Keep Your Motorcycle Workspace—And You!—Spotlessly Clean

Every garage needs a push broom, clean towels, and hand cleaner.

Comedian Tim Allen portrayed Tim “The Toolman” Taylor on the popular 1990s television series “Home Improvement.” Regular viewers of the show will recall Allen’s carpenter character hosted a do-it-yourself TV program called “Tool Time,” in which he made no excuses for his impassioned preoccupation with power tools.

Jokes went something like this: “So I ordered the Renn 2000 power home grinder…” And the punch line was always the same: one or more caveman-like grunts, often varying in pitch and/or duration. In more than 200 episodes, Allen reportedly made 662 such primal utterances, cementing his place in popular culture.

None of the five products called out here require a power source, which would no doubt negatively influence their grunt-worthiness, but all are must-haves for the proverbial space with a place for everything and everything in its place. After all, who doesn’t appreciate a clean workshop, where you can roll up your sleeves and focus on the job at hand?

Push Brooms—Sweep, Sweep, Sweep The Dirt Away

History doesn’t pinpoint the exact moment someone bundled an armful of straw to a stick, but the modern push broom is available in a variety of sizes, materials, and prices. Starting from the top, the handle—sometimes sold separately from the brush head—is manufactured from either metal, plastic, or wood, and usually threads an inch or so into the head to create a stable platform to displace even stubborn debris around your home or in your workshop.

The business end of a push broom generally varies from 18 to 48 inches in width and employs either natural or synthetic bristles in stiffnesses recommended for specific tasks and surfaces. For the largest brooms, provided or optional supports can reduce twisting that might over time cause the handle to back out of the head. Depending on the type of flooring, a mop or squeegee might be worthwhile additions. And don’t forget a dustpan!

Wide option

Super Sweep 48-Inch Gray Flagged BroomAmazon

Super Sweep manufactures its products, including the 48-inch Gray Flagged Broom, in the US. The aluminum handle and plate are welded for durability and strength.

Horsehair option

Floor Broom
Magnolia 724 24-Inch Horsehair Floor BroomAmazon

The Magnolia 724 24-inch Horsehair Floor Broom is recommended for smooth, dry floors, such as tile and linoleum, as well as waxed or polished wood.

Best seller

Push Broom
O-Cedar Professional 18" Rough-Surface Push BroomAmazon

According to O-Cedar, the broom head and bristles of the Professional 18-inch Rough-Surface Push Broom are manufactured from 80 percent recycled materials.

Work Gloves—Touchscreen Friendly Or Chemical Resistant?

“Get your filthy hands off the furniture!” What wrench monkey hasn’t been on the receiving end of that tongue-lashing? Quality work gloves keep your fingers and palms free from grit and grime, so you’ll never soil another pricey armchair. Just remember to shuck the gloves when you finish the job, leaving the greasy buildup outside where it is less likely to kindle a domestic disturbance.

Speaking of making smart decisions, you wouldn’t wear hand-knitted mittens to drain engine coolant or lube a drive chain, right? Latex-free nitrile rubber is chemical-resistant, so gloves made from that synthetic material are ideal for use when handling hazardous fluids. Likewise, when Googling torque specs, touchscreen-friendly fingertips are a godsend. And cut-resistant gloves will do the trick if you require protection from sharp bits.

Latex-free option

disposable gloves
AMMEX Heavy Duty Orange Nitrile 8 Mil Disposale GlovesAmazon

AMMEX Heavy-Duty Nitrile Disposable Gloves claim to be latex- and powder-free, with a raised diamond pattern for improved grip in wet conditions.

Touchscreen option

work gloves
Ironclad Command Grip Work GlovesAmazon

Ironclad Command Grip Work Gloves have conductive palms and fingers to ease hands-covered smartphone or tablet screen use.

Cut-resistant option

cut-resistant work gloves
Mechanix Wear Cut-Resistant E5 GlovesAmazon

The Mechanix Wear Cut-Resistant E5 Gloves incorporate an internal layer of Armortex that is said to deliver CE level 5 and ANSI A5 protection.

Hand Cleaners—Scrubs Skin Clean And Smells Good

Late full-throttle pitchman Billy Mays made his living promoting products on television. Mays got his big break with Orange Glo International, which was founded by Max Appel, who set out years earlier to create a household cleaner “that worked well, smelled good, and was environmentally safe.” OGI was later sold for hundreds of millions of dollars, and “a pleasant citrus scent“ remains a common feature among a number of domestic-use products.

