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Garage Cleaning Tips – The Ultimate Guide

Is your garage overflowing with tools, lawn equipment, boxes of who-knows-what, and years of grime? It’s a common problem. The garage becomes a neglected dumping ground that gets progressively worse. Well, you can hire a cleaning service to help you with this, but know that there are ways to transform the space and make your garage functional again with these cleaning tips.

Table of Contents

Reasons to Clean Garage

Letting your car repair garage get too messy can cause a variety of headaches:

  • You can’t park your vehicles inside, exposing them to weather and theft.

  • Tools and supplies get buried in clutter, making it hard to find what you need.

  • Pests like mice can thrive in dark, dirty garages and enter your home.

  • Excess stuff piled up is a fire hazard.

  • Important items get damaged by dampness and dirt.

  • Tripping hazards from clutter can cause injury.

By thoroughly cleaning and organizing your garage, you’ll reclaim valuable space for parking and storage. Follow these garage cleaning tips to get rid of your garage back in shape.

Tip #1: Schedule a Garage Cleanout Day

Block out at least half a day on your calendar dedicated to cleaning your garage. Often a weekend day works best so family can assist. Having a solid chunk of time allows you to fully clean out your garage without distractions.

Aim to clean your garage at least once or twice a year. Spring and fall are ideal times to get organized. Make your garage cleanout an annual routine like spring cleaning.

Tip #2: Clear Everything Out

Start by removing everything from the garage: tools, sports equipment, boxes, gardening supplies, outdoor gear – anything that doesn’t permanently reside there. Take it ALL out.

This clears the space completely so you can clean every inch of the floors, walls, and ceilings. It also helps you see what you actually have so you can organize efficiently.

Place removable items into sorted piles:

  • Keep – Items used regularly

  • Donate/sell – Gently used goods to pass on

  • Trash – Broken or unneeded items

If you find any hazardous chemicals or combustible liquids, set those aside for proper disposal.

Tip #3: Sweep Garage Floors and Remove Cobwebs

Use a broom to sweep up dust, leaves, loose dirt,, and cobwebs. Make sure to sweep under steps, benches, and shelving. Remove all cobwebs from the ceiling and walls too.

Sweeping removes the loose debris so you can scrub the floors. Put all sweepings into trash bags. The entire garage itself should now be empty and swept clean.

Tip #4: Wash Down All Surfaces

After a few hours of clearing out and sweeping the garage, it’s time to give every surface a thorough cleaning.

Cleaning Garage Walls

  • Use an all-purpose cleaner diluted with warm water in a bucket. Dip cleaning rags to wipe down garage walls.

  • Remove layered dirt, cobwebs, dust, and any exhaust residue from the walls and ceiling.

  • For scrubbing power, attach a cleaning brush to a broom handle for hard-to-reach spots.

  • Rinse walls with a damp cloth or just water to remove any soapy residue.

Cleaning Garage Doors

  • Mix a degreasing cleaner with warm water in a bucket. Use a soft car brush to scrub.

  • Scrub the exterior and interior garage door to lift ground-in grime and oils.

  • Rinse the door thoroughly with a hose. Repeat cleaning for stubborn areas.

Cleaning Garage Floor

  • Sweep the floor thoroughly to remove loose debris.

  • Attach a scrub brush to a broom and use degreaser concentrate to scour oil stains.

  • Use a pressure washer or rental floor cleaner to deep clean concrete flooring.

  • Squeegee and sweep out water. Allow the floor to fully dry.

Cleaning Garage Windows

  • Clean interior and exterior window glass using glass cleaner or vinegar solution.

  • Scrub dirty window sills and frames with an all-purpose cleaner and rag.

  • Hose down exterior windows and screens to remove grime.

Washing every garage surface provides a like-new blank slate for optimal organization.

Tip #5: Organize Items Back Into the Garage

Now comes the fun part – returning items in an organized fashion.

As you organize items back into your clean garage, be sure to group similar things together into zones:

  • Parking zone – Keep a clear path free of clutter for easy vehicle access.

  • Workbench zone – Position frequently used tools within reach.

  • Sports gear zone – Use racks, shelving, and bins to organize items by sport.

  • Seasonal storage – Store infrequently used holiday items together.

  • Gardening zone – Keep rakes, shovels, and gloves together but separate from workshop tools.

  • Cleaning zone – Designate an area for brooms, vacuums, and cleaning products.

Thinking about usage patterns prevents oddly mixed objects. Designate areas based on function. Keeping items together also makes them faster to find later when you need to retrieve something. Signs or labels for each zone help identify where things belong.

Install shelving, cabinets wire shelves, and hooks to efficiently use wall space. Keep things you use often handy. Place overflow items up high or in labeled bins.

Tip #6: Hold a Garage Sale

One of the best ways to purge unwanted stuff accumulating in your garage is to hold a garage sale. This first yard sale allows you to make a little money while clearing out useful items others may want.

Preparing for Your Garage Sale

  • Plan well in advance and advertise with signs, social media, and community listings.

  • Gather items to sell from the garage along with anything else from the house you no longer need.

  • Clean items so they look presentable. Wipe off dusty sports gear, toolbox tools, etc.

  • Organize like items on tables – toys on one, books on another, household goods grouped together.

  • Label prices clearly on everything. Post general pricing signs that cover ranges.

  • Have small bills, change, and a lockbox on hand to collect cash.

  • Offer old boxes and bags for customers to cart away purchases.

Garage Sale Day Tips

  • Set up early in the morning and open by 8 or 9 am. Most sales last until mid-afternoon.

