As you make headway on organizing and scrubbing your home, be sure to show your car a little TLC too.
There are a lot of different methods for car cleaning, and—although they’ll all get your car clean—not all of these methods protect the interior and exterior of your vehicle. Follow these tips for a thorough and scratch-free finish every time you wash.
Work from the inside out.
The interior of your car may seem like a magnet for crumbs, dirt, crushed cereal, and other grime. Vacuuming frequently can keep clutter under control on a day-to-day basis, but a more thorough scrubbing will bring up the baked-in dirt and ensure your car smells fresh all season long. Carpets, air vents, and windows are all areas that tend to collect grime, so be sure to pay special attention to these areas. It’s also important to get filters changed every six months to clean, allergen-free air and no lingering odors.
Tips for Interior Cleaning:
- Use a bristled scrub brush to bring up sand and dirt that has fallen into the fibers of the floor mats. Remove the mats completely and shake them out, then vacuum the floor underneath the mats to ensure cleanliness.
- Use a glass cleaner to wash the window interiors.
- Use a foam craft brush, a long-bristled paintbrush, or a cotton swab to clean dust from vents (to get rid of any odors, soak the brush in an interior car cleaner before scrubbing).
- Always use cleaning solutions that are specifically formulated for car interiors.
Shine the tires.
Tires are an often-neglected part of the car, but when your tires are clean it makes your whole car sparkle. Tires and hubcaps can be one of the grimiest parts so they can require a lot of effort. Using the right tools—and a little elbow grease—will make a huge difference in the final appearance of your car.
Tips for Tire Cleaning:
- It’s best to use a cleaner specifically made for car exteriors. Although you can use dish soap on the tires without causing harm, accidentally splashing soapy water onto the rest of the car can damage the paint.
- Cleaning the tires first ensures that the majority of the dirt is cleaned away before wiping down the more mild buildup on the rest of the car.
- Use a hose with strong pressure to ensure any remaining buildup is stripped away.
Clean the rest of the exterior.
Scratching is always a major concern when washing your vehicle. Using the wrong cleaning solution, the wrong cloth or brush, or unclean water can all result in scratches to your bright, beautiful car—a car lover’s worst nightmare!
Tips for exterior car cleaning:
- Don’t make the dish soap mistake! Most people use harsh soaps that can leave marks on the exterior, but cleaners designed for cars are mild and perfect for gentle cleaning and long-term shine.
- Fill up two buckets with warm water and add cleaning solution to one of them. Use the bucket of clean, non-soapy water to rinse out your sponge in between scrubbing to ensure that no dirt scratches up your paint.
- Don’t count on driving around the block to dry off your car—unless you drive really, really fast! Use several soft chamois towels to gently mop up water and residual moisture.
Make it shine!
Add a thin layer of wax over all the painted surfaces of your car every season to protect the paint job and make the color pop all year round.
Hi! We’re Chris and Brian Weeks, owners of atc Auto Center, certified automotive service & repair specialists serving the CSRA for over 50 years. Shops in Augusta and Grovetown, GA. You can find us online at atcAutoCenter.com or on Facebook and Twitter. Give us a call anytime to chat about your vehicle needs. We don’t organize garages though.