That includes hand cleaners, several of which—Fast Orange, Gojo, and Orange Goop, to name three examples—also use the word “orange” in their brand names and/or descriptors. Another commonly touted ingredient is pumice, a highly porous igneous rock that forms during volcanic eruptions. Backed by a variety of skin conditioners, the abrasive nature of pumice helps scour grease, paint, and even stubborn tar from skin.

One-gallon option

hand cleaner
Gojo Natural Orange Pumice Hand CleanerAmazon

Gojo Natural Orange Pumice Hand Cleaner works quickly to remove dirt and grime. Absence of harsh solvents keeps your skin looking good and feeling smooth.

Dirt-infused option

heavy duty hand cleaner
Grip Clean Heavy-Duty Hand CleanerAmazon

Grip Clean Heavy-Duty Hand Cleaner is an industrial-strength soap featuring cosmetic-grade bentonite clay said to remove everything from grease to toxins.

Five-star review

Cherry bomb hand cleaner
Zep Cherry BombAmazon

Zep Cherry Bomb has a cherry scent intended to counter strong residual odors, such as fuel. Moisturizers help hands feel good, even after heavy scrubbing.

Oil Drain Pans—Prevent Spills, Protect The Environment

Inadvertently dumping several quarts of used motor oil on your garage floor is not the end of the world, but it is frustrating and largely preventable if you use of a purpose-built drain pan. An inexpensive galvanized steel utility pan will most certainly capture the contents of your motorcycle’s crankcase, but attempting to funnel all that liquid into an empty gallon milk jug or, even more challenging, a 1-quart bottle is asking for trouble.

If you service more than one type of motorcycle, you probably want a 15-quart pan with a large opening and mesh catch-all basket. Some of the biggest pans boast sturdy handles and even swiveling castors, making dragging large quantities of fluid around your garage or workshop easier. A screw-on cap will help keep the slippery stuff in the pan until that time when you can deliver it to a certified collection center.

Ideal for recycling

drain pain
Lumax LX-1632 DrainmasterAmazon

The Lumax LX-1632 Drainmaster has a large 8-inch opening with a catch-all basket, a 15-quart capacity, and a screw cap with an O-ring seal.

Best seller

Drain Pan
ATD Tools 5184 Black Drain PanAmazon

This black 4.5-gallon drain pan from ATD Tools features a molded handle and a large, lipped spout for easy pouring. It is 6 inches deep and 15.25 inches in diameter.

Budget option

Galvanized Drain Pan
Performance Tool W54280 3-1/2 Gal. Galvanized Drain PanAmazon

Performance Tool's galvanized steel drain pan measures 16 inches in diameter and safely holds up to 3.5 gallons of fluids.

Shop Towels—Wipe Up Messes, Large Or Small

For decades, Bounty has been advertised as the “quicker picker-upper,” a nod to the two-ply paper towel’s alleged exceptional absorbency. Problem is, generally speaking, paper towels are not reusable, which is one of the strongest arguments for washable commercial-grade cotton shop towels. Colors, materials, and sizing vary, as does intended use; a towel designed for mopping up spills should be used as such, not for polishing paint.

Some manufacturers recommend rinsing their towels in a bucket of warm water because machine washing and drying might wear out the towels prematurely. If you opt instead for multi-purpose industrial-grade paper towels and don’t want a cubic-foot box taking up valuable real estate on your bench, you can purchase a roll-type wall-mounted holder. Maybe the design will even complement your soap or hand-cleaner dispenser...

Boxed option

Shop Towels
Blue Scott Shop TowelsAmazon

Blue Scott Shop Towels Original are designed to work even when they're wet. A central-pull box design means the user only touches the towel being dispensed.

Cotton option

Simpli-Magic Shop TowelsAmazon

Simpli-Magic shop towels measure 12 x 14 inches and are said to offer the "perfect combination of softness and strength." Choose from white or red.

Microfiber option

Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
AmazonBasics Microfiber Cleaning ClothAmazon

The manufacturer of these super-soft microfiber (90 percent polyester, 10 percent polyamide) cloths claims they are non-abrasive and won't scratch paint.