How to Clean Your Garage From Top to Bottom
Your garage is often forgotten about when you clean your house and that allows it to get cluttered and disorganized. Plus, if it’s not properly maintained, it could hurt your home’s curb appeal. But you might not be sure how to clean your garage properly.
That’s where we come in. We have a few ideas that will help you get your garage looking its best both inside and outside. Let’s get started.
Start With the Outside
Let’s start with the outside of your garage. It takes up a huge portion of your house so the last thing you want is for it to look terrible. However, different materials and styles have unique ways of being cleaned.
We’ll go over everything you need to know about cleaning the outside of your garage in the sections below.
Get Your Siding Sparkling Clean
If your garage is made of vinyl siding, you’re in luck. Vinyl siding is extremely easy to clean and maintain. You’ll need to wash it once per year and it’s a very simple process.
Start by watering the plants and grass around your garage. This is so they don’t absorb any chemicals (if you use chemical cleaner) and they won’t die.
Next, you need to pick a vinyl siding cleaner. There are many options available at hardware or department stores or you can create your own. The natural solution requires you to mix 70% water, 30% vinegar. If you need something stronger, mix 1 quarter of bleach for every one gallon of water.
Now, work in 5 by 5 foot squares from top to bottom so dripping doesn’t ruin already cleaned patches. Spray the solution and let it soak for 5-10 minutes. Then rinse it down with the hose. For harder to reach areas, you can use a power washer because vinyl siding is extremely durable.
Some stains may be stuck on and require a little more work. That’s when you need to get a bristle brush and scrub the stains out. Eventually, it will loosen and come off.
How to Clean Bricks
However, not all garages have a vinyl siding exterior – brick is another common style of home cladding. Brick also needs to be cleaned differently than vinyl siding and we’ll show you how.
The best way to clean a brick exterior is with bleach and a power washer. You’ll start by making a solution of 50% water and 50% bleach. Using a mop or brush, apply the solution to a 5 by 5 foot section of your garage.
Then, using a more finely tipped brush, scrub the mortar and loosen any stuck on grime. This is to ensure that the mortar isn’t skipped in the process.
Now that the solution is applied, use a power washer to knock off any grime and clean your bricks. The mix of bleach and power washer is sure to get your brick garage looking gorgeous in no time.
Wash Your Windows Like a Pro
Many homeowners have windows on their garage and those need to be cleaned as well. Much like vinyl siding, vinyl windows are extremely easy to clean and maintain. The frames and sills only need to be wiped down every couple of months to maintain their luster.
The screens are pretty easy to clean as well. You’ll need to remove them from the window, vacuum them to remove dust and dirt and then scrub them with soap water to eliminate hard to remove stains.
Each window style has a unique way of having the glass cleaned. For instance, double hung windows tilt into your home in order to reach both sides. Also, casement windows can be opened far enough to reach both sides and sliding window sashes can be removed from the frame to clean both sides.
You can also power wash vinyl windows to get them clean. This is important if you have a lofted garage or garage apartment and there’s an inoperable window on the second level. You won’t have to climb a ladder to get it clean.
Aluminum windows are also pretty easy to maintain and keep clean but have one major problem: they scratch, dent and ding very easily. You’ll need to make sure they remain protected which could be hard in Chicago where extreme weather is a normal occurrence.
Wood windows will require a little more work than vinyl and aluminum. Since they warp and rot when exposed to moisture, you’ll need to focus on maintaining them. Plus, they need to be painted and stained every few years to keep their luster.
Don’t Forget Your Garage Door
A steel garage door is very easy to maintain because it don’t absorb moisture or get dented easily. You can power wash it a couple times per year or scrub it with soapy water.
Wood garage doors, like wood windows, have many problems associated with them when it comes to cleaning. Moisture is absorbed so you’ll need to make sure your garage door doesn’t begin to warp and rot. Also, painting is essential when the door starts to wear down.
Your Gutters Need Cleaning Too
The gutters of your garage are extremely important. They lead water away from your garage and prevent damage to the walls and foundation. However, if they’re not cleaned properly, they won’t be able to do their job.
Every six months you’ll need to clean your gutters. It sounds like a pain but it makes a world of difference and it isn’t that hard. Start by going around the gutters and pulling out any large clumps of dirt and debris.
