Your garage is home to lots of essential things in your home, like your cars, your gardening tools, workbenches, and much more. As such, you’ll spend more time in there than you’d think. The problem is garages are especially prone to some funky odors. If you can’t deal with the smell in there anymore, you’ll need to identify and deal with the source of the smell. Here’s how to freshen up a stinky garage
What Makes A Stinky Garage?
You wouldn’t think a garage would start smelling, as they’re not living in spaces. However, there are lots of things that can start making it smell less than pleasant.
There can be issues like your sink drains or garbage cans, mold and mildew, cleaning product fumes, and a lot more. If you want to deal with whatever is causing the smell, you’ll need to track the culprit down first.
How To Tackle The Smell In Your Garage
If you know what’s causing a stinky garage, then you’ll be able to start handling it right away. If you can’t find it, it’s worth going through these steps to weed out the most common causes.
- Clean out the garage: As it’s a garage, it’s likely to become a storage area for all kinds of things. Whether it’s sporting goods or paint cans, your first step should be to give it a really good tidy up. Once you’ve removed any items that don’t need to be in your garage, you’ll find it easier to start cleaning and tackling the source of the smell.
Go through all the items in there, and remove anything that’s past its prime or no longer needed. For example, old cleaning products, paints, and other substances should be thrown out. For things like paint, motor oil, and other potentially dangerous substances, ensure you’re disposing of them safely.
- Change up your storage: Many people tend to use cardboard boxes to store things in their garages. It makes sense in theory, as they’re easy to come by and stack up. However, cardboard is a strong contender for creating that smell in your garage, as it absorbs moisture and will become moldy over time.
As such, you’ll want to look at changing how you store items in your garage. Buy some plastic totes and containers, as they will resist moisture and last longer overall.
- Clean up pet supplies: Many homeowners will put pet supplies in the garage, as they want to avoid the smells making their way into their homes. The only problem is they’ll simply start making your garage smell too. If your dog’s bed or cat’s kitty litter is making the garage smell, you’ll want to address it.
The key is to keep on top of cleaning, just as you would if these items were in the house. Wash bedding regularly, and clean out kitty litter daily to ensure that your garage doesn’t smell of your pet over time.
- Take a look at floor drains: If you’re getting a sewage smell in your garage, then the culprit is more likely the floor drain. As these aren’t used very often, the water in them evaporates, allowing that smell to come in.
You can stop this from happening by pouring ¾ of a cup of mineral oil down the drain. This doesn’t evaporate as fast as water, so you’ll be able to keep the smell out for longer. If you’re still getting the sewer smell after doing this, then it’s likely that your drain doesn’t have a trap. You can stop the smell by laying heavy plastic over the drain and taping down all but one side. That way, water can still get in, but the smell is mostly blocked.
Clean out the garage: Now that you’ve addressed most sources of bad odors in your garage, you can get to cleaning. Giving the whole room a good cleaning with bleach will help a lot to stop them. To use bleach, it should be one cup of chlorine bleach in a gallon bucket of water. You can then clean down both the walls and floors with it and get them clean.
As you do this, ensure that you have all the windows and doors open to ensure you have proper ventilation, and keep them open to let the room dry out. This will keep you safe as you clean the garage.
Preventing Smells In Your Garage
As the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure. There are steps that you can take to keep the bad odors in your garage from coming back.
- Keep garbage out of the garage: If you can, keep your garbage in cans outside your home. If you have to keep the cans in the garage, ensure they have lids that seal tightly.
- Install a ventilation system: A good ceiling fan or ventilation system will go a long way towards ensuring bad smells don’t keep coming back into your garage.
- Check the shelves regularly: It’s a good idea to go through the items you keep in your garage regularly to see if anything has spoiled or gone past its use by date. That should prevent a lot of bad smells.
- Move hazardous chemicals: Some items, such as paint, oils, and so on, are going to release volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, into the air. If you move them into a shed in your backyard, you can avoid the smells and potential health hazards that they can create.
- Try an odor absorber: There are several different materials that can work to remove odors from the atmosphere. You can try setting out fresh kitty litter, white vinegar, or activated charcoal to do this in your garage.
The Bottom Line
Several things can cause a stinky garage. Use this guide to narrow down what is causing those odors, and remove them from your garage as soon as possible. If your garage needs maintenance or repairs, Your Garage Door Guys are ready to help! We are available in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.