You call it the garage. Others might look and call it your junkyard. Or abandoned tool shed. Or construction site. Or horrible spider den. You pick. They’re probably only exaggerating a little.
It might be just a bit stained with grease and mud, or it might be a total mess of boxes, tools and toys. Either way, best shape up, because we are about to do some damage control. You’ll thank us in the morning.
The Floor :
Start with the bottom.
First, remove anything not nailed down and sweep out heavy dirt and debris.
For any fresh oil or grease stains, just sprinkle some kitty litter on top, and let it do its thing. Beyond that, you’re going to have to do some real cleaning.
If you have painted walls or low-hanging electrical outlets, best to cover the lower area of the walls with drop cloth to avoid damage or electrical shock. Then use laundry detergent, a deck brush and a garden hose (ideally, with a high pressure nozzle). Mix the detergent in a large bucket of warm water. 1/3 cup of our Hero Clean detergent to every gallon of water. Pour onto the floor and get scrubbing with your deck brush. If your floor is filthy, let the soapy solution sit for a few minutes and sink in before you start going to town.
Rinse it off with the hose. It’s important to work fast, because if the solution dries up before you rinse it off, you will be leaving contaminants behind in the dry concrete. Again, don’t use a push broom, use a cheap deck brush instead with short, stiff bristles and don’t be shy about putting in some serious scrubbing effort.
Rusty Tools and Furniture :
Metal + Moisture + Time = Rust. Maybe you didn’t ace calculus, but I think we can all agree on that. The rust will corrode your tools and outdoor furniture over time, and just make things look crappy. There’s a simple (and kinda tasty) DIY solution:
Sprinkle some salt on the rusty spots, and then squeeze on some lemon juice. Let it sit for 2 hours and scrub off with steel wool. If it’s a fragile object, you can use a softer brush or cloth, but you’re going to have to work harder to get the rust off.
For small items, you can also drop them in a bowl of vinegar overnight and scrub the rust off. Larger items can be wrapped in a vinegar-soaked rag and left overnight. To keep your tools safer in the future, spritz them with a light coat of WD-40 when you’re done, and wipe them clean. Rub a little linseed oil with a rag into any wooden components like handles.
Now to improve your situation for the future.
The easiest way to keep the garage tidy is to keep as much as possible off the floor. The cheapest and fastest method to doing so is to hang up a large pegboard. It’s easy to add hooks which can hold tools, garden supplies, etc. Even bikes and stepladders if you get sturdy ones. You can hang baskets from hooks to hold small tools, and plastic cups for markers, nails, etc. You can attach some long thin magnetic strips to hold small tools like drill bits easily without a big toolbox
Using as much vertical space as possible frees up the floor for parking (or breakdancing). It also gives bugs and dirt fewer places to hide.
Keeping your Car in One Piece :
Look, we’re not calling you a bad driver, but if your car tends to acquire dings and dents magically over time…you might want to hang a tennis ball from your garage ceiling so that it taps your windshield when you’re pulled in far enough. You could also attach a few bits of leftover scrap carpeting to the walls in the spots where an opened door might hit.