We’ve got the recipe for your cleanest car ever
Mar 8, 2016 3 minute read
Say goodbye to winter and hello to spring with this easy-to-follow spring cleaning recipe for your car.
Yields: 1 clean car
- Interior cleaning spray
- Carpet cleaner spray
- 3-5 microfiber cloths
- Dryer sheets or an air freshener
- Bucket and sponge
- Car-wash product
- Tire shine spray
- Car wax
- Tire pressure gauge
- Portable vacuum (or visit your local car wash)
- For fabric interior: Glass cleaner (or vinegar and warm water)
- For leather trim: Leather cleaner and conditioner
- For mustiness: Baking soda
- Headlight and taillight light bulbs (if replacement needed)
- Windshield wipers (if replacement needed)
Refresh the Inside
1. Remove extra items
Remove any garbage, loose change, winter driving items (such as your ice scraper) and any other unneeded items from the vehicle, including under the seats, in the cup holders and in the trunk. Organize what is left in the vehicle, putting them in storage compartments or in your trunk. Not only will this free up room to avoid clutter, it also prevents the items from becoming a danger during a collision. See our previous blog post: Dangers of a messy car for more information.
2. Wipe down the interior
Use a mild cleaning spray and a microfiber cloth to remove dust and grime off the dash and plastic surfaces, including the centre console and cup holders.
3. Pull out your portable vacuum
Start vacuuming at the head rests and work your way down the seats, leaving the floors until the end. Remember to vacuum the trunk as well as under the seats and floor mats. If you don’t have a portable vacuum, drive over to your local car wash to use theirs.
Tip: Move your seats back and forth or fold them down to help you get to those hard-to-reach spots.
4. Take care of the fabric or leather
For fabric, a rented steam cleaner works well for deep cleaning stains, but can be expensive. Try a household spray-on carpet cleaner first.
For leather trim, use a leather cleaner and leather conditioner to help prevent it from cracking as it ages.
5. Wipe down windows – inside and out
Use a window cleaner to wash all windows and mirrors.
Tip: Don’t have window cleaner? Mix vinegar and warm water together for an at-home alternative.
6. Fresh scents
If wet boots have made your floor mats musty, sprinkle baking soda over the mats and vacuum it off. If your clean car still does not smell fresh, tuck a few dryer sheets under the mats or purchase an air freshener.
Restore the Outside
7. Remove snow tires & check tire pressure
A general rule to follow is that once the average daily temperatures reach over +7⁰C, you should change your winter tires over to summer or all-season tires. Learn more about summer tires.
After you have swapped your tires, it is a good idea to check the air pressure with a gauge. Having your tires properly inflated helps save gas and causes less wear and tear to your vehicle. Wash down the hubcaps, scrub the tires and thoroughly clean the wheel wells.
Tip: Make your tires shine with a tire shine spray and make your hubcaps glisten with a protective wax.
8. Inspect your windshield
Look for small cracks or chips in your windshield. Repair this damage promptly to avoid the damage spreading, resulting in having to replace the windshield.
9. Wash away salt and dirt
First, move your vehicle to a shady spot. Direct sunlight can cause the soap to dry too quickly. Use a soft sponge or natural wool mitt to get the dirt off. Fill a bucket with warm water and add a car-wash product formulated for vehicles. Remember: household detergents may damage your vehicle’s paint.
Start from the top and work your way down, changing the water when it becomes dirty. Keep your sponge or rag clean as grit could scratch the paint. Don’t let the car air dry when done—use a soft, clean towel to dry.
Tip: Salt build-up can rot steering and suspension components. Wash the undercarriage thoroughly, getting into all the nooks and crannies until the water runs clear.
Once your car is thoroughly washed, wax your car to seal the paint, add a shiny coat and repel water beads.
11. Quick inspection
Spring is a great time to perform a quick inspection and complete any general maintenance your vehicle may require. A few things you can do on your own include:
- Ensure the air conditioning works.
- Check if your headlights, taillights and brake lights are working properly.
- Check your windshield wipers. If they are leaving streaks or not cleaning parts of the windshield, replace them.
12. Connect with your mechanic
Some ways your mechanic can help you include:
- Giving your vehicle an oil change (as needed).
- Perform an overall inspection including checking alignment and belts.
- Replace tires if they no longer hold air properly.
Any time of year is a great time to connect with your BrokerLink broker to create the perfect insurance recipe to protect your car. Contact your BrokerLink broker today for a free and comprehensive auto insurance review to ensure you have the coverage you need.