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How to Clean a Wood Stain Spill on a Garage Floor

M.T. Wroblewski

Taking your wood staining project out to the garage can seem like a smart move until you have a serious spill. Before you kick yourself in frustration, try to find solace in the fact that matters could be worse: you might have spilled the wood stain on carpet, where the chances of removing it are much less promising. Whether your wood stain is oil or water based, you can remove it from a concrete garage floor.

Sawdust is absorbent, but its drawing power can’t compare to kitty litter.

Step 1

Attack the spill as soon as possible to prevent the wood stain from settling into your garage floor. Cover the spill with old, absorbent rags -- terrycloth works wonders -- or paper towels.

Step 2

Blot up the wood stain. Set the rags aside for now.

Step 3

Sprinkle the remnants of the spill with a thin layer of kitty litter. Wait a few minutes for the litter to settle into the stain and then apply a second, thicker layer. Cover the area with plastic and let the kitty litter sit on the spill for 24 hours. The litter absorbs the wood stain, just as it’s intended to absorb liquid in kitty litter boxes.

Step 4

Hose down the rags, especially if you have used oil-based wood stain, to eliminate a potential fire hazard. Roll up the rags, put them in a paper bag and dispose of them.

Step 5

Sweep the dried kitty litter into a dustpan and throw it away. If you tended to the stain very quickly, no stain should remain on your garage floor. Wipe the floor with paper towels.

Step 6

Remove any residue from the wood stain by sprinkling the area with powdered laundry detergent. Spray just enough water on the area to make a paste, swirling it around and rubbing it into the stain with a sponge. Repeat this step several times, if necessary, so that a thick paste is left to sit on top of the stain for 24 hours. Cover the area with plastic.

Step 7

Soak up the paste with paper towels. Hose down the area with warm or hot water.