During the winter months, it is easy to forget about car maintenance. It’s cold and nasty out, so why think about how your car looks or what’s going on inside? The winter months are the hardest on your vehicle. Not only do low temperatures take a toll on your battery and engine, but the salt on the road can damage the exterior of you car. Salt from the road can bake into your paint and underneath your car leading to rust and corrode. The longer you let salt sit on your paint, the quicker it will chip away. Winter does not last long, and there are always a couple warmer weather breaks. Take advantage of the nicer weather and clean your car. My rule of thumb; as long as it’s above freezing, add warm water to that bucket and clean away. To help ease your mind of spending money on cleaning products, I have come up with a list of ten items at home to clean your car. No hassle of driving to Wal-Mart or Autozone to buy a product, because I guarantee you already have everything you need at home.
Let’s Clean Your Car!
1. The first item is an old bucket. To start off, grab any bucket around the house. This will be used to hold the water and soap to clean your car.
2. Speaking of soap, item number two is dish soap. Dish soap, like Dawn, is safe on the paint and will clean your car up great. Just add a dash to warm water in the bucket and you are ready to wash. Disclaimer: dish soap should only be used if you run out of car soap. Dish detergent overtime can be harmful to your paint/wax coating so you should only use it once, twice max. Stick to a normal car wash soap like Blue Coral car wash concentrate.
3. The third item is cotton towels. You will need one washcloth and two to three bath towels to wash, and dry your car with.
4. Next, an old toothbrush or sponge. Sounds silly, but you can’t just wash the exterior without touching the wheels! The wheels are the dirtiest area on your car, so using an old toothbrush or sponge to wipe away grime instead of the washcloth will help keep your paint scratch free.
Grab a hose and those four items, and you are on your way to a clean exterior.
Moving onto the interior of your car. Here are a couple things you can use.
5. Number five is a glass cleaner. I always use Invisible Glass on all windows, and even counter tops at home so I definitely have a can under my sink. Use a glass cleaner on the interior and exterior windows.
6. Next, disinfectant wipes. Wipe down any and all areas of your car. Little hands attract a lot of germs, so make sure you disinfect well! Invisible Glass makes a great glass cleaning wipe that is also a disinfectant;)
7. For number seven, grab a stain remover. The longer you let that spilled spaghetti sit, the harder it will be to get out.
8. We need some latex gloves. If you put them on and run your hands across the carpet floor mats and trunk, it will lift any hair to easily vacuum later. A nice trick for those with dogs or hairy passengers.
9. Going right into vacuums, you can use any vacuum at home as long as it has a separate nozzle attachment. Like cleaning the stairs or underneath tight surfaces, use that attachment for your carpet and floor mats. It might be easier to take the mats out and vacuum them on the ground.
10. Finally, grab an air freshener and spray inside your car. Keep the doors open to help air it out, though. We do not want fumes making the kids sick after you’ve cleaned!
These ten items can easily be found at home. Some might even be located right under your kitchen sink. Don’t be like the rest and let your car sit in corroding salt all winter. Find a warmer winter day, grab your gear, and wash away.