Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home. Here are some ways to keep your car clean and looking like new.
Car Cleaning Tips and Tricks
Wash with the Right Suds Dishwashing liquid is not the right soap to use on your car. It sucks important oils out of the paint’s finish which can shorten the life of your paint job. Use a cleaner formulated for vehicles, which can be found at any auto parts store.
Polish the Finish Many car owners confuse polishing with waxing. But they are separate steps. Polishing removes small surface imperfections and scratches and buffs the finish to a shine. Waxing adds more gloss and protects the finish from the elements. Polishing your vehicle's finish is the key to getting the best gloss (pros would never skip it).
Suck Up the Dust As You Go Try our car tricks and start at the top and work your way down. Vacuum the headliner, dash, console and door panels. Then clean all the glass and dust the nooks and crannies. Sweep the dust out of the cracks with a detailing brush. Catch all that crud right away with your vacuum.
Clean the Leather If you've got leather upholstery, buy a leather-cleaning kit and keep it in the vehicle. Because, if you clean the oops right away, you really increase your chances of a complete cleanup. Pretreat the leather with a conditioner before you start the stain removal process. Wipe the ink lifter directly on the pretreated leather and rub it in. Let it sit for 30 seconds and wipe it with a clean cloth. Then apply leather cleaner and the leather protection cream.
Slide Seats Forward and Clean Out the Junk You'll be surprised by what you find behind the seats. Vacuum the seats, remove the mats and vacuum the carpet. Use a brush attachment for the dash and door panels. Don't forget to clean out and vacuum those handy door pockets.
Deep-Clean Carpet and Upholstery Use a carpet cleaning machine to get the deep dirt that settles into the fibers of the carpet. It sprays the carpet with a solution of water and cleaner and then sucks the dirt and grime into a reservoir.
Scrape Off Those Annoying Stickers All of your national and state park stickers may call to mind great memories, but they can be a visual hazard as they accumulate. The high-quality stickers will pull off if you can get under a corner and carefully pull them free at a 90-degree angle. Others will leave a gummy residue and require a bit more attention. Cover your dash with an old towel and dab on a degreaser like Goo Gone. Then scrape and wipe it off.
Wash the Windows, Including the Top Edges Ever notice that line of grime on the tops of windows when they're partially rolled down? A few minutes with Windex and a clean rag is all it takes.
Brush Out the Air Vents Take an inexpensive artist's paintbrush and give it a light shot of furniture polish. Work the brush into the crevices to collect the dust. Wipe the brush off with a rag and move on to the next one.
Remember to Clean Nooks and Crannies Detailing means just that—finding and dealing with all the trim lines and recesses that a quick once-over cleaning job misses. Wrap a cloth around an old, worn screwdriver and spray all-purpose cleaner on the cloth. Move it gently along the trim lines to pick up the gunk.