Your Ultimate Garage Spring Clean Guide

If you’re like most homeowners, your garage is a prized possession that protects your car from the elements. However, over time, it can become a cluttered mess filled with tools, toys, and other odds and ends. Additionally, the garage can accumulate oil drips, rust, and dust, making it a dirty and uninviting space.

To restore order and cleanliness to your garage, follow our step-by-step ultimate garage cleaning guide. With our expert advice and practical tips, you’ll be able to transform your garage into a functional and organized space that you’ll be proud to show off to your neighbors.

Step 1: Clear It Out the Garage

To make cleaning your garage easier, start by emptying it out. Choose a day with good weather and remove all cars from the garage. Move all storage boxes, gardening tools, furniture, toys, sports equipment, and any other clutter into the driveway. If your garage has windows, take down any window treatments to clean separately.

Step 2: Start from the Top

To effectively clean a room, start from the top and work your way down. Begin by using a broom or duster with an extendable handle to remove cobwebs and dust from the ceiling, walls, window frames, shelving, and work surfaces. Don’t forget to clean rafter beams and light fixtures. It’s recommended to use a disposable duster with plenty of refills to capture all the dust. Once you’re done, use a push broom or shop vac to capture all the dust and debris on the floor.

Step 3: Clean Walls, Windows, and Work Surfaces

When it comes to cleaning your garage, it’s important to start with the walls, windows, and work surfaces. A solution of warm water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a bucket can be used to wash these areas. Fill a second bucket with plain water to rinse away soapy residue.

To clean the walls, start at the top and work in a small area using a sponge, microfiber cloth, or mop. Rinse the cloth frequently and replace the cleaning and rinsing water often. Once the space is clean, rinse it with clean water and move on to the next space. This method can be used to clean the inside and outside of the garage door, the door leading to your home, shelves, and work surfaces.

Cleaning windows is easy with a solution of one cup of water and one cup of isopropyl (rubbing alcohol) in a spray bottle. Use a microfiber cloth that won’t leave lint for a streak-free shine and don’t forget to clean any windows on the doors. Work in small sections and wipe in a circular motion for best results.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your garage is clean and tidy, making it a more pleasant and functional space for all of your needs.

Step 4: Clean the Floor

After sweeping the garage floor to get rid of any dust and debris, it’s time to give it a thorough cleaning. Depending on the type of floor you have, there are different cleaning guidelines to follow.

For an epoxy or rubber tile floor, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines. This will ensure that you don’t accidentally damage the floor while cleaning it.

If you have an untreated concrete floor, you can mix a solution of warm water and a cleaner that contains a degreaser. Dishwashing liquid works well for this purpose. Simply follow the product label directions for the correct amount of cleaner to use.

Starting in a back corner, use a mop to spread the solution on a section of the floor and let it sit for at least 10 minutes to start working. Then, use a nylon, stiff-bristled scrub mop to clean the floor. Rinse with a mop or garden hose and repeat the steps until you have cleaned the entire floor. Allow the floor to air dry before moving cars and other items back inside.

If you have an unpainted, concrete garage floor, you can use a power washer to make quick work of cleaning it.

Sometimes, even after cleaning, stains may remain on the floor. Here are some tips to remove tough stains:

  • Oil: Place a thick layer (at least two inches) of kitty litter or sawdust on the stain. Let it sit for 24 to 48 hours before sweeping or vacuuming away. Scrub the area with an undiluted degreaser and rinse well. Repeat the steps until the stain is gone.
  • Rust: Apply an oxalic acid-based cleaner (Rust Away, CLR, Bar Keepers Friend) directly onto the stain. Follow the label directions and scrub with a nylon-bristled brush before rinsing well. Never use chlorine bleach on rust stains, because it can permanently set the stains.
  • Mold and Mildew: In a plastic bucket or spray bottle, mix one part chlorine bleach in two parts water. Apply the solution to the mildewed area and let it work for at least 15 minutes. Rinse well. Wear eye protection and ventilate the space well.

Step 5: Make Any Repairs

After cleaning your garage, it’s essential to inspect it for any signs of insect or rodent activity, mold, or broken fixtures. Consider adding wall storage to maximize space. Replace any burnt-out light bulbs and make necessary repairs. Schedule appointments with home repair experts or pest control companies if needed.

Step 6: Declutter and Organize

Now that you have sorted through your garage items and decided what to keep, donate, or toss, it’s time to organize what’s left. Start by getting rid of any cardboard boxes and replacing them with clear plastic storage bins. Label the bins clearly or use opaque ones with visible labels. This will make it easier to find what you need in the future.

Consider storing similar or seasonal items together to keep your garage organized. Look for ways to add wall storage for tools and gardening items to save floor space. When organizing, keep in mind that most garages are not climate-controlled spaces. During the summer months, temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees Fahrenheit higher than inside your home and much colder during the winter. Therefore, it’s important to never store electronics, photographs, delicate fabrics, or temperature-sensitive items in an unconditioned garage.

Before bringing items back into the garage, make sure to clean them off outside in the driveway and let them dry completely. By following these simple steps, you can transform your cluttered garage into a well-organized space that will make your life easier.