Cleaning trailer floors? - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
 
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Cleaning trailer floors?

What's the best/safest way to get oil/trans fluid out of plywood trailer floors? I'm trying to clean up an enclosed trailer.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 03:11 PM
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If it's like puddled oil, first throw some cat litter on it to get the oil off the surface for a day or 2.

If it's soaked-in, best thing I found was dawn dishwashing detergent or simple green mixed pretty strong. I usually mix it up in a bucket of hot water and scrub it on. let it sit a 1/2 hour, then wash it off with a garden hose or maybe a power washer set on low. Gets a good bit of it out.

If you can get ahold of a steam genie (hot water power washer), they work well for cleaning up oily spills.

You'll never get it all out, but you can get most of it out. Be careful you don't soak the plywood so much that it begins to delaminate.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 12:31 AM
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Simple green is good, oil floats on water, sometimes a thorough thorough pressure washing will get most of it out but itll never all be gone
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 02:44 AM
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Pressure washing will get the oil marking of stuff set on the floor. If you are not careful it will displace the oil on the other parts of the trailer.

I start by capturing any free oil, kitty litter, oil dry or newspaper. after the puddle does not transfer to the point that it leaves tracks a lot depends on the situation. Need it in a big hurry? Spread solvent and pick it up the same as the oil. Overnight? Crush the oildry or kitty litter to dust - portland cement works well to. Sweep up in the morning.

Oil the whole floor for protection from the elements, just roll it on. Diesel drain makes a fine black color deck that water will bead up on. Lay cardboard or newspaper for a week or 2 so it does not transfer to the customers carpet on the freight.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-15-2008, 04:38 AM
 
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If you are looking to get all of the oil out of the trailer floor, it's very easy. All you need to do is replace the floor. That's the only way it will be completely gone.

HOWEVER, since that is not what you are wanting to do, if the oil is pretty fresh, dump a bunch of corn starch on it. That's right, corn starch. It works for the oil on the driveway, too. The corn starch is very fine, and if left there, it pulls the oil from the surface through capillary action. After a few days, check it- remove the old stuff and reapply if need be.

On the driveway, just pour a pile on the oil and forget it. as the corn starch absorbs the oil, it gets carried away in the breeze. You shouldn't have to go back and sweep it up, and it works pretty darn good.

You won't ever get all of the oil out of wood, and it will always be stained. But, the corn starch will get deep enough down so that you won't break your tailbone falling on your [email protected]@ in the trailer on a slick floor.:
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-15-2008, 02:58 PM
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Just be careful with the water. I'm a builder and I know from jobsite experience that water destroys plywood by delaminating it.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 05:25 AM
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When you pressure wash and dry the ply in the same day I haven't had problems but others watching don't tilt the floor so it drains and let the water freeze...... a week later it did not look well.

I will have to try the cornstarch - just a little more than kitty litter or oil dry and the tree huggers ought have no problem with putting out bird food.

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