Garages - Washing and Cleaning

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What are some safety tips for washing vehicles?

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  • Wear safety-toe, non-slip-sole rubber boots.
  • Wear hearing protection.
  • Read and understand the labels (WHMIS and consumer products) and safety data sheets (SDSs) for all products used. 
  • Protect skin, eyes, and lungs when using solvents. Use appropriate personal protective equipment for the products being used. 
  • Check that solvent storage tanks and containers are correctly bonded and grounded to reduce static electricity.
  • Remove immediately any clothing saturated in solvents and wash skin with soap and water thoroughly.
  • Watch out for burns from hot water and back blasts from water or dirt particles.
  • Do not direct high-velocity streams of water on yourself or others.
  • Do not use solvents to remove oil and grease from hands. Use soap and water or a waterless cleanser.

What should I know about using a portable pressure washer?

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When using steam cleaners and high-pressure washers:

  • Always read the instruction manual before using any equipment.
  • Never spray near a power source. Electric shock may occur. 
  • Use eye protection. A fast, strong spray can move objects. 
  • Wear waterproof clothing, including boots.
  • Wear protective clothing to protect from burns and splatter.
  • Never direct the spray towards any person or your body. The water pressure may break or enter the skin, causing severe injury.  
  • Be aware that the spray gun may cause kickback.
  • Fill or drain a fuel tank outdoors, away from sources of ignition.
  • If using gasoline-powered equipment, do not use them in an enclosed space or a building. Carbon monoxide poisoning may occur. 
  • If using electric-powered equipment, make sure it is plugged into an outlet with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).  Do not let extension cords rest in water. 

What should I know about cleaning garage floors?

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  • Minimize sweeping to reduce dust. Vacuum where possible.
  • Remove accumulation of grease and oil by scraping up or shovelling the material into a disposal container.
  • Absorb the remaining oil film with non-combustible absorbent material.
  • Wash the floor with an industrial, non-volatile, biodegradable detergent solution.
  • Rinse the floor with clean water.
  • Do not use gasoline as a cleaning agent.
  • Treat the waste as having the same hazardous properties as the original chemicals or materials.
  • Dispose of all chemicals, materials, and wastes according to local environmental laws.

  • Fact sheet last revised: 2023-10-31