We’ve covered everything from old car maintenance to preparation for summer driving, but there’s a topic we haven’t quite covered yet. One of the essential aspects of vehicle maintenance is keeping your car clean. A bucket of water along with a bar of soap isn’t enough to make your car shine. In this article, we’re covering more important aspects of daily car maintenance and listing tips for cleaning your car.
Tips for cleaning the exterior of your car
There is a common misconception that it’s better to wash and clean your car when it’s hot outside. To avoid paint contraction and cracks, it’s actually better to clean your car out when it isn’t incredibly hot. Follow these key tips for cleaning the exterior of your car:
- Wash and clean your car from the top down to minimize leakage of sludge to the areas you’ve just washed.
- Don’t forget about hard-to-reach parts like air intakes and wheel arches, they accumulate dirt.
- Wash area after area: start with the front and go to the rear end.
- Choose the type of wax you need to protect your vehicle from mud, small stones, and dirt.
Liquid and soft waxes are the easiest to apply, though they don’t guarantee lasting protection between professional cleaning. Hard waxes provide the longest protection. Please note, you may have to contact detailing shops to apply different hard waxes to the car’s body since this procedure requires a special skill set.
Tips for cleaning car windows
To prevent scratches, avoid using lint rags or towels. They easily gather dust and mud, and can damage the window or tint on it. You can use a multi-purpose glass cleaner and a sturdy paper towel to clean your windows. Lint-free and microfiber cloths are both applicable for this purpose as well. The most important tips for cleaning windows on your car are as follows:
- Don’t forget to clean your wipers since any dirt on the wiper blades can scratch the windshield.
- Roll down your windows and remove grime and mud from the top quarter of the glass.
- Wipe both sides in different directions to see streaks.
Ways to clean the vehicle’s interior
Cleaning inside of your car is a bit trickier than washing the exterior, as it requires attention to detail. The process of interior cleaning can be subdivided into 4 major stages:
- cleaning seats
- cleaning dashboard and door panels
- cleaning air vents
- cleaning floor mats
You’ll have to take into account the material that the seats are made of. If your car has fine leather upholstery inside, you’ll have to buy a cleaning compound and a conditioner for leather seats. Rub the compound into the seats with a towel and wait for a few hours until the leather is dry, then apply or spray the conditioner.
The best way to clean cloth car seats is a good vacuuming. A small vacuum cleaner with a thin adaptor and a multipurpose cleaning liquid can work wonders. A steam cleaner is also an excellent match for cleaning the interior of your car.
Dashboard and door panels are the most difficult areas to clean since dust often settles into crevices and buttons. A good way to keep it clean is pretty straightforward: take a flat-head screwdriver and wrap a piece of cloth around it. This allows you to clean dust from difficult-to-reach places inside. Applying different cleaning products can depend on the materials the interior is made of. Read the instructions thoroughly to avoid any impact of harsh chemicals either to the cabin or to the trim. Don’t leave the gear knob and pedals wet or slippery as it is dangerous for driving.
A thick long-bristled brush will do the job if you need to get rid of dust inside air vents. But sometimes a single brush isn’t enough, and in this case, you’ll have to blow hot air through the vents using the car’s heater.
You should remove floor mats out of your car and give them a good shake. If that doesn’t help, vacuum the floor mats using a bare nose nozzle. After, you can wash the floor mats with a strong jet of water and leave them to air-dry.
These simple tips to keep your car clean will help to make the finish and the interior last longer. If you’re planning to buy your first or next car, start with Salvagebid. We offer thousands of clear and salvage title cars for sale for a fraction of their MSRP. You’ll need to register with us, upload a copy of your passport or a government-issued ID, and place a refundable security deposit to start bidding. You can contact us or call us at +1 (360) 347-1300 (6:00 AM – 3:00 PM PST, Monday to Friday) with any questions.