Does your car look and smell so horrible that you’re embarrassed to have friends ride with you? Do you wish you had that new-car smell and shine? Have you considered taking it in for detailing? Chances are that like many of us you practically live in your car, which can get pretty grimy from all those fun roadtrips (with the dogs) and stops for burgers at the drive-in. Even those of us who just use our cars to commute to work and back need a deep cleaning. The good news is you don’t need to pay someone else to get your car clean. You can get your car in tip-top shape in no time — all by yourself!
Don’t waste money on car fresheners that smell awful and look even worse. Instead, grab some wooden clothes pins and sprinkle a few drops of your favorite essential oils (lavender, rosemary, frankincense, etc.) on top. Attach the clothespin to your vent. Each time you turn on the heat or air conditioner, your car will smell incredible.
Did you buy beautiful candles that you left in the car? Oooh, what a mess! Or, if you have kids chances are there are crayon stains and melted wax in your car because… well, coloring. All you have to do to get out the waxy crayon is to iron a piece of paper over the upholstery and it’ll pick it right up after it gets hot! The trick is getting close enough to an electric outlet if you have smudged in crayons on the flooring. But — if there’s a will, there’s a way!
This might come as a surprise to some, but olive oil is actually a great tool for cleaning leather seats. Keep in mind that overusing it will make your seats greasy to touch, so use with caution. You may want to wash with soap first. Next, you want to get into the texture of your leather or leatherette interior using the oil. Always wipe dry afterwards.
Regular old bleach powder can help you do your own detailing like a pro. Choose a brand like Bar Keeper’s Friend, Clorox or Bon Ami, which are the toughest. Take a cloth or towel, sprinkle some on and lightly spray some Lysol onto the powder. Now, work in that magic and keep adding more powder until your tires sparkle. You may have to scrub quite a bit, but your wheels will look amazing afterwards!
Foam brushes are great for putting on the finishing touches while painting, but you can also use them to brush out your AC vents and other tough to reach spaces. The foam will easily cling to dirt and other particles, making it a great tool to use when cleaning.
Nothing is worse than trying to clean your car from dried up bugs after a long trip. You can, however, make this task easy by using some wet dryer sheets to remove those pesky buggers.
If your dashboard is starting to look a bit grimy then you can use an old toothbrush to get really deep in there and get every little bit of gunk out. When you’re done, save your toothbrush so you can use it again in the future. Use the toothbrush to wash every inch of your seats and backrests too. You’ll be shocked by how much dirt is embedded in your seats.
Besides using a toothbrush to clean the tapestry, you can use some toothpaste to clean your grimy headlights. Just spread some on the lamps, give it a few minutes and wash it off. Your lights will shine brighter than ever before. This is a tried-and-true trick we love!
When washing passenger windows many people forget to clean the very top. To get all of the gunk, roll the window down just a bit and work your way down. This approach will lead to clean and shiny windows.
To get into the nooks and crannies of the armrests and such, you’ll need to use a pointy tool — a screwdriver works best. Grab a flat end screwdriver, cover it with a thin cloth and work away.
Regret putting those bumper stickers on your new car? Don’t worry, with the help of WD-40, you can remove even the most stubborn of decals. Just spray some WD-40 directly on the sticker, allow some time to soak, then pull it right off.
Slimy windshield wipers are the worst. Replacing them all the time is way too expensive, so what to do when your wiper smears water across your windshield and leaves awful streak? To remedy this common problem, wipe down your wipers with generous amounts of rubbing alcohol and let dry. You’ll have to replace them regularly still, but this will lengthen their shelf-life.
You can find clay in any toy store or children’s section of any store. But clay bars made especially for cars are available on many websites, including Amazon. These are reusable and cheap: One bar may run you as little as $4! You’ll never believe how wiping down a wet car with one of these can bring on so much shine!
Another great alternative to waxing your car and getting a comparable shine is using hair conditioner. Just as that gooey stuff can make your hair look shiny, it can do the same for the paint on an automobile. Just make sure you choose a brand that contains lanolin, which is the magic ingredient that gives a waxy finish. Just pour some into a towel and work it in in circular motions until your car is shiny like new.
Gooey Cleaning Slime
Yes you read the title correct. Feel like you’re in kindergarten again when you clean your car with this sticky cleaning slime. You can go two ways with obtaining this fantastic cleaning solution, either buy some online or make it yourself. Making it yourself is pretty easy and anyone can do it! Simply mix 1/2 cup of liquid starch, 4oz bottle of Elmer’s glue, and 1/4 cup of water to finally enjoy cleaning your car for once.
This is actually worse than it looks! If your car smells awful and you don’t know what it is, it just might be that you need to replace the vents or at least clean them. Before cleaning, always check for mold which is more troubling than a foul odor and can cause respiratory problems. If it is indeed mold, you must replace them. Otherwise, clean vigorously and use Q-tips to get into the crevices.
Windshield wiper fluid is not the only thing that’s resistant to frost. Here’s a homemade recipe that won’t freeze and will make your windshield sparkle like diamonds: A few drops of Castile soap in good old vodka! You don’t need the expensive stuff. In fact, buy the cheapest you can buy. Just don’t leave the empty bottle in the car afterwards.
No, we’re not trying to blow up your ride. A solution of kerosene and water makes for the perfect no-wax shine treatment imaginable. Once you douse your car in it, just wipe dry. The sheen that’s left behind even repels rain. Obviously, avoid smoking while shining up your car.