Cleaning your car during winter can be quite tiresome, whether it is mud, snow, or salt. Spring is a good time to clean your car and get ready for some road trips or vacations. Here are a few tips that can guide you in cleaning your car.
Vacuuming the Interior
The first thing you will need to do is throw away all the trash in the car. You will want to remove everything to make vacuuming easier. Pay attention to the floorboards, the door pocket, the cup holder, and the seat pockets, especially if you have kids. If there is anything to be recycled, you can put it aside then throw the rest away. A tip for keeping your cup holder clean at the bottom is lining it with a silicone cupcake liner, making it easy to clean. You need to find the best vacuum for the job and purchase a vacuum specifically for the car. The nozzles come in various shapes and sizes so that you can clean the areas around the seats and crevices. Open all the doors as you clean so that you can vacuum straight through.
Remove all the floor mats before you start vacuuming. Dust, vaping supplies, and dirt collect under the mats, so that is one area you should not miss. If there is gum stuck on the carpet, rub ice cubes on it for several minutes. This will cause it to become brittle, and then you can pry it off. Do it gently so as not to damage the carpet. Use the vacuum brush attachment to stir up dust and dirt that has sunk deep into the carpet. As you suction, pay attention underneath the pedals because debris will often collect there. Vacuum the seats to get rid of trapped dust. Recline the front seats and clean the exposed section. You want to make sure you have covered as much area as possible.
For the floor mats, start by shaking them or banging them against the wall to remove as much dirt as possible. Most people are always in a hurry to go somewhere, and so they eat and drink in the car, which can result in spilling. If something like coffee or juice spilled on the mats, use a stain remover to get them off, then hang them outside to dry.
If you are using all-weather floor mats made of synthetic material, you can wipe them by hand or use a hose.
Wash Your Car and Focus on the Undercarriage
You will need some tools and materials before you start washing the car, including a bucket, microfiber cloths, sponge, a garden hose, a car brush, and a cleaning solution for cars. Start by spraying the car with water to remove the dirt on the surface. The wheels contain the most dirt. Spray with a hose that has good water pressure to remove dirt and debris effectively. Spray the undercarriage as well to eliminate brake dust or any road salt left from winter.
Lather the microfiber towel, clean the car from the top, work your way downwards, and then finish with the back since it contains the most dirt. Finally, take the hose and rinse the car, still starting from the top going down. It is recommended to at least wax the car exterior twice a year. It has benefits like adding a shiny coat to the car and sealing the paint. Do not forget the headlights and the taillights. They also accumulate dirt during winter, which can affect visibility at night. Use a warm, damp cloth to wipe the lights, which will improve your vehicle’s visibility.
The undercarriage is clean most of the time for new cars, but if you purchased at a dealer with salvage vehicles for sale, it would also need a more thorough cleaning. Start by lifting the vehicle either with ramps or jacks, but make sure it is stable to avoid accidents. You can even remove the wheels to get better access. Grab the hose and start from the front, working your way down not to miss anything. If all the debris does not come out, get a brush and a cleaner and work on those tough stains. Check the fuel lines and the brakes if they are corroded as road salt can cause rust. You can also get auto body services to help you out if you are not sure of your skills.
Clean the Upholstery
Imagine a situation where your family lawyer has worked out a co-parenting arrangement for you and your ex-partner. That means that you pick the kids from time to time and drop them off at the other parent. Depending on their age, they stepped on the seats, spilled food as they ate, or even carried the dog with them when you went camping. When it is time to clean, your upholstery will need special attention. Remove the mats, clean them, and put them aside. You can even throw them in the washing machine to make things easier for you. Start by using a vacuum cleaner to get rid of all the dirt and dust from the seats.
Once you are done with the vacuum cleaner, it is time for some serious seat cleaning. You can even use a power washer or a steam cleaner, making the job much easier for you. Please read the instructions carefully so that you do not wet the seat, as it can take a long time before it dries. You can also use a hot water extractor which is suitable for deep cleaning of the upholstery. If your upholstery is made of fabric, it even becomes tougher to remove stains. There are many products in the market, but you need to ensure that you get good quality. Some cleaning products can leave you with an even bigger stain than what you once had. It is recommended that you start with a small part and see how the product will react before spreading it.
