Everyone loves a shiny car. When the weather is great and your car looks dirty, it is extremely tempting to simply go to a car wash and call it a day. But those can be very expensive. Think of all the money you could save if you just did it yourself. Sure, it requires a little more effort, but really not that much time and work if you know how to do it well and right. And you won’t even have to go to the store or a garage to buy expensive car cleaning products and accessories.
Most likely, you already have everything you need for the ultimate car cleaning session in your own home or garage. So pick a nice sunny day and get ready to save money and drive the shiniest vehicle of all. Here are the best tested and proven cleaning tips to wash your vehicle in your own yard.
1. Remove dog hair with a squeegee
Pet hair can be hard to remove from fabric seats. Lightly spray the seats with water and run the rubber squeegee on the seats to remove the hair.
2. Change your air filters
Your car might smell because you haven’t changed your air filters in a while. If you want to make sure your vehicle smells fresh and clean, take a look at your air filters before you do anything.
3. DIY slime to remove dust and dirt
A homemade mixture of liquid starch, glue and water creates a sticky slime that is perfect for capturing dirt and dust in the vehicle.
4. Keep baby wipes handy for regular cleaning
Keep a pack of baby wipes in the car and use them regularly to wipe down surfaces. This will help to prevent dust and dirt from accumulating in your car.
5. Use bleach to get glossy tires
Tire cleaning products are expensive. Use bleach mixed with hot water to make your tires shiny again.
6. Clean windows thoroughly
Roll down the windows to remove the dirt on the top of the window and roll it back up to clean everything perfectly.
7. Clean your air vents
A lot of dust can accumulate in your air vents. To prevent them from blocking, just use a toothbrush and a can of compressed air to remove all the gunk.
8. Remove burn spots with a raw onion
This little-known trick can save the resale value of a car. Put a cut onion on a burn on leather or vinyl. Wait a bit, then rinse with warm water. You’ll see a significant difference.
9. Add fabric softener sheets in the car for a nice smell
Change them every week to keep a nice smell in the car. These are also practical if you have static in your hair and need a quick fix!
10. Remove grease and oil stains with cornstarch
Grease and oil stains can be removed from leather and fabric seats with cornstarch. Leave the product on the stain for ten minutes.
11. Use kerosene for a less expensive gloss finish
Another alternative to costly and expensive wax finishes is to use kerosene. Use a solution of kerosene and water and wipe the car dry for a shiny vehicle.
12. Remove old stickers
Get rid of your old college sticker on your car with razor blades. The sharp edges will easily lift the sticker from your car. You can also try WD-40 to help!
13. Use olive oil to keep the leather interior looking brand new
After washing the leather seats with hot soapy water, rub a small amount of olive oil on the seats to prevent them from drying out and cracking.
14. Use essential oils
Don’t spend money on an air freshener. Instead, pour a few drops of essential oil on an absorbent cloth that you leave close to the aeration during your cleaning.
15. Use Petroleum jelly for a shiny interior
Vaseline can be applied inside your car and on the dashboard to create a shiny finish. It’s much cheaper than “Armor All” and just as effective.
16. Use clear nail polish for hairline cracks
Tiny cracks in your windshield and windows can be very annoying. Stop them from getting any bigger with clear nail polish. Just remember to go to the garage once you notice there cracks.
17. Remove dust
With a small brush or even an old toothbrush, remove dust from harder-to-reach areas such as the ventilation system and in-between seats.
18. Clean your rubber mats
Use a stiff bristle brush and soapy water to clean your rubber mats. Soak them and let them sit in the sun for at least fifteen minutes before rinsing them to remove difficult stains.
19. Remove wax stains with thermal paper
Have your kids been using your car as a canvas? Remove waxy crayon stains by ironing thermal paper over the affected area.
20. Protect vinyl surfaces with lemon juice and olive oil
Vinyl coatings and hard surfaces are at risk of cracks if they are not protected. Use a solution of lemon juice and olive oil to keep them shiny and crack-free.
21. Use toothpaste to clean headlights
Rub toothpaste on your headlights, wait a few minutes, then rinse with water to make them sparkle.
22. Wash the car with baby shampoo
Spots caused by mud, grease or bird droppings can be quickly eliminated by pouring baby shampoo on a clean, moist cloth and rubbing the stains in a circular motion.
23. Windshield wiper cleaner
Mix ammonia and cold water for a very efficient cleaning solution. Apply it on the wipers with a clean towel. You will need: 1 cup of water + 1/4 cup of ammonia.
24. Use a clean diaper to absorb liquids
If a water bottle or juice box spills over into your car, take a diaper to absorb the stain.
25. Stop leaks with chewing gum
If there is a leak somewhere, a piece of gum can be temporarily used to stop the leak until it can be repaired by a professional.
26. Keep everything organized with sticky mats
Never lose your pens, coins or whatever small devices you have in your car by adding some sticky mats on your dashboard.
27. Remove sticky spots with a magic eraser
Dip a magic eraser into Lysol to clean stubborn sticky stains from surfaces inside or outside the vehicle.
28. Use fabric softener sheets to remove insects
Dead and dried up insects can be difficult to remove from your car with soap and water. Wet a dryer sheet and rub the affected area to remove them in no time.
29. Clean your windows with white vinegar
Use white vinegar in a spray bottle for scratch-free windows. Wipe with a newspaper rather than a towel to avoid fluff.
30. Remove rust with Coca Cola
Your favourite soda can also help you remove rust stains on your car. Add some soda on a cloth and rub the area but don’t use it on your car paint.
31. Use Q-Tips to clean hard-to-reach areas
When the space is too narrow for a toothbrush or towel, a Q-tip may be useful.
32. Use a screwdriver to clean small spaces
For difficult-to-reach spaces such as small holes, a screwdriver with a soft cloth can be used to remove dust and stubborn dirt.
33. Use white vinegar to improve your cleaner
Adding a few tablespoons of vinegar to any cleaning solution will greatly increase its efficiency. It can be used on windows and vinyl linings.
34. DIY phone dock
Use the old ashtray in your car as a phone dock.
35. Remove dried spots with mayonnaise
Big stains can be easily removed with mayonnaise. Leave the mayonnaise on for five to ten minutes and then wipe with a clean cloth.
36. Remove resistant stains with club soda
Resistant stains (wine, blood, etc.) can be easily removed with club soda. Wait a few minutes and then wipe the area with a towel.
37. Use coal to absorb bad smells
Charcoal absorbs odours. To rid the vehicle of stubborn odours, place a few pieces of coal under the seats for a cleaner smell.
38. De-ice doors with hand sanitizer
Are winters in your town very cold? Easily de-ice locks and doors with plain old hand sanitizer by applying some on your doors and windows.
39. Make a cheap car wash solution with everyday ingredients
Mix a spoonful of baking soda and a spoonful of liquid detergent in water for an efficient and inexpensive car wash liquid.
40. Cup holder shoe
You don’t have any cup holders but you do have a very hot liquid you need to put down? Use an old shoe as a cup holder. Brilliant!