So you feel it’s time for the annual spring clean? You might tackle the kitchen, scrub all the floors, rearrange the furniture and even go as far to start selling things you don’t need. But what about your car? Too often car cleaning gets neglected until you can barely sit down without having to bury through half empty water bottles, wrappers and left over take away boxes. By that point you probably just feel it’s easier to take your car to a professional, however the reality of that is, you are spending far too much money on something you could very easily do yourself. Armed with a bit of knowledge, there is no reason why you can’t achieve the same results for far less money. So grab a couple cloths, a good attitude, and follow these tips for sprucing up your favourite vehicle inside out.
Grab yourself a trash bag and get to work.. Throw away every last gum wrapper, chip bag and pizza box. If your car has dark upholstery there’s a good chance you don’t notice all the dirt and grim that has accumulated. Vanish that unseen filth by getting all the dust and debris from all the nooks and crannies of your car, I’m talking seats, dash, console, the works. Then use a stiff brush to loosen the dust and dirt hidden in your carpet. Then use a strong vacuum to go through the entire car thoroughly, you might be surprised at how fresher your interior already looks afterwards.
Remove the Stickiness
It’s not uncommon for your leather seats or vinyl upholstery to get sticky, especially if you have kids. To get rid of these spots use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe off any cleaning agent and gently rub until the stickiness is gone, however be sure not to rub too hard!
Time to get precise and delve into the nooks and crannies of your car. Use an all-purpose cleaner diluted with water and break out your old toothbrushes to access grimy crevices and corners. Pay close attention to the main areas such as the gear shift, steering wheel, seat belts and door panel. If there are any nasty odours apply a 20:1 water to vinegar concentration and scrub until gone.
Once your car is theoretically clean, it’s now time to arrange your junk! Come up with a system for organizing your car so you know exactly where everything is. Arrange old CD’s, receipts, coupons, chewing gum, anything you need in your car, systemize it. Buying a trunk organizer is always a good idea as it keeps everything exactly where you need it, when you need it.
Hand Wash the Exterior
After tackling the inside of your vehicle it’s time to use some elbow grease and get started on the outside. Of course hand washing is never going to be quite as methodical and perfect as a professional machine but it will allow you to get to know your car a lot better. You will be able to identify any scratches of dents and allow you to notice things more.
When washing, use a soft sponge and a car wash solution that is specially formulated to protect and retain wax coatings and other protectants on your car. Avoid traditional dishwashing liquids as they don’t do as good of a job. Once the car has air dried apply a thin layer of wax to keep it shiny and dirt free. Wax protects your paint from natural aggressors, keeping it looking fresh and shiny all year long.
Shine the Wheels
You want to pay particular attention to those wheels to keep them looking as good as possible. After wiping off the excess dirt, use a specialized alloy wheel cleaner to add extra shine and protectants.
A lot of people complain about having streaky windshields no matter how thoroughly they clean them. Avoid this by placing a towel at the bottom of your windshield to protect the paint and pour a can of coke all over the glass. Once the coke stops fizzing up then rinse the windshield properly. This will remove grease and grime, leaving you with a squeaky clean windshield!
So there you have it! Simple and easy to follow tips and tricks to help you clean your car top to bottom. If you are weighing up whether to get a professional car cleaner or to do it yourself, consider these steps and look after your money in the long term. Repeat these steps often, and in no time you’ll be doing it like the pros and falling in love with your car all over again!