Cleaning is nobody’s idea of a good time, and cleaning your car can be both physically and
mentally draining. But when you get down to actually undertaking a cleanup job, you’re going to want to do it right, and with as little extra cost as possible. Well it just so happens that there are a number of very simple car cleaning tricks that you can use to make your vehicle spick and span again. By using some everyday items and a little common sense, you can clean your car better than your local body shop ever could.
Jump through our slideshow to find out some of the best shortcuts that will make your car look as good as new. Don’t forget to let us know of any car cleaning tricks we may have missed, and make sure to SHARE this with your friends.
1. Shine Your Lights
Who knew that toothpaste could be effective in more ways than one? Toothpaste acts as a gentle abrasive and can help to remove dirt from your headlights, improving their brightness. Just by layering a non-gel toothpaste to the headlight and then wiping it off with a microfiber cloth, you can spruce up your lights in no time.
2. Armor All Wipes
You probably have these auto cleaning wipes somewhere in your home. They are good for shining wheels, hubcaps, and vinyl car interiors. They will leave your car sparkling.
3. Light Dusting
A can of compressed air is great for tackling dust in your car. Getting dust out of hard-to-reach places like air vents and fans can be made much easier with the help of one of these guys.
4. Sponge Brush Squarepants
If the can of compressed air doesn’t get the job done fully, whip out your small sponge brush and dampen it. This should get dirt and grime trapped in small crevices out more easily.
5. Not Just for Teeth
If you have kids who like eating in your car, then you’ll know the nightmare of loose crumbs in tough-to-reach places. A toothbrush can be great at getting crumbs and other tiny particles out from seat crevices. A toothbrush is also amazing at lifting dirt and stains from the vinyl inside your car. You just have to use some elbow grease and scrub.
6. De-Sticking Stickers
You or one of your kids may have decided to put a fun bumper sticker on the back of your car at some point in the past. But now you don’t think it looks so cool anymore. The best thing to do is to wet the sticker with a warm wet cloth, rub the cloth until the sticker is soaked, and remove.
You can also dab some WD40 onto the corners of the sticker and peel it off with a store card.
7. Windshield Wisdom
Being able to see the road ahead is probably the most important thing when driving. If your car has dirty windows and you need to squint to see oncoming traffic, then you may have a problem. One of the variety of window wipers with microfiber cloth can make a huge difference to driver visibility. Plus, they are elevated on a stick, which makes it easier to wipe every corner of your windshield.
8. Remove Tree Sap
Chances are that if you’ve owned a car, you’ve walked outside at one point and found some weird residue on the hood, roof, or trunk. It often comes from an inconsiderate bird, but if you have pine trees in your yard, it’s pine sap. And you definitely know how hard and tricky sap is to remove. Lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place. You can use rubbing alcohol to remove the sap. Soak a cotton swab in the alcohol and place it against the sticky spot. This should loosen the sap. Then rub the swab over the spot in a delicate circular motion. Then use a mixture of baking soda and water to gently rub the sap away. Finally, wash the spot as you normally would, with soap and water.
9. Garbage Innovation
Here’s a neat idea. Placing an old cereal container in the back of the car to collect used food and other waste is a great way of keeping your car clean. Getting kids into the habit of putting their trash away will definitely make for a tidier trip.
10. Read All About It
Believe it or not, newspaper is sometimes just as good as a cloth when cleaning car windows. Just spray your usual window cleaner onto the windows, ball the newspaper up, and wipe the grime away.
11. It's the Little Things
How often are both cupholders in your car in use? Not much, we presume, so they can definitely have another function. By placing silicone baking cups down there, you could have a place to put all that loose change, buttons, bottle caps, elastic bands, and any of those other smaller things that might otherwise just get lost.
12. Pet Peeves
Animals can make a mess of the back seat of your car, and getting all that loose fur out is no laughing matter. By using this squeegee you can gather all of this excess fur before collecting the clumps with your vacuum. Hey presto!
13. A Dog's Life
Even better, if you are a pet owner you can just buy one of these dog hammocks. They drape comfortably across the back of your car and make it pretty hard for loose fur or hair to get onto the car’s upholstery. They fold back up easily, too.
14. Everything's Gonna Be Oilright
Olive oil is often considered to be much more effective than any supermarket cleaning product when it comes to cleaning the surfaces of car interiors.
Dab the oil on a cloth first and pick a small area of the dashboard to see if the oil will react well. If it does, wipe the whole surface and you should have a very clean dashboard!
15. Magic Carpet
All of those shoes trampling through your car, in all types of weather, can certainly leave car mats looking worse for the wear. Putting them in the washing machine will help this issue. Just add some stain remover onto the surface of the mats and set the washer to a gentle wash. That way, the washing machine will be protected.
16. Bad Smell Be Gone
If you have ever found that bad smells linger on your car seats way longer than they should, then baking soda is the answer to your problems. Just sprinkle baking soda on the affected areas, leave it for 15-20 minutes, and then vacuum it up. The smell should be gone.
This article originally published on Definition.org by Ivan de Luce