Garage Cleaning Hacks & Tips to Keep Your Garage Clean

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Imagine being able to park your car in your garage, and having space to exit the vehicle without bumping into things, or causing leaning towers to come tumbling down… For many of us, this seems like a scene from one of those inspiring yet completely unattainable Pinterest boards on how to clean out your garage. The good news is that this dream could in fact be made a reality with just a weekend—with some proper planning and elbow grease. In this post, we’ll show you how to clean out your garage before it turns into a landfill for all the sentimental things you don’t really want inside your home.

garage cleaning

Research has shown that nearly 30% of all Americans interviewed spend over seven hours a week on house cleaning. However, people who clean their garages can be categorised into one of two groups: one group already spends a lot of their time cleaning the garage, and they just want a few more tips on how to make the most of it. The other group tends to have an amazing house, but their garage looks like… well, like our garages at home do.

It’s okay, though. Here at Nationwide Auto Transportation we have what it takes to help you achieve the tidy garage of our dreams, whether you do this by yourself, or whether you use a cleaning service to organize your garage. Just as you don’t want random clutter around your home, keeping your garage organized will make your garage a neat extension of your home, rather than a glorified landfill.

Many of us put cleaning out the garage on the backburner, hoping that it doesn’t have to be a massive chore. If you plan cleaning your garage properly, you will alleviate many of the pitfalls that usually accompany this mammoth task. Keep on reading to learn how you can clean your garage floor, declutter, and create more suitable space for your specific needs..

Where to start?

Relocation can be stressful—even when you’re moving to your dream city across the country. But that’s not the only time when we have to clean out your garage. Redecorating, moving a kid to college, and many other life events can send you searching for house cleaning tips and hacks and services that clean your garage.

So whether you’ve just moved to a new home and you’re looking for  ideas to clean up your garage generally, to store a classic automobile, or prior to a relocation, or you’re trying to take control of your empty nest, keep on reading as we share garage cleaning hacks from house cleaners and other experts who know how to organize and keep your garage clean.

With that in mind, let’s tackle this process step-by-step:

Step #1: Start by removing everything from the garage and organizing it into piles

The best way to truly clean out and organize your garage, is to start with a fresh canvas—or a completely empty garage as the case may be. By removing the car and any other items from the walls, floors and ceiling, you will be able to see exactly what space you have available to work with. Remove any boxes, storage containers, or loose items. Now you have space to plan how you wish to organize your garage to make it more practical, neat, and clutter-free.

EXPERT TIP: Storing a vehicle in your garage for several months? Read our car storage guidelines to keep your baby safe.

Do you have any criteria for maintaining order in your garage? In many garages, we tend to collect boxes and boxes of unused items for years. If you consider how often you actually use it, you’d realize that you probably won’t ever use it again. This principle applies to old clothes, toys, tools and other items you have not used in a long time—i.e. clutter, which creates the perfect breeding ground for dust bunnies.

Figure out what you want to keep, sell, or give away. As part of the decluttering process, you’ll probably have four distinct piles: one for things you want to keep; one for things you want to recycle; one for items you want to sell; and one for items you want to give away. Perhaps it’s time for a garage sale. 

garage cleaning

We can’t tell you how to declutter your home in about an hour… But we CAN show you how to find things you’re looking for more quickly in future by installing creative storage solutions for your garage.

The amount and type of items you decide to keep in your garage will help you decide just how much stuff you need to be happy in life. Would you prioritize your vehicle over your “stuff”, or do you want to keep your garage, like your house, as clean and clutter-free as possible?

EXPERT TIP: Is cleaning your garage one of those tasks that will take a few weekends? In the meanwhile, consider hiring a moving container in which to store your stuff until you’re ready to move it back inside the garage.

Step #2:  Clean all surfaces in your garage properly

With the decluttering done, it’s time for a proper deep clean. In this step, we’ll give you some of the best house cleaning hacks and show you how to clean and protect your garage from insects and bugs all year round. 

  • Sweep and vacuum your garage, and wipe down any tables or surfaces using a multipurpose cleaner.
  • Scrub walls and ceilings with equal parts water and bleach to remove cobwebs and any insect debris. The bleach has disinfectant properties to help combat airborne particles from causing respiratory issues and it is extremely effective against mold.
  • Mix equal parts bleach with clean water, and use that to disinfect the walls and corners of the garage.
  • Place rodent and insect repellent around the garage to help keep infestations at bay.

The same house cleaning hacks and tips for the different rooms in the house apply to the garage as well. 

garage cleaning

Step #3: Clean your garage floor

Walking or driving into a garage with a clean floor is one of the most satisfying feelings, yet it seems unattainable to most of us. It also helps keep excess dust and grime from rust, paint, and oil away, alleviating bad smells and that horrible dirty garage feel. 

