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Start your spring cleaning ritual in the garage

With February finally coming to a close, it means that the dark, cold and dreary days of winter will soon be a thing of the past. Instead of ice-covered roads that make driving unbearable, the concrete will soon thaw, and the muscle cars and convertibles that have been shacked up all winter in the garage will soon be able to yet again hit the streets.

Most people who own collectors cars keep their rides in storage during the winter for a number of reasons. Not only are road conditions generally averse to joy-riding during this time of year – even four-wheel drive vehicles have trouble handling some winter roads – but it’s hard to keep a car looking pretty during this time of year. Snow and freezing rain, for example, have a tendency to leave a nasty white film over your car’s paint job. On top of that, the salt used by plows and sanders during big winter storms to melt the white stuff can be downright corrosive for many older cars – this is exactly why there are so few Datsun’s still on the road today.

While you may have been keeping your car locked up for winter to protect it from the elements, that doesn’t mean it was immune to all damage while sitting idle in your garage. All good muscle car owner surely knows better than to not pay their ride a visit over the winter months to make sure it’s still in working order – after all, who wouldn’t pass up some quality time inspecting their prized whip. However, there may have been a few developments that you overlooked while your ride was away in storage that actually involved your car causing damage to the garage.

For example, your ride might have had a few leaks before it went into storage that may not have been noticeable last fall but have certainly made themselves apparent in the months since. A leak of any size, whether that is a busted oil line, spilt antifreeze or any other of the many fluids you put into your car, is a serious matter. Sometimes, though, we learn about these leaks the hard way when we finally pull the car out of the garage and there are big chemical stains on the ground.

Do some spring cleaning in your garage now that the weather has improved. If you notice a oil on the ground once you have pulled your car out, go to the pet store and pick up a big bag of cat litter. Cover the spill completely with the litter and let it sit overnight so that all of the oil is thoroughly absorbed. Be sure to warn family members, and pets, of your plan so that they don’t accidentally remove it.

The next day, sweep up all of the cat litter or sawdust and put it into a secure trash bag. Different states have different rules about disposing oil as it is considered hazardous waste, so look into local regulations before just throwing this highly flammable substance in the trash or compost.

To clean up the residual mess, go at the stain hard using a mixture of dish soap and a high-intensity steel sponge or brush. Since water and oil don’t mix, you shouldn’t need to invest in any special chemicals to remove the stain, as this simple solvent will do the job – assuming you use enough elbow grease.

Spring cleaning doesn’t end with the floor of the garage, as you should take advantage of the good weather to empty out the entire space. It’ll help you reorganize the garage for the warm weather, probably identify a few items that you can dispose of to clear space and make the place an overall more effective workspace.

Do you have any spring cleaning tips to share? Leave your thoughts below:

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By Death Writer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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