For many folks, the idea of cleaning a garage seems rather unnecessary. Other than making a quick sweep once in a while, there doesn’t seem to be any point in further efforts. While the occasional sweep is better than nothing, keeping a garage clean can benefit what is stored in the garage, including a car if one is parked there. Furthermore, if the garage is located adjacent to the home, keeping a garage clean can cut down on dirt tracked in as well as dust and pollen levels. And, believe it or not, a clean garage will bring a level of satisfaction just as a clean home does.
Where to begin when cleaning a garage is a question to consider. Assuming the garage has been organized as suggested in part one of this mini-series, the actual cleaning can begin with a good sweep, followed by washing the floor. Usually, garage floors are cement so a mild, soapy solution applied on a mop or sponge is good. Then rinse the floor and let it dry. Some people would ask why to start with the floor as in a home cleaning usually begins from the top and works down. A garage, however, has most of its dirt and dust on the floor and if left to the end of cleaning much of this will settle back on shelves and items stored.
Once the floor is clean and dried, the shelves and tops of storage containers can be wiped with a damp cloth. Depending on what is stored on the shelves will determine if items there need to be wiped down as well. Look for areas such as ridges along the garage door, around light switches, entrance doors, and open walls where dust and sometimes stains collect. Clean these areas using a cleaning solution. Cleaning solutions can be purchased or made at home. Mixing a little vinegar and lemon works well while using baking soda on areas that need a light abrasive.
To finish the job of cleaning your garage, use an air freshener with a scent you like. Depending on the size of your garage, you can hang one or two air freshener strips to keep the garage smelling fresh. Another good idea for keeping a garage as a good place to store items, especially if you live in an area where there is high humidity, is to use products that absorb moisture. Placing several containers of moisture-absorbing chemicals around the garage will help control humidity. Another tip to help keep humidity down, if you park your car in the garage, is to keep several old beach towels handy and do a quick wipe-down of your vehicle when it is covered with rain or snow.
As with other household tasks, you will find that once you organize and clean your garage, you can easily keep it that way by putting things where they belong as you use them, followed by the occasional cleaning. You should be pleasantly surprised how much you will enjoy using your garage and how well items stored in plastic totes will stay in good condition and be easy to find as the totes will be labeled.