CAR CLEANING TIPS AND TRICKS
It’s not easy keeping your car clean, but the payoff is well worth the effort. If you envy how the pros make it seem so easy, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to not only make the job easier, but also get better results.
Choose the Right Time
Washing or waxing your car in broad daylight seems harmless, but it comes with plenty of underlying pitfalls. Direct sunlight and hot weather not only allow water to evaporate too soon and leave behind grimy film, but it can also cause most car waxes to be baked onto the paint, making them difficult to remove while damaging the underlying finish.
If you plan on washing or waxing your car, you might want to wait until the early morning or late afternoon to do it. Both times are when the weather is cooler and your car is less likely to be hot to the touch. It’s also good idea to find some shade before washing your vehicle, so both you and your vehicle can stay cool.
Use the Two-Bucket Method
You might’ve seen the pros use this method to wash cars, but it’s also something the average DIYer can do to prevent unsightly scratches and swirl marks while washing. The two-bucket method uses a dedicated bucket for washing suds and a second bucket you’ll use for rinsing the wash mitt prior to picking up more suds. Both buckets should have grit guards to prevent debris from being picked up by the wash mitt.
Work from Top to Bottom
The last thing you want is to clean a section of your car, only to get dirt and grime all over that freshly cleaned area while cleaning an adjacent section. When washing the exterior, start from the roof and work your way downwards. Don’t worry about the wheels – you’ll want to save those for last. For interior work, start at the headliner (or the dashboard, if you plan on skipping the headliner) and work your way downwards. Make the carpets the last part of the interior to be cleaned, since most of the dirt and grime from other areas would have likely fallen on the carpet.
Focus on Those Nooks and Crannies
You’d be amazed where crumbs and debris from a quick snack can end up. If you enjoy eating on the go or regularly travel with a carload of passengers, crumbs can quickly settle into and accumulate within various nooks and crannies throughout your vehicle.
The worst part is that many of these areas aren’t exactly easy to clean up. Fortunately, there are plenty of creative ways you can excise even the most stubborn of crumbs and debris. Start off with a thorough vacuuming, preferably with a narrow tip designed to dig into those narrow crevices and other hard-to-reach areas. An old toothbrush comes in handy for tackling stubborn spots, especially when it comes to dislodging stuck-on debris.
If you’re really having a difficult time picking out crumbs and debris from hard-to-reach spots, a long flat head screwdriver covered with a durable cloth can do the trick. Just make sure to avoid scratching or damaging trim pieces as you work your way through those narrow areas.
Don’t Forget About Your Vents
Air vents can harbor a surprising amount of dust and debris, making it important to claim these areas as you work your way around the rest of the interior. A can of compressed air can do wonders for knocking dust loose from air vents. You can also use a foam-tipped brush soaked in your favorite cleaner to get between vent fins and other hard-to-reach areas. If you have a vacuum cleaner with a soft-bristle brush attachment, you can also use that for vents and other areas of your interior.
Rock and Sock Those Cupholders
Cupholders can be a bit tricky to clean out properly, which is why this innovative trick comes in handy. Simply grab an old, clean sock you’re not using anymore and soak it in your preferred all-purpose cleaner. Afterwards, fit the sock around an ordinary plastic cup or thermos that’s large enough to easily fit inside the cupholder. All that’s left is to give the sock cup a few good twists to lift up stains and collect debris.