While it is tempting to either go to a car wash or to purchase expensive car cleaning products in stores, it is not necessary to do so since you can easily clean your vehicle in your own yard with products you already have. These cleaning tips are tested and proven and will keep your vehicle clean.
Once you have a clean vehicle that is as good as new, all you need is to make sure your car insurance is up to date and there you go, hit the road!
1. Use bleach to get glossy tires
Tire cleaning products are expensive. Use bleach mixed with hot water to make your tires shiny again.
2. 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 you have on leather or vinyl. Wait a bit, then rinse with warm water. You’ll see a significant difference.
3. Stop leaks with duct tape
If there is a leak somewhere, a piece of duct tape can be temporarily used to stop the leak until it can be repaired by a professional. As Miles said in Lost, “I don’t believe in a lot of things, but I do believe in duct tape.” Keep a roll in the trunk of your car, that thing is handy.
4. Add fabric softener sheets in the car for a nice smell
Change them every week to keep a nice smell in the car. They are a nice alternative if you don’t want to have a dangling air freshener from your rearview mirror. These are also practical if you have static in your hair and need a quick fix!
5. 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, and then remove it. The starch should have absorbed the oil.
6. De-ice doors with hand sanitizer
Is winter in your town very cold? Easily de-ice locks and doors with a plain old hand sanitizer by applying some on your doors and windows. If your lock is frozen from the inside, apply hand sanitizer on your key, insert it in the lock and wait 30 seconds for the alcohol to melt the ice from the inside.
7. 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. If you plan to sell your car, this is a great thing to do to keep a potential buyer from negotiating down the price on the basis of you having old stickers on it.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. Use toothpaste to clean headlights
Rub toothpaste on your headlights, wait a few minutes, then rinse with water to make them sparkle. You will notice a big difference at night as you’ll see way further than when your headlights were dirty. Invest some time and energy in doing this, and decrease your risk of accidents at night—and keep your car insurer happy.
13. 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. You could also use the shampoo as a foamer. Get creative!
14. 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 and evenly.
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. Saving money always feels good, doesn’t it?
16. 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.
17. 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. Remember to go to the garage once you notice there are cracks, just to be on the safe side of things.
18. 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.
19. 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.
20. 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. You can purchase new air filters at most hardware stores or, if you must, at a garage or car dealership.
21. 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.
22. 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 and 1/4 cup of ammonia. Make sure you wear cleaning gloves as the solution is toxic for your skin. You wouldn’t want to end up at the hospital explaining how you were cleaning your car and burned your skin, would you?
23. 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. This is more effective than any paper towel you’ll find on the market, we can guarantee it.
24. 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.
25. Remove sticky spots with a magic eraser
Dip a magic eraser into Lysol to clean stubborn sticky stains from surfaces inside or outside your vehicle. Magic erasers for the win, to be honest; they’re so useful! If you don’t already have one, run to the store to purchase one.
26. 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.
27. 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. Here’s to another proof purchasing Coca Cola is a good thing, despite what your dentist and doctor might say…
28. 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.
29. 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. Once you’ve made your slime, you’ll see how you will clean your car in no time, saving a lot of precious time and energy.
30. 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.
31. 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. In return, you can expect to spend less time and energy cleaning your vehicle.
32. DIY phone dock
Use the old ashtray in your car as a phone dock if you don’t want to purchase a special phone holder. Quit smoking if you were using that ashtray, or don’t smoke in your car. Priorities, you know.
33. 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.
34. Remove resistant stains with club soda
Resistant stains (wine, blood, bird poop etc.) can be easily removed with club soda. Wait a few minutes and then wipe the area with a towel.
35. 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. Use a receipt you don’t need, most of the time they are printed on thermal paper; cover them with a cloth, and then iron. It should work like a charm and make you feel good about investing in a neat car and in having children…
36. 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.
37. 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.
38. 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.
39. 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. To prevent this, you could also have a blanket over your backseat for when your furry friend comes to ride with you.
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 a shoe as a cup holder. Here’s proof you don’t need to have a college or university education to be smart!