Sometimes a trip to the car wash just won’t fit into a busy schedule, or it may just be too costly. Here you will find some of the most unexpected tips to have your vehicle looking and smelling brand new. Chances are, that you will also have these cleaning items at your home already, so a trip to the store won’t be necessary. These obscure tips aren’t just for small cleaning jobs either—combine them and your car will look like a professional took care of it.
1. Toothpaste to the Rescue
Headlights can get foggy over time, making it dangerous to operate the vehicle at night. Use toothpaste to scrub down the headlights, and then rinse with water and pat dry. Toothpaste will also clean vinyl or leather interior. Vacuum the excess dirt up first, and then dab on non-gel toothpaste on the stain. Wipe it off with a clean and damp cloth.
2. Clean Out Your Air Ducts
Many people actually neglect the air ducts in their vehicle, leading to an unpleasant smell over time. To get the new car smell back, all that you need to do is use a can of compressed air to clean the vents out, and use a vacuum with a brush attachment to remove loose particles that were dislodged with the canned air.
3. A Spray Bottle and Squeegee Works Magic on Hair
Strands of hair, human and animal-like, can be annoying when they become trapped in the fibers of your car. All that you need to do is use a spray bottle of cold water and spray down the carpets and seats. Then, use a squeegee to rub over it and it will lift the hair into a clump so that you can remove it easily.
4. Hair Conditioner on Water Spots
Waxing a car in the traditional sense can take hours upon hours to buff, shine, and repeat. Hair conditioner will remove existing water spots, and it can be applied after you have completely washed the vehicle to give it an amazing shine while preventing water spots from forming again.
5. Freshen Carpets
Trying to cover odors won’t work well if your carpets still stink! The carpets and floor mats are where most of the dirt and grime ends up, slowly forming an odor. Deep contaminants should be cleaned with a soda and vinegar mixture overnight, and let to air dry overnight. Sprinkle the carpets with cornstarch to soak up remaining liquids, and then vacuum it up. Use baking soda to neutralize any other lingering smells. After this has absorbed the odors, vacuum it up and love your new car smell.
6. Keeping it Clean
The easiest way to have a clean car is to help it from getting dirty in the first place. For trash, always keep a few plastic bags tucked away so that you will always have a trash bag easily accessible when the time comes that you will need it. For the outside, use a car cover to prevent fading paint and water spots when you are not using the car.
7. Cream of Tartar
If you frequently travel over oil roads (often times found in rural areas), your windshield might become coated with an oil grime, thanks to the particles that get kicked up. To cut through this, use cream of tartar sprinkled on the windshield and then wipe down with a soapy water mixture. Rinse this off, and then dry well.
8. Soda Water Cleans a Lot
Combine soda water and alcohol, and get a powerful cleaning agent that will also disinfect, and use it on both the interior and exterior of your car. The soda solution doesn’t leave streaks on surfaces like some traditional cleaners do.
Soda water and vinegar will clean upholstery and carpets simply by scrubbing the surface with a toothbrush and the solution.
Wipe your windshield wiper blades with a cloth that has been soaked in a soda and alcohol solution to help keep the blades from leaving streaks.
If you need to fill the windshield washer fluid, you can use a mixture of 3 cups vodka (cheap is fine), 4 cups of water, and 2 teaspoons of liquid dishwashing detergent. Shake the mixture well and pour into the reservoir as needed.