Whether you are considering converting all or part of your garage or if you are tired of your clothes smelling like oil and grease, eliminating the odors in your garage will help create a more enjoyable atmosphere for all. Garages are inherently a place for tools, oils, paints, and utilities - but just because you store these items doesn't mean you can't use the space for more than just storage.
STORE YOUR STINKY ITEMS IN ONE PLACE
It is almost unavoidable that the garage will have to house odoriferous items like gasoline canisters, extra paints, old hoses, garden supplies and other utility items so finding a place for them to be is necessary. Pare down what you don't need and create a cupboard/shelving space for them. Doors are important for this shelving in order to keep the odors from spreading - make sure there are no chemicals that could be toxic when mixed. Reduce odors in the cupboard or shelving unit by placing a box of baking soda on a shelf.
CLEAN THE GARAGE FLOOR
The garage floor harbors a majority of the odors that you smell in your garage. Eliminate these garage odors by thoroughly cleaning the concrete floor. If you do not plan on parking your vehicle in the garage, this step will be even more effective. A bleach solution and push broom will eliminate odors and disinfect the surface of the concrete. If odors linger try isolating the source area and sprinkle coffee grounds or kitty litter and let sit overnight. These should neutralize the odors.
SEAL THE CONCRETE
There are two ways you can seal your flooring, one is to paint it with a quality sealer or apply a garage quality epoxy coating. The commercial epoxy will not only reduce odors but will also add a finished look to the floor. If you are going to convert your garage you may try installing a laminate or hardwood floor after sealing the concrete.
INSULATE YOUR GARAGE
Some of the musty odor you smell is coming from the cold air inside your garage. By insulating the garage you will rid it of some of that musty air. It is fairly easy to insulate most garage doors and it will make a huge difference. Insulate your walls if possible and look into heating your garage if you use it enough to make it worth it.
MAINTAIN THE FRESHNESS
There are a few ways to freshen the garage once you successfully eliminate the odors. If you have a problem with critters coming in you can scatter mothballs at any possibly entry point, these will also scent your garage. Doing laundry and using fabric softener will help influence the smell of your garage. Try opening the door a few times a week for an hour or more to let the fresh air in. The more time you spend in your garage doing daily tasks the less it will smell like garage and more it will smell like home.