finished:
- Oil Eater Cleaner & Degreaser (Winner)
- GP66 Miracle Cleaner (Runner-Up)
- Pull It Out
- ACT Concrete Cleaner
- Simple Green OxySolve
All products are liquid concrete cleaners, except for the ACT Concrete Cleaner, which is a powder.
So let’s get into the results.
Best Concrete Cleaner Overall: Oil Eater Cleaner & Degreaser
Oil Eater was designed to remove grease stains and rust stains that are common in garages. It performed MUCH better than I was expecting it to, considering it’s one of the least expensive cleaners on this list.
You can start to see the Oil Eater working almost immediately, and after a bit of scrubbing, it was able to get rid of nearly all of the stains.
Getting the stains out of a pitted or cracked concrete floor is more complicated. While my floor’s concrete surface isn’t that bad, it still has plenty of little nicks and divots where the floor isn’t smooth.
You’ll probably need to go over those with a smaller hard-bristle brush or toothbrush.
Besides that, almost all the other stains pulled up exceptionally well.
Not only did the newer stains lift up, but almost all of the older, caked-on stains did too.
The picture here doesn’t show it as well as it could, but the color of the epoxy paint is much brighter than the surrounding area.
It’s almost like the floor got a new lease on life!
You’ll probably need a second application for specific areas, but overall I’m thrilled with the results of Oil Eater.
Oil Eater CleanerDegreaser removed a two--year old stain on my concrete garage floor that nothing else could. I highly recommend this, even for stubborn stains.
Runner-Up: GP66 Miracle Cleaner
The smell is the first thing you’ll notice about the GP66 Miracle Cleaner.
I have very little sense of smell, but this has a strong chemical smell as soon as you start using it. Be sure to have good garage ventilation when you’re using this cleaner.
The GP66 struggled a bit with the caked-on, older stains, but it performed spectacularly with the newer stains.
After the Oil Eater, I was slightly disappointed with the cleanup of the GP66 Miracle Cleaner. Still, I don’t want to take anything away from this product because it still exceeded my expectations.
If you catch the stains quickly, the GP66 will clean them up with no problem. But it’s going to struggle a bit with older stains on your concrete floors.
That makes sense if you look at how GP66 and Oil Eater are packaged.
The GP66 is a spray bottle, whereas the Oil Eater is a concentrated cleaner, so it’s natural to have different expectations for these two products.
When I grab a spray bottle, I’m expecting a quick solution to a spill that just happened. By contrast, I only grab gallon containers of cleaners when it’s a tough job.
A second application and some more elbow grease picked up much of the remaining stain. There are still some areas where it looked like the stain permanently discolored the concrete, but there’s not much you can do about that.
Some of these stains have been on my concrete floor for several years.
GP66 comes in two sizes: a 32 oz spray bottle and a 1-gallon jug.
GP66 comes in a handy, easy-to-use spray bottle. It's a little more expensive than our top choice. The spray bottle is easy enough to use quickly for small stains, but powerful enough to use on stubborn, set-in stains as well.
ACT Concrete Cleaner
The ACT Concrete Cleaner is similar to Pull It Out but completely different than any other concrete cleaners on this list.
It’s the only powder on this list. Marketed as an eco-friendly cleaner, it uses microorganisms to remove stains rather than harsh chemicals or degreasers.
This is the next best option if you want to be as “all-natural” as possible but can’t clean your concrete floor with vinegar.
It works by spreading the powder evenly over the affected area and then spraying it with a bottle of water to activate the powder.
The instructions left a bit to be desired because that’s about as specific as they were.
There’s no mention of how much powder to apply or how much water to spray on after.
I wasn’t sure if I’d over-watered or under-watered it, so I just needed to wait until the process was done.
That’s frustrating for most products, but considering this was the smallest and most expensive package of concrete cleaners I tested, I expected more.
It also could be more specific on how long to leave the product on the stain. Since I had to wait a few hours for the Pull It Out to dry, I gave the ACT Concrete Cleaner the same length of time.
In total, it was about three hours from application to removal.
Given the price, I was hoping for a better result. The stains were definitely better than they were, but still very noticeable.
ECO-FRIENDLY Concrete Cleaner cleans up oil, grease and antifreeze stains from concrete, cement, patios, driveways, pavers, wood, soil, plastic and other surfaces.
Pull It Out Oil\Stain Remover
The application is slightly different with Pull It Out than with some of the other concrete cleaners on this list. Instead of applying and scrubbing off, you pour it on and wait for it to do its thing.
Pull It Out Oil\Stain Remover goes on with the color and consistency of whole milk. You’re supposed to let it dry until it becomes white and flaky.
Depending on the temperature and humidity in your garage, that process could take a few hours. In my case, it was mostly dry after about two hours in 85-degree heat, and my Air King garage fan helping move the air.
It’s strange to watch the drying process because you can see areas where the milky liquid is drying and thickening.
Once it’s dry, it looks like you’ve covered the area with white paint.
Evidently, what Pull It Out does is it coats your concrete floor, “pulls out” the contaminant particles, and bonds with them to make them easier to clean up.
It’s similar to what commercial surfactants do to oil spills in the ocean.
After a few hours, the liquid was completely dry and ready to come off. According to the instructions, you’re supposed to agitate the hardened coating, so it breaks up and takes the stain with it.
So I used one of the Libman scrub brushes and got to work.
Even after waiting a few hours to be sure it was dry, the Pull It Out cleaner wasn’t nearly as effective as some of the others I tested.
The stains were definitely lighter in color, but they were still there – a sharp contrast to the Oil Eater section right next to it.
Even after spraying the residue with water, the pale white color returned after it dried again.
Overall, I wasn’t impressed with Pull It Out, but it may work better on fresh oil stains than on older, caked-on stains.
Pull It Out uses a deep penetrating formula to lift stains from porous flooring surfaces like concrete and brick. It is effective on oil or petroleum-based stains (transmission fluid, brake fluid, etc. ) commonly found on concrete and paver driveways and garage floors.
I had low expectations for Simple Green OxySolve. I tried to use the Simple Green Industrial Cleaner and Degreaser on these stains a few years ago and did not have good results.
The Simple Green OxySolve was decent at getting some surface dirt and stains off. Nevertheless, it failed miserably at getting any of the older, deeper stains off.
Don’t get me wrong, I love using Simple Green as a general maintenance product.
In fact, I use it to pressure wash my garage floor all the time.
However, I can’t recommend either the Industrial Cleaner & Degreaser or the OxySolve versions of Simple Green for getting stains off your concrete floor.
Light-duty cleaner that's great to use with your pressure washer for everyday stains to give your garage floor a brighter, cleaner look.
Wrapping It Up
I was surprised at the results of this test.
I expected similar results across the board, but that’s not what happened.
The product that most disappointed me was the ACT Concrete Cleaner because I was hoping for an eco-friendly cleaner that could still get the job done.
To be fair, these were tough stains that had time to set into the concrete. However, other products were able to get them out.
Speaking of those other products, we have two winners in this contest. The GP66 Miracle Cleaner and Oil Eater Cleaner & Degreaser did a fantastic job cleaning up my concrete floor.
Here’s the way that I look at the results of this test:
For cleaning up small spills and stains, I like the GP66 Miracle Cleaner because it’s more convenient to use. However, the Oil Eater simply can’t be beaten for larger areas.
It’s worth noting that I was specifically looking at cleaning a concrete garage floor. If you have interlocking tiles, a high-solids epoxy, or another type of garage floor coating, these may not be the best solution for you.