  • Greet customers warmly and offer assistance. Let them browse freely as well.

  • Adjust pricing downward toward the end to sell the remaining items.

  • Advertise bag sales like “Fill a box for $5” at the end to clear leftovers.

  • Have help to handle cash transactions while you engage customers.

With a successful garage sale, you can clear the clutter from messy garage, make useful items available to others, and earn extra cash.

Tip #7: Dispose of Chemicals and Liquids

Old gasoline, oil, paint thinners, cleaners, and pesticides need special disposal. Don’t just toss them in the trash. Call your local hazardous waste authority to find out how to safely dispose of dangerous chemicals.

Disposing of old chemical products removes a safety hazard from your garage. Always store chemicals properly in a locked cabinet away from kids.

Tip #8: Clean and Lubricate Garage Door

The garage door takes a beating from the weather, dust, and regular use. Keep it operating smoothly with periodic cleaning and maintenance.

  • Clean the tracks – Use a vacuum or brush to remove debris like leaves and cobwebs from the door tracks. Metal tracks should be free of dirt buildup.

  • Inspect rollers – Check that the nylon door rollers spin freely and don’t stick. Replace any worn-out or cracked rollers.

  • Lubricate rollers and hinges – Use garage door lubricant or silicone spray to keep rollers, hinges, and springs moving freely without squeaking and binding.

  • Tighten hardware – Check carriage bolts, hinges, handles, and track brackets. Tighten any loose screws or hardware.

  • Clean exterior – Use a car wash brush and mild detergent to scrub the outside of the door panels. Rinse the grime off thoroughly.

  • Touch-up paint – Spot paint any areas showing rust or wear to protect the steel door. Match the original factory paint color if possible.

  • Check weatherstripping – Replace cracked or missing bottom seals to prevent leaks and energy loss. Ensure a tight seal.

  • Inspect opener and sensors – Test the automatic opener while watching the sensor lights. Adjust alignment if needed. Lubricate opener chain.

Take 30 minutes twice a year to thoroughly inspect and service your garage door components. Proper lubrication and cleaning prevent more costly repairs down the road. Your door will open and close quietly while keeping your garage secure.

Tip #9: Install New Storage Systems

An important step in garage organization is making use of vertical wall space and getting items up off the floor with new storage units. There are many options to using vertical space to explore:

  • Wall-mounted panels like slatwall or pegboard allow you to hang frequently used tools, sporting goods, and garden tools on hooks neatly. This keeps essentials handy but out of the way.

  • Wall cabinets with doors enclose lower-use items or hazardous chemicals securely. Cabinets keep items tidy and free from dust.

  • Open shelving units are great for accessing larger gear like coolers, patio furniture, and cleaning supplies. Keep things you use seasonally within reach.

  • Overhead racks take advantage of ceiling space. You can store infrequently used items up high to keep them out of the way.

  • Tall storage lockers like wardrobes create an enclosed space for bulky out-of-season sports equipment, holiday decorations, or camping gear.

  • Drawers and small shelves corral all those little items like batteries, light bulbs, bungee cords, paint brushes, and other odds and ends.

When shopping for new garage storage systems, look for solidly constructed industrial-grade options. Shelves and cabinets take abuse in a garage, so they must be durable. Storage solutions designed for garages and workshops are a smart investment for protecting your gear long-term.

Tip #10: Maintain Garage Floor with Regular Cleaning

Don’t let your clean garage revert back to chaos! Do a sweepout each week. Wipe down tools and equipment after use before putting them away.

Keep trash from accumulating again. Check for expired chemicals or liquids to dispose of before they leak. Staying on top of the space preserves your clean garage.

Deep Garage Cleaning Checklist

For the best results, follow this detailed checklist on cleanout day:

  • Clear everything out and sort items into keep, sell/donate, and trash piles

  • Sweep floors thoroughly and remove cobwebs from walls/ceiling

  • Use an all-purpose cleaner to wipe down walls, doors, windows

  • Scrub the floor with a degreaser and let dry fully

  • Organize kept items neatly into zones – parking, workbench, sports, seasonal storage

  • Hold a garage sale to purge unneeded stuff

  • Safely dispose of old chemicals and combustible liquids

  • Lubricate and inspect garage door components

  • Install new organizing systems like shelves and wall cabinets

  • Finish with a final sweep of the floors to start fresh

  • Make a maintenance plan to prevent new clutter buildup

Follow these deep cleaning steps and garage organization tips to reclaim your space. With consistent upkeep, your tidy garage will function as intended for parking and storage.

Top 10 Garage Cleaning Tips

Follow this checklist of cleaning tips for a clutter-free, cluttered garage:

  1. Schedule seasonal garage cleanout days in spring and fall.

  2. Remove everything and sort piles – keep, sell, trash.

  3. Sweep floors and remove cobwebs thoroughly.

  4. Wash down all surfaces including walls, doors, and windows.

  5. Scrub the floor with a concentrated degreaser.

  6. Organize items back neatly into zones.

  7. Hold a garage sale to purge unneeded stuff.

  8. Dispose of old chemicals and liquids properly.

  9. Clean and lubricate garage door components.

  10. Add new storage systems and maintain them with regular cleaning.

To Sum Up

Cleaning out a garage full of years of accumulated stuff can feel overwhelming. But breaking the process down into straightforward steps makes it more manageable. Follow these essential garage cleaning tips to fully transform the space from out-of-control to organized.

Then implement a regular maintenance routine to keep the pile up so it doesn’t revert back to a mess again. With some time and elbow grease, you can reset your garage to function as a clean, usable storage and parking zone once more.

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