To effectively get rid of dust in the garage, and keep it out, first figure out whether it’s coming from inside or outside the garage. In most cases, it’s both.
In this post, I explain the most common sources of dust and particulates in a garage and give you tips on how to get rid of garage dust and keep it from building up again.
What You'll Learn Today
- Why Is My Garage So Dusty?
- How To Keep Your Garage From Getting Dusty
- How to Get Rid of Garage Dust: A 3-Step Cleaning Guide
Why Is My Garage So Dusty?
Where is all the dust coming from?
The source of garage dust can be a mystery if you often keep the garage door closed and don’t do a lot of DIY work in the garage.
But dust and particulates can come from lots of different places, including inside the garage. Here are five possible reasons why your garage is dusty.
It’s Blowing In From Outside
The first thing to check is whether the dust is blowing in from outside. If you often leave the garage door open, then that could be the reason you are getting so much dust buildup in the garage.
If the door and windows are closed most of the time, there could be other entry points for the dust. The most common one is under the garage door. This happens when you have a missing or worn out seal.
Also check other possible entry points around the garage such as a window that doesn’t fully close or vent openings that lead to the outside.
Vehicles & Equipment
Don’t underestimate how much dust your vehicle tracks in from outside. And not just on the tires; there could also be fine dust on the body of the car that transfers to other surfaces in the garage.
Other equipment like the lawn mowers, gardening tools, leaf blower and power tools can also make your garage dusty.
Unsealed Concrete Floor
An unsealed concrete floor is one of the most common sources of dust in a garage. Over time, a concrete floor that is not sealed will produce fine cement dust.
The dust not only makes the garage dirty, it is also a health risk.
While you can make do with an unsealed concrete floor by vacuuming and cleaning it often, the best solution is sealing it or adding an epoxy coating.
If the garage concrete floor is already sealed but you are still finding concrete dust on surfaces, it is likely that the sealing has worn off or it was poor quality.
It’s time to reseal again with a penetrating concrete sealer.
Supplies & Products
Supplies and products like potting coil, cement bags, and sand can all contribute to a dusty garage. This usually happens when you leave opened bags and containers in the garage.
Go round the garage checking anys supplies that are not stored in tightly sealed bags or containers. Proper storage prevents dust buildup in the garage and also protects these supplies from damage from things like moisture and rodents.
Your HVAC system is not adding dust into your garage, but it could be making the garage dustier than it should be.
If you haven’t cleaned or changed the filters in a long time, the filtration system becomes less effective at pulling dust particles out of the air. So dust settles on shelves, equipment and other surfaces.
Remember that a clogged HVAC system also uses more power, adding to your energy costs.
How To Keep Your Garage From Getting Dusty
Before you get started cleaning the garage, first fix whatever it is that’s causing all the dust. This ensures that once you clean the garage, it doesn’t get dusty all over again.
Hopefully, you’ve already figured out where the dust is coming from. Here are some of the best solutions for reducing dust in your garage.
1. Check The Door Seals
Check whether the door seals are letting in air from outside. Garage door seals last 2-3 years. But you should carry out a quality check once or twice a year.
If you can feel a breeze coming through the bottom or sides of the closed door, then the seals are likely letting in dust. Also, check for any cracked, brittle or missing section of the seal.
It’s best to hire a garage door company to inspect your door and replace the seal plus any other worn out parts. But you can also do it yourself. Here’s a video showing the entire process.
2. Change the HVAC Filter
If you have AC or HVAC in your garage, check the condition of the filter. If it’s all dirty and clogged, it could be one of the reasons there’s lots of dust in your garage.
Replace or clean the filter (depending on the type of filter and what the manufacturer recommends).
Do the same if you are using a portable air conditioner or air filter. And from now onwards, remember to replace or clean the filter at the recommended intervals.
Generally, you should replace your HVAC or AC filter every 3 months. Do it sooner if you live in a dusty place or often do your DIY projects like carpentry in the garage.
3. Get an AC, Air Purifier or Filtration System
If you don’t have a filtration or climate control system in your garage, then there’s nothing taking away dust and particulates.
This causes dust to build up quickly.
It’s not a good idea to extend your home central air conditioning system to your garage. It can cause pressurization issues in the rest of the house and dangerous fumes from the garage can travel back into the house.
Instead, add a dedicated AC system such as a mini split or a portable AC. If you don’t need cooling and are only interested in keeping the air dust-free, get an air purifier or a filtration system for the garage.
4. Seal or Coat The Concrete Floor
If you have an unsealed concrete floor that’s creating hazardous cement dust, you have two options.
One, you could seal the concrete floor. This is the most affordable solution. Get a good quality sealer that penetrates deep into the concrete.
Sealing concrete not only stops dust, it also prevents stains, chemicals and moisture from penetrating into the floor.
The second more expensive option is coating the floor with epoxy. An epoxy coating is hardy and durable. It can withstand heavy equipment, your vehicle’s weight, tire and oil stains, heat and so much more.
It also keeps the concrete floor from chipping or breaking up into fine particulates.
5. Keep Equipment Clean
Clean any tool or piece of equipment before you bring it into the garage. This is especially important for things like gardening tools that get really dirty.
If your car is very dirty, pass through a car wash or wash it yourself in the driveway before you take it inside the garage.
6. Keep Supplies Sealed
Store all supplies and products in the garage in sealed bags or containers. As I mentioned earlier, this reduces dust buildup and protects things like potting soil, cement, and sand from damage by moisture, chemicals, rodents and so on.
7. Vacuum Often
No matter what you do, it’s impossible to completely keep dust out of the garage. The aim of the tips I’ve outlined above is to reduce how much and how quickly dust accumulates.
Something else you should do to keep the garage dust-free is vacuum often. Note that I said vacuum, not sweep.
Sweeping is a bad idea as it’s more likely to disperse fine dust into the air rather than pick it up. Vacuuming, in contrast, picks up even tiny dust particles.
For areas that are hard to vacuum like shelves, wipe them often with a damp cloth.
How to Get Rid of Garage Dust: A 3-Step Cleaning Guide
After fixing whatever it is that’s making your garage dusty, do a thorough cleaning from top to bottom. I recommend this 3-step process.
Tip: Remove your car and any equipment and tools from the garage to make it easier to clean every inch. This also gives you an opportunity to clean any dusty items before bringing them back inside.
First, sweep the floor (it’s okay to sweep just this once since other surfaces are also dusty) and collect any loose debris.
Also pick up any small parts like bolts and screws and either dispose of them or store them properly. This is also a great opportunity to declutter your garage.
The second step is vacuuming, ideally using a shop vac. If you don’t have one, you can rent it locally. Vacuum all the surfaces you can reach including the shelves and walls.
Third and finally, wipe down surfaces with a wet cloth to pick up any remaining dust. For shelves, containers and other small surfaces, you can use a damp microfiber cloth.
For the floor, a mop is perfect.
Add a mild detergent to the water for a cleaner floor. If you have stains on the floor, use baking soda and vinegar to get rid of them. For tough oil or chemical stains, use commercial stain and grease removers like TSP.