Keeping Your Car Clean!
Why spend hundreds of dollars throughout the year on car washes and detailing, when you can efficiently do it yourself and save yourself some dough! If you know the proper way to wash your car, you will not have to spend hours in the driveway wasting your time and energy.
- Begin cleaning the interior by removing all personal items and anything that can be sucked into a vacuum cleaner. A strong vacuum cleaner at a commercial car wash or a shop vacuum works best. Remove the floor mats and shake them to get the dirt out. Place them outside of the car and vacuum both sides of each one. Continue with the vacuum on the carpets and seats inside the car. You can also use the vacuum cleaner to clean the headliner on the ceiling.
- Use carpet cleaner on the carpets to get rid of stains. An upholstery cleaner can be used on cloth seats, but test a small amount of the cleaner on the side of a seat to make sure it doesn’t stain the cloth. Wipe the dash, gauges, door panels and center console with a wet microfiber cloth. A small amount of car wash soap can be used for dirty areas, but make sure to rinse it well.
- Wipe all leather and vinyl areas with a dry cloth and a protectant like Liquid Glass Leather and Vinyl Care. Don’t use Armor All or other products containing silicone, since it can cause some vinyl and plastic to fade and even crack over time.
- The engine is the next area to clean. Open the hood and use plastic bags and tape to cover the distributor, spark plug openings and any electrical connections. Spray the engine down with a degreaser, like Simple Green, which is found at almost any automotive or hardware store. Let the degreaser soak for about five minutes without letting it dry on the engine. Use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub any heavily soiled areas. You can repeat these steps as needed.
- Rinse the degreaser off the engine until the water runs clear. Remove all plastic and tape and then start the engine. This dries most parts of the engine in less than 20 minutes. Use a dry cloth to apply a dressing, like Meguiar’s All Season Dressing, on the rubber, plastic and vinyl parts and hoses. You can spray the dressing directly on the parts for a glossier look.
- The last area of the car to clean is the exterior. Begin by parking in the shade and out of direct sunlight, which can dry the soap and water very quickly, leaving water spots. Rinse the car with a water hose to loosen and remove some of the dirt. Spray wheel cleaner, like Meguiar’s Hot Rims, on the wheels and allow them to soak. Fill a bucket with water and a small amount of car wash soap. Use a soft sponge to wash the car, starting at the top and working your way down. Once the surface of the car is washed, use the sponge to wipe the wheels. Rinse the car and wheels until the water runs clear. Use a synthetic chamois to dry the car to prevent water spots. Go over any black rubber or plastic trim parts with dressing to make them shine
Or if you are tired of your dirty, old car, then take it into your local dealership and find a shiny, new car!