16 Car Cleaning Hacks
How to clean your car after you’ve won the auction!
Everyone loves having a clean car. The fresh pine smell, the shiny dashboard, the crumb free seats – can you picture it with us? However, we know that life happens and it’s hard to keep your car as immaculately clean as you would like. Fast food happens, kids happen, pets happen. To help you combat the mess, we’ve rounded up some of the best car cleaning hacks that will help you clean your car inside and out!
1. Throw Out Any Trash
This might sound pretty basic, but we are all guilty of leaving food wrappers, take out cups and miscellaneous trash in our car for far to long. This will help you see what you have to work with.
2. Vacuum EVERYTHING
Again, a somewhat basic and expected task, but it will make the world of a difference in your vehicle. Make sure to remove all interior mats and even your seats so that you can get to your entire vehicle. If your seats won’t come out, make sure to shift them back and forth so that you can get to as much of your floor as possible. Looking to kill unpleasant odors? Sprinkle baking soda on your seats before you vacuum to eliminate undesirable smells. Don’t forget to vacuum your seats and car ceiling!
3. Wash Your Mats
Don’t even think of putting your fabric car mats back in after vacuuming without washing them first. You can do it the hard way and spray them down with soap and a hose, or you can stick them in your washer on low! If you want to keep your mats looking nice, we recommend purchasing weatherized mats – particularly if you live somewhere that gets a lot of snow or rain.
4. Fix Vinyl Scratches with Magic
Interior scratches, meet magic eraser. Magic erasers can be used in your car the same way that they are used in your home! Make sure to be careful when using it on the vinyl areas of your car so that you don’t rub too hard and damage other surfaces unintentionally.
5. Clean Your Dashboard
Your dashboard can get so dusty without you ever realizing it. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down all dusty surfaces and pick up even the smallest pieces of dust. Take a toothbrush and scrub the small and hard to reach places. Then, wipe a little bit of Vaseline or olive oil on a paper towel across the dash to give it a nice shine. Make sure to clean off any excess oil.
6. Clean Out Vents with Compressed Air
It can be hard to get into the cracks of your air vents to clear out any dust that has built up. Luckily, you can use compressed air to blast the dust away. You can also use a small duster and your vacuum to get into all the nooks and crannies.
7. Deep Clean Seats with a Toothbrush and a Squeegee
Fabric car interiors can quickly become ingrained with dirt and pet hair. Take a toothbrush and scrub trouble spots to loosen the dirt and brush it away. To get rid of pet hair, lightly spray down seats with water and rub a squeegee across them – you’ll pick up more fur than you thought possible! If you have leather seats, we recommend purchasing a proper leather cleaner to keep your seats looking nice for as long as possible.
8. Clean Glass Surfaces
Take your good old friend Windex and a soft towel and go to town on the glass surfaces inside your vehicle. While we think about cleaning the outside of our windows, we often forget about sticky fingerprints and dog noses. With a spray and a wipe your windows will shine like new. Don’t forget about your windshield! It might be a little more difficult to clean compared to the rest of your windows, but it will totally be worth it!
9. Wash Your Car
Whether you get out the sponge and bucket yourself or head on over to your local car wash, make sure to clean off all the dirt, salt and debris. Hit your wheels extra hard with a wheel cleaner to make them really sine.
10. Fight Rust with Coca Cola
Did you know that Coca Cola prevents rust? Coke is acidic so it combats rust really well. Pour some over any areas that are showing signs of rust and then scrub it off with a sponge. Make sure to clean off any sticky residue with soap and water (or just do this before you wash your car).
11. Use Cooking Spray to Clean off Dead Bugs
Cooking spray is great for getting tough bugs off the front of your car. Simply spray the buggy areas, wait a few minutes, and easily wipe off the residue.
12. Remove Stickers with a Hair Dryer
Did your car’s previous owner really like bumper stickers? If you don’t like the same things as they did, you will likely want to take those stickers off. Don’t struggle peeling them into little pieces – just add some heat! Use a hair dryer to loosen the adhesive and then use a razer blade (if sticker is on glass) or a credit card (for paint or other materials) to pry up the unwanted sticker.
13. Pick an Air freshener
Once you’ve gotten rid of all the old gross smells in your vehicle, pick out a nice air freshener to keep your car smelling clean all the time. Even if your car doesn’t stay as clean as you want it to be, it can still smell clean!
14. Make a “Trash Can”
If you want to be better about keeping your car clean, keep a grocery bag in your car to toss your trash into. That way, it is collected in one place and can easily be tossed in your trash can on your way in the door.
15. Protect Your Cup Holders
Cup holders see it all. If you want to keep them clean, line them with silicon cupcake wrappers. Then, when it’s time to clean them you can just rinse them in the sink and stick them back in!
16. Fitted Sheets are Your Friend
If you have young kids or pets, take an old fitted sheet and put it over your back seat. This will help you avoid cleaning out all that pet hair again and with save your seats from countless cheerios and goldfish spills. You can easily take the sheet off and send it through the wash to keep your vehicle looking nice.
We hope that these car cleaning hacks have been helpful in your cleaning journey! Do you have any car cleaning tips that you swear by? Let us know here. In the market for a car? Check out our online auctions by clicking the button below!