5953 the best cleaning tips that make your car like new 1
Photo: budgetdirect.com.au

There’s nothing better than a sparkling, clean car. Unfortunately, keeping your set of wheels clean can sometimes be easier said than done.

To protect your vehicle and keep it looking its best, you need to wash it regularly. This prevents minor wear and tear from becoming noticeable, thereby maintaining your car’s value, and keeping your car looking better for longer. Provided you use the right technique and the right tools, washing your car is easy to do at home.

1. Tools of the trade

To keep your car looking its best, it’s important to have the right cleaning tools. These include a hose with a variable nozzle, a soft sponge and/or car wash mitt, some car washing liquid, a wheel brush, several microfibre cloths, and at least one large microfiber towel for drying. In addition, a vacuum cleaner for the interior, rubber gloves, wheel cleaner, paper towels, and window cleaner are all useful tools to have on hand.

Finally, you will need two buckets. This is extremely important. One of the biggest car washing blunders is rinsing out a dirty sponge in the clean suds bucket. When you do this, you’re not removing the dirt – you’re just putting the same grit and filth right back on the car and spreading it around.

2. Wash With the Right Suds

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Photo: familyhandyman.com

Even though hand dishwashing liquid is a great degreaser, it's not the thing to use on your vehicle's finish. Yes, it removes dirt, grease and old wax. But it also sucks important oils right out of the paint's finish. Use it repeatedly and you shorten the life of your paint job. Instead of dish soap for a do it yourself car wash, here's one of our best car tricks: use a cleaner formulated for vehicles (available at any auto parts store).

Once you've mixed the suds, go one step further—fill a second bucket with clean rinse water. Use one bucket for your clean, sudsy water, and a second one (full of clean water) for thoroughly rinsing out that grimy sponge. Once the sponge is thoroughly rinsed, dip it back in the soapy water and continue.

3. Cleaning the wheels

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Photo: reviewgeek.com

You’ve gathered all of your cleaning equipment and found the perfect location to wash your car. Now, it’s time to get down to business. We recommend beginning by washing your wheels. This is because wheel wells, hubcaps and rubber tyres collect all sorts of abrasive gunk that you don’t want anywhere near your car paint.

While most wheels will only require soapy water and a good scrubbing, if it has been a while since you cleaned your wheels, it might be a good idea to invest in a dedicated wheel/tyre cleaning product. Water-based, non-corrosive wheel cleaners that are suitable for all types of wheels are the safest choice. Further, don’t forget to wash around the wheel nuts, as well as scrubbing the outside tires.

4. Cleaning the windows and glass

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Photo: carwash.com

Not only are clean mirrors, windows, and windscreens aesthetically pleasing, they’re also important for your safety. It’s hard to be a safe driver if you have to squint to see out of your windscreen and your rear-view mirror is covered in smudges. There are a few important things to remember when cleaning your windows and glass.

Firstly, standard glass and tinted glass need to be cleaned in different ways. Cleaning untinted glass is fairly straightforward – a trusty glass cleaner and paper towel combination should get the job done. As always, remember to spray the glass cleaner directly onto the paper towel, rather than onto the glass surface. That way, you avoid the spray dripping down and damaging other surfaces.

Untinted glass, on the other hand, requires soapy water and a soft microfibre cloth to avoid damaging the film.Finally, be careful not to knock or damage electrical connectors as you’re cleaning things such as side mirrors.

5. Cleaning the interior

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Photo: ultimatecarspa.in

It’s all well and good to have a clean exterior, but if your interior is dirty, then your car probably isn’t going to be much fun to drive. As such, cleaning the interior is an integral part of cleaning your car. First things first, remove any rubbish from your car, while also removing any loose, personal items to ensure they aren’t sucked up while you vacuum. Next step (you guessed it), is vacuuming – try to get into every nook and cranny, particularly underneath the seats. Following that, it’s time to grab an electrostatic cloth and clear all of the hard surfaces of dust, crumbs, and other debris. The electrostatic cloth is also an excellent tool for cleaning air vents and other hard-to-reach areas. Finally, if you want to be really thorough, grab a small brush and soapy water and clean your pedals, remembering to place a towel down first so that your carpet doesn’t get damp.

6. Clean Carpet and Upholstery

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Photo: familyhandyman.com
Use a carpet cleaning machine to get the deep dirt that settles into the fibers of the carpet. (Clean cloth seats this way as well.) It sprays the carpet with a solution of water and cleaner and then sucks the dirt and grime into a reservoir. A machine like this pays for itself after just a few uses. You can also rent one from a rental center or use a spray-on cleaner and a scrub brush instead.

7. Get that new car smell

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Photo: hondaofseattle.com

It can be difficult to get rid of an unwanted odour in your vehicle. A good clean and, potentially, an air freshener will go some way, but there are much better cleaning tips to get rid of smells in cars.

Instead of hanging 10 Magic Trees from the rear view mirror, try out an Air Re-Fresher. The powerful, single-use aerosol is circulated through your car’s air vents to provide a pleasant smell that will last far longer than standard card air fresheners. Perfect for getting rid of smells left behind by fast food, pets and cigarettes!

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