Clean the Glass
A clean car window not only helps you with visibility but also makes your car look great. Clean car windows help you clearly see what is happening around you hence preventing accidents. Most people get frustrated when they are cleaning the glass, and then they get streaks. Get a window cleaner and a microfiber towel for great results. Avoid ammonia-based products as they can damage the window tint. If you can, it is better to park in the shade. Parking in the sun makes water or the cleaner evaporate fast, which can make cleaning very tiresome. Start with the front and rear windows as they can be the hardest to clean. When you are cleaning, start by swiping in all directions not to miss a spot. For the side windows, roll them down a bit and clean the top part that slides into place when you close a window. Pay more attention to any bug splatters on the window as the stains can be a bit tough to remove. If the stains are not coming off, some products are made specifically to remove bug stains from your window car.
You can finish off by cleaning the wiper blades. Use the cleaner to remove any buildup on the windshield and wipers since it causes the blades to wear out fast. You can also get wiper treatment and apply it after you have cleaned the blades. Be sure to clean all the windows inside and out, and do not forget the mirrors.
Keep up on Routine Maintenance
Cars need to be maintained from time to time to last a long time and keep you safe. Some of the things that you can do to maintain your car include:
- Check and maintain your tires: Find the recommended pressure for your tires to avoid wear and tire. Overinflated tires will cause the middle section to wear down faster than the edges. If they are under-inflated, the sides will wear faster than the middle section. You also have to ensure that the tires are well aligned so that one side does not wear more quickly than the other.
- Change the Oil: For your engine to run smoothly, you have to check and change the oil from time to time. Most car manuals recommend that you check and change the oil at least once every month. You can go to an auto dealer for help if you are not sure what to do.
- Check the lights: You cannot operate a car with broken lights or a burnt-out bulb. You will not get arrested, but you are putting your life in danger and other people, especially at night. Make a point of having broken lights checked and replaced to avoid any issues.
- Replace windshield wipers: Wipers can get damaged or wear out if they have been used for a long time. If you notice they are not as effective as before, it is time to replace them. During heavy rains, worn-out blades can refuse to function, reducing your visibility.
- Check the Fluids: For your car to keep running smoothly, certain fluids have to be kept at an appropriate level. That includes the brake fluid, coolant, engine oil, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid. If any of these fluids leak, they can affect your car and cause you a problem driving. If you suspect a leak, best to visit a mechanic to help you identify the issue and solve it.
- Change the engine air filter: When an air filter gets dirty, it allows dirt particles into the engine, which affects its efficiency. You can learn how to replace the filter so that you replace it at least once a year or whenever necessary.
- Check the brakes: Faulty brakes are not something that you should joke about. Pay attention, and if you hear any noise from the brakes that is alarming, have the car checked out as soon as possible.
General Car Security Tips to Keep in Mind
Cars are one of our greatest possessions, and the thought of them getting stolen does not sit well with most of us. A few security tips that can help include:
- Keep your keys safe: Always keep your car keys safe and near you, somewhere you can easily reach. Never keep you keys in your car. If you bought the car from someone else, you could have the keys reprogrammed to be safe. If you misplace or lose the keys, quickly act since someone can access your car with the lost keys.
- Consider your parking location: Thieves will have difficulty accessing a secure parking lot or a locked garage door. You can install a garage opener that will enhance the security of your garage. If you are packing on the street, make sure it is safe, and if it is at night, it is well lit.
- Hide your valuables: You do not want to tempt thieves by living fine jewelry, your laptop, wallet, or handbag somewhere a thief can easily spot them. It is best if you do not leave such items in the car. If you have to, you can keep them in the trunk where they are out of sight.
- Get a car tracker: Trackers can help you locate your car when it has been stolen. Some insurance companies offer a discount to customers who have a tracker installed in their car.
It is best to ensure that you have all the necessary tools and equipment before cleaning the car so the process will be smooth sailing. You can also keep a small trash bag in the car and teach your kids to dump stuff there so that removing trash becomes easy. Finally, do not forget to have your car serviced from time to time; it will benefit you in the long run.