The pleasure of buying a new vehicle is often linked to the pleasure of driving, but also to the smell and cleanliness of our new acquisition! Would you like to find your front vehicle as clean as when you bought it? Did you run out of time to do a good spring cleaning? No problem!
We are in here to help you.
Here are our 8 tips for thoroughly cleaning your car.
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Clean the engine
Open the cover. 2 choices are available to you:
1. Should it be degreased?
2. Is it clean enough to be cleaned with a simple water jet?
The engine must be cold or warm, but not hot. Start by removing by hand any leaves that often accumulate near windshield wipers, in corners, etc. It is always easier to remove them when they are dry.
Next step, protect the electrical parts with plastic bags.
Start by rinsing the motor without power and put on your latex gloves, then:
* Spray AP Cleaner, or All Purpose Cleaner, over the entire surface of the motor. Then, shake the dirt with your brush or small brush.
* Before it dries, rinse the engine to let the raised dirt fall out.
* Let the engine dry, or use an air compressor like our favorite Mastrer Blaster Kick TRUC + an old microfiber towel.
Fabrics and coverings
The cleaning of fabrics and coverings, on the floor or on the seats, requires particular care depending on their material.
The carpet that lines the floor of your car tends to wear out quickly, and so, allowing moisture to pass through and accelerating corrosion of the bodywork underneath.
Start by protecting your carpet from dirt and moisture with floor mats. To clean and deodorize carpets, consider baking soda, available in supermarkets.
Distribute it evenly, let it work for 15 minutes or more if the odors are persistent, then vacuum it up: it’s over!
To clean your car’s interior thoroughly, vacuum your seats, carpets, but also between seats, in the trunk and around your shift knob, where dust quickly collects. Shake your floor mats regularly to remove soil, gravel and other waste.
To remove dust from your passenger compartment, a simple vacuum cleaner is enough. To remove stains and odours, you can use an injection/extraction vacuum cleaner that washes, rinses and sucks.
Aside, if the carpets and fabric seats in your car look like a crime scene, it’s time to discover your new best friend: hydrogen peroxide.
Prepare a solution with 100 ml peroxide, 45 ml baking soda and 15 ml dishwashing soap. Pour all the ingredients into a spray bottle, stir and spray the stains with the solution. Rub and repeat, adding solution if necessary.
With a little elbow grease and a good brush, the toughest stains will disappear. Discard the rest of the mixture when you are finished.
Make the hubcaps shine quickly
Do your wheels lack shine?
Take out the scouring powder! Products like Bar Keeper’s Friend are useful elsewhere than on the bar’s brass.
Make a paste with a few spoonfuls of powder and a little water, then rub the hubcaps with a sponge. They will shine as if the car was coming out of the dealership!
But what about chrome accessories?
Rims, door handles, various wheel covers… the problem is it quickly tarnishes because it is exposed and requires regular maintenance.
Again, no need for a dedicated product, even if the offer is substantial. Use a household product to clean the silverware. But be careful that your chrome is clean. Pay particular attention to the sand, which is causing havoc.
To clean and shine the chrome, here are some tips:
* Spray Marseille soap on the moistened surface, do not rinse but just dry with a chamois leather;
* apply a cloth soaked in cider vinegar, rinse and dry with a microfibre cloth;
* Rub the chrome with ash or talcum powder.
Good to know: to prevent rust from settling on the chrome, you can brush it with marine varnish or colourless wax.
Shine of the bodywork
For optimal shine, make sure to wash your car in shade and cold water. Use black soap. For rinsing, a mixture of water and white vinegar will allow you to easily remove traces of limescale.
To avoid scratches, use a microfibre sponge . Conventional sponges concentrate sand and dirt much more easily. By using them to wash your vehicle, you may form circular scratches on the bodywork.
Did you park under a tree? Is your hood stained with resin? Rub the surface concerned with a cloth soaked in acetone, and that’s it. The acetone removes the resin, but leaves a slight dull halo that you can remove using body shampoo polish.
On plastic surfaces, use « dishwasher liquid » or a mildly abrasive detergent. Then take a sponge to clean them and don’t forget to rinse. Start at the bottom of the doors using a brush.
Attention! Avoid using products to clean parts near electronic equipment and meters: simply wipe vigorously with a cloth. You can moisten and wring out a microfibre before using it to clean doors and the dashboard.
Don’t forget the speakers and ventilation grills: rub lightly with a toothbrush. Finish cleaning the plastic parts by wiping with a soft, lint-free cloth or chamois leather.
If you want to restore shine to plastics that have tarnished, rub with a cloth soaked in fabric softener. Thanks to this tip, your dashboard will regain its former glory.
And, if needed, Remove stains with a cloth previously soaked in alcohol at 90°C.
You can use wet and crumpled newsprint with white vinegar diluted in hot water. A variant: Mix 1 1/2 cups of vinegar, 1/2 cup of water, a spoonful of dishwashing liquid and eight drops of lemon essential oil in a spray bottle. Shake the spray well.
Spray the windows and wipe with a dry, soft cloth. Alternatively, wipe the windshield with a sponge soaked in a solution of 1/2 glass of baking soda mustard and 1/4 cup of hot water.
A little more special, and as strange as it may seem, you can also use Coke. Clean and then give it a good splash of water so that it doesn’t get sticky.
Clean your headlights with toothpaste
Weather and sunlight eventually cloud the headlights. They become less effective and their appearance is not flattering. To remedy this, a very cheap product has proven to be extremely effective: toothpaste!
* Apply toothpaste (standard) uniformly to previously washed headlamp lenses;
* Operate in circular movements until the headlight is clean;
* wash the headlight with water, taking care to remove all traces;
* Wipe the optics with a soft cloth.
Good to know: you can use mosquito repellent spray for cleaning, the result is amazing!
By the way, keep your old toothbrushes to wash small details like volume control buttons on the steering wheel, window control buttons, bench seams and other small spaces.
For more stubborn accumulations, use a little soapy water or a cleaning paste with the brush. Wipe well with a damp cloth and dry with a dry cloth.
Remove a sticker on the bumper with a hair dryer. The heat of the hair dryer helps soften the glue. Then use one of your plastic loyalty cards that you have in your wallet.
Put it under the sticker and remove it without damaging your car.
Not only does it work for bumpers stickers, but it also works to remove old stickers, toll tags, parking permits or insurance certificates stuck on your windshield.