How to Spring-Clean Your Garage

Spring cleaning the garage can be a rather daunting task—especially if you haven’t cleaned it much for most of last year. The last thing you want is for all your hard work and time to end up wasted with not-so-rewarding results. Let us help ensure that doesn’t happen.

Here are 8 ways to ensure a thorough garage spring cleaning:

1. Prepare a cleaning checklist.

This list is your plan of attack. It should ensure that you pull off this rather huge task without a hitch. This also allows you to shop in advance for things you will need for better storage, whether you’re just getting additional boxes and shelves or doing a quick DIY custom build of a floor-to-ceiling shelf to optimize available space.

2. Have all the materials you need.

Generally, you’ll be needing these:

• Gloves
• Face masks
• A shop vacuum (preferable to the broom-dustpan combo)
• A step ladder
• Baking soda
• Liquid soap
• A scrub brush (preferably a nylon thistle brush)
• A nonabrasive sponge and clean towels
• A bucket
• Trash bags
• Storage supplies

3. Determine your organization/re-organization strategy.

Now you can re-organize your garage if you intend to use it for more than just storing things and as a shelter for your vehicle/s. For example, maybe you’re going to turn part of it into a home office, a gym, a hobby or craft room, a greenhouse, etc. Determining what else you want to use your garage for allows you to pick out and prepare the best spot for when you’re ready to take on this project.

Now would also be a great time to repaint your walls and ceiling if you’ve been meaning to do so.

4. Clear and air out the space.

Take everything outside so you can clean your garage much quicker and more efficiently. While you’re at it, you’re also airing out the place. Consider setting up a tarp outside. Better yet, you can use your carport or covered driveway, if you have either, to keep your stuff out of the sun/rain.

5. Declutter/organize.

Prepare boxes for things that fall under these categories: KEEP, THROW, RECYCLE, DONATE, etc. When it’s time to put your things back in, only those that you will still be using should make it back to your garage, in their designated labeled box or spot on the shelf.

6. Dust and sweep/vacuum.

Get rid of the dust before doing any cleaning that involves water. Wipe down all surfaces, from desktops or tabletops to shelves. For the best result, work your way from the top down. Sweep all the dirt and debris outside. Or you can vacuum instead, preferably using a shop vacuum, which is capable of picking up things like nails or small scraps of wood.

7. Clean the floor.

Get rid of the stains that have accumulated on the floor, oil and rust being the two most common. With the stains gone, your floor will not only look brighter and fresher, but it will also take longer to wear. To avoid scratching the concrete, use a nylon bristle brush.

Your best options for removing stains include:

Dish soap or laundry detergent for oil stains. Allow it to soak for 45 minutes before adding water and scrubbing. If you have to scrub two or more times to remove the stains, let the soap sit for 10 to 15 minutes in between scrubs.

White vinegar for rust stains. Allow soaking for about ten minutes before scrubbing. Multiple scrubbings are also likely required.

Water and laundry detergent with a baking soda base. Let the solution sit on the stain for at least an hour. You’ll need to watch to make sure it doesn’t dry out and be ineffective.

1/2 cup of baking soda + 1 gallon of warm water for general cleaning. This solution gives you an effective cleaner. Add a few drops of liquid soap to make it more effective in removing light stains.

A paste made with baking soda and a few drops of dish soap. This gives you a more concentrated solution for spot cleaning.

8. Clean the door and windows.

Cleaning your garage door keeps the rust away and keeps the finish on longer. Just be sure you don’t scratch your paint or the windows:

• Use non-abrasive, non-solvent-based, and non-ammoniated cleaners.
• Use a non-abrasive sponge and a clean cloth.
• Keep squeegees, razor blades, or other sharp tools from scratching the windows or the paint.
• Use mild dishwashing soap and a soft cloth instead of a power washer.

For steel garage doors, don’t forget to apply wax for a layer of protection against fading paint, scratches, and abrasions.

In addition to making sure your car is in great condition, make sure it’s kept in a clean and uncluttered garage. It’s not a bad idea to clean your garage more regularly as well!

For great savings when it comes to repairs and maintenance, check out EverCare’s products, including our vehicle service contract packages if your manufacturer’s warranty is expiring soon.

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