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Garages - Washing and Cleaning

What are some safety tips for washing vehicles?

  • Wear safety-toe, non-slip sole rubber boots.
  • Wear hearing protection.
  • Protect skin when using solvents. Use appropriate hand protection for the materials being used. Check that solvent storage tanks and containers are correctly bonded and grounded.
  • Remove immediately any clothing saturated in solvents and wash skin with soap and water thoroughly.
  • Watch out for burns from hot water and back blast 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.
  • Read and understand information provided in the SDS of all cleaning products or solutions that are you using.

What should I know about using a portable washer?

When using steam cleaners and high pressure washers:

  • Always read the instruction manual before using any equipment.
  • Never spray near a power source.
  • Use eye protection.
  • Wear waterproof clothing.
  • Wear protective clothing to protect from burns and splatter.
  • Never direct the spray towards any person or your body.
  • Make sure that there is adequate ventilation, especially if you are using a fuel-powered washer.
  • Be aware that the spray gun may cause kickback.
  • Fill or drain a fuel tank outdoors, away from sources of ignition.

What should I know about cleaning garage floors?

  • 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 floor with clean water.
  • Do not use gasoline as a cleaning agent.
  • Treat the waste as if it has the same hazardous properties as the original chemicals or materials.
  • Dispose of all chemicals, materials, and wastes according to local environmental laws.

Document last updated on December 1, 2016

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Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.