Once large blockages are removed you can go through and rinse everything away with a hose down the downspout. This should remove any extra dirt and grime out before it starts to build into something much worse.
If there are stuck on stains, you can use a brush to loosen them before using the hose to rinse it all away. While cleaning your gutters is one of the most hated chores, you’ll hate the cost of foundation damage even more.
Time to Start Cleaning the Inside of Your Garage
You may think you know how to clean your garage but we’re just getting started. We haven’t even talked about the inside yet which has it’s own things you need to know.
Sort Through All of Your Stuff
Part of learning how to clean your garage is organizing it. Many homeowners get carried away storing useless junk in their garage and it becomes a cluttered and disheveled mess. Garage organization is crucial to having a clean garage.
Start by sorting everything into three piles: keep, donate and garbage. Items you keep should be things that you use or can see yourself using in the next 6 months. If it’s just collecting dust, there’s no need to have it.
If an item is in good condition but you no longer need it, you should consider donating it. Someone less fortunate will be able to use that item and it will make them extremely happy. Everything else that’s not in the best condition should end up in the garbage.
Organizing your garage will open up more space making it look much better. Plus, the extra space will allow you to use your garage in other ways such as a gym, workshop or living space.
Be Careful What You Store in Your Garage and How It’s Stored
When you’re cleaning your garage, you may find some items that shouldn’t be stored in there. Some are unsafe while others attract animals and pests into your home. We’ll go over a few items you shouldn’t store in your garage here:
- Food or canned goods: they can attract animals into your home. It also puts the food at risk of going stale
- An extra refrigerator: not only does it take up a ton of space, but it’ll end up costing you a ton of money on electricity
- Paint: it’ll dry out and be unusable
- Propane or gas: you’re putting yourself at risk of an explosion
- Electronics: the extreme heat and cold can damage them to the point of being unusable
- Linens: They’re a great way to conceal mites and pests
The items that are safe to be in your garage should be stored properly. Leaving a bike or tools laying around is just asking to stub a toe, trip or break something. Not to mention, they unnecessrily take up space.
The goal is to have useful and creative garage storage ideas. Look for cabinets and containers that can go along your walls. You can also hang your tools on the wall so they’re out of the way and easy to find.
Don’t forget about roof storage. There are many ways to store items from the roof of your garage which can effectively double the amount of space you have.
Take Care of Your Garage Floor
The floor of your garage faces many obstacles and perils – from oil spills to cracks from the weight of your car. They can also get extremely dirty and dusty because they’re the bridge between the inside of your home and the outside. We’ll show you how to clean your garage floor.
Start by sweeping your floor to remove any lose dirt, dust and hair. Once everything is removed, scrub it down with soap and water. This will make sure your floor looks its best.
If you have concrete floor, make sure there are no cracks in the foundation. If there are any, you’ll need to fix them immediately.
Concrete also absorbs oil which means a spill could stain your floor. There are ways to remove it which you can read about it our how to remove oil stains from concrete article.
There are many different garage floor styles that require less work. For instance, epoxy allows oil to just slide right off. It’s extremely easy to clean and looks stunningly beautiful.
Floor mats are another great way to cover up concrete flooring. There are many different styles that offer different functionality and pricing. It’s a great way to keep your garage foundation safe from wear and tear. They also make cleaning much easier since you can take them outside and rinse them off.
Paint Any Parts of the Walls That Need a Touch Up
You want the walls of your garage to look their best. You’re probably wondering how to clean your garage walls. It’s simpler than you think. Start by wiping them down and removing any dust.
Once they’re clean, you may notice that the walls are scuffed or the paint is chipping. In that case, you’re going to need to repaint and patch up areas of your garage walls. Make sure you get the right color otherwise it’s going to be very obvious you need to repaint and it’s going to look terrible.
It’s Easy to Learn How to Clean Your Garage
It’s not hard to learn how to clean your garage – the key is to clean both inside and outside. The outside of your garage will help improve your home’s curb appeal while the inside will improve your garage’s functionality and open up more options for usage.
Sometimes cleaning your garage isn’t enough and you can’t repair damages. That’s when it’s time for a new garage and Danley’s is here to help. We have been building garages for Chicago homeowners since 1959. Get a free quote now and start your garage building project today.