Wondering how to keep your stuff clean in the garage? It all starts with the basics. If you start with a clean structure and neat storage, it will be more likely to stay cleaner for longer. 

There are several things you can do to clean your garage floor. 

General Garage Floor Cleaning: If your garage floor is relatively clean (or tiled), you can simply mop it using a mixture of laundry detergent and hot water.

Grease and Oil Stains: How to clean your garage floor with super degreaser—Oil and grease are the hardest substances to remove from a garage floor, particularly if it is concrete. Grab some rubber gloves and protective glasses before using any chemicals to clean your garage floors. In order to remove it, you need to draw the actual stain out of the concrete using trisodium phosphate, paint stripper, or muriatic acid, and an absorbent material. Older stains may require multiple applications before all traces of the dirt are removed. You can always use an abrasive cleaner to scrub away the last stains from the concrete. 

Paint Splotches: Removing paint from garage floors—If your garage is well-ventilated and free-standing, you can always make fast work of the paint stains by using a methylene chloride stripper. Wear a respirator with an organic vapor cartridge if you’re trying to remove a potent stripper. If you have more time at your disposal, use a slower-action stripper, which will start working better with time.You might have to apply it in two coatings for best results.

Step #5: Consider a fresh coat of paint

If you own your home, consider adding a fresh coat of paint to the garage—but only after you have cleaned out the garage. 

Painting a garage is usually pretty straightforward—unless you’re remodeling the garage to use it for a different purpose which requires special paint or decorative aspects. You will need more specific information on how to clean out and organize your garage. 

Here’s how to do a basic painting:

First, apply an acid wash, fill any holes and seal cracks in the walls. Next, sand the walls before applying the new latext paint. 

This advice is relevant to the walls. If you decide to also paint the floors, it’s important to note the type of material it’s made of. That will also help you decide how to clean your concrete garage floor, or whether you should apply a cheap garage floor protector, or an epoxy floor coating. Once you’ve cleaned and or painted your garage, let it air out for a while. 

EXPERT TIP: Inspect the garage thoroughly once you have removed everything from the space. Look around all the edges and corners, and inspect the room for mold, moisture, and water damage. Also inspect the electrical aspects, making sure that there’s no chewed or exposed wires on the property. 

Step #6: Organize shelving and storage spaces

From wall shelves to hooks and freestanding shelving units, you can find amazing ideas online for storing items you regularly need, such as brooks, rakes, shovels, and similar items. Creative storage options include hooks, wall tracks, boxes, and shelves that help you make optimal use of your vertical space while at the same time providing attractive solutions to keep your toys, garden equipment and tools within easy reach. 

Things might not work exactly as you had envisaged, and that’s okay. Sometimes, you can repurpose your idea in a different way for even more practicality or aesthetic impact.

  • Flexible garage wall storage shelves require a solid mounting surface if you want to use it to store heavy equipment. 
  • Use a peg board to create vertical hanging space on the walls for bikes, tennis rackets, golf bags, and shovels.
  • Store your gardening equipment on a potting shelf. No space? No problem. Store it in a wheeled bucket or even in a wheelbarrow. 
  • Sliding bypass units and rollout shelves are not only versatile, but they also provide easy access to smaller items that would otherwise be easily misplaced. Insert a divider to scale the depth of your shelves.
  • Raise your recycling bins off of the ground to maximize floor space.
  • Wire shelving is a cheap and simple way to install flexible storage. Simply install the tracks, and then attach baskets as needed for all your loose items.
  • Create sections for your garage storage. For instance, designate a special area for garden equipment, while reserving a special car care cabinet to keep your baby clean and in tip-top shape. 
  • Install a long-handled tool holder to keep these tools easily accessible.

Looking for more tips? Family Handyman has created an amazing list of products to help you to maximise your overhead garage storage. 

Clean Up Your Garage: Frequently Asked Questions

Our curious readers often ask:

Q: How do you keep your car clean when you don’t have a garage?

A: It can be tricky to keep the exterior of your car clean if you don’t have a garage. The most practical way to keep your car clean without a garage is to invest in a car cover which you can use when the vehicle is not in use.

But we have you covered for the inside!

Q: Can cleaning hacks to make your house smell good also work for your car?

A: Of course! Most cleaning methods used in your home can easily be handled with minimal fuss 

Q: Is it possible to find services that clean your garage near Kenosha WI?

A: For sure! Check out Chris’ Cleaning Service.

Q: Where do I find services that help clean your garage in Riverside, CA?

A: Upkeep Angels offers 24/7 Hoarding Cleanup—the perfect solution for your messy garage.

A final word on garage cleaning…

Now that you know how to clean your garage floor (and the rest of the room) and how to keep your garage clean, there’s no excuse. Employ them in the garage to enjoy fresh, clean air that smells great all day long, and a clutter-free, organized garage.

Everyone has their own idiosyncrasies. We’d love to know in comments below: how do you clean your garage? 

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