We blink our eyes and it seems that spring has sprung right up on us! It’s that time of year to freshen up our belongings. Usually, when we think about spring cleaning, we think about cleaning our houses, closets, garages etc., but let’s not forget to clean out our cars as well. A little car maintenance will have you riding around town in your freshly cleaned, shiny vehicle, with the windows down and the sunshine on your face in no time.
Gather your cleaning supplies
Fortunately, there are a lot of household items you can use for spring cleaning your car. Most of these items can be found in your kitchen or bathroom, so no need to run to the store or spend money on expensive cleaning supplies!
- Vacuum hose
- Magic Eraser
- Olive Oil
- Spray bottle
- Sponge/ white washcloth
- Diluted all-purpose shampoo
Spring cleaning your car: Step 1
One of the first things you should do when you are ready to clean your car is get rid of all those water bottles, pop cans and Starbucks drinks rolling around on the ground. Also make sure to throw away any crumpled up napkins or papers laying on the floor. After completing just this one simple task, it will make you feel like you’ve already made a ton of progress.
Cleaning the cracks and crannies
Arizona is known for its dust storms. They can certainly wreak havoc on our cars, including our air filters, cabin filters and our air vents in general. The easiest way to clean the air vents out is to use either a paintbrush or toothbrush to dust them out. We’ve been seeing those cool vacuum attachments lately that have tiny vacuum tubes in them that say they are perfect for cleaning out vents and other hard to clean parts of a vehicle – we haven’t tried them yet, but hey maybe they will work even better! Either way, make sure to use the vacuum hose to suck up any dust particles you knock out so they don’t end up floating around in your car.
Spring is also a great time to replace your air filters and your cabin filters. This can certainly be a DIY job, but if you are unsure how to do it, or would just like the convenience of having someone else change them for you, come on in and let us take care of it. Plus, it never hurts to have a courtesy inspection done of your vehicle as well during the spring, before the hot, hot Arizona summer hits.
What is that gooey substance?
We don’t know about you, but when we purchase a new vehicle, we VOW to keep it clean! Over time however, as it loses its “newness” it’s easy to let it go a bit. Spilled some soda on the carpet? Maybe your coffee tipped over on the way to work? Junior stored his half eaten lollipop in the cup holder – sticky side down? Well, if you don’t clean these messes up right away, over time they can become seriously embedded in the carpet, and your cup holders will start to look like a biohazard!
Many car washes these days have those handy dandy clips and sprayers to help wash your floor mats. It might be worth the trip to stop in and give your mats a good washing, especially if they have some unidentified substances ground into them. As for your cup holders, try using a toothbrush and some soapy water to scrub them out. Some vehicles actually have removable liners in them that you can take in the house and throw in the dishwasher for an even better clean – car manufactures are learning aren’t they?
Shine the lackluster leather
Over time, as we run our hands over the steering wheel and dashboard, it tends to lose its luster. The easiest way to bring that gorgeous shine back, is to use a little bit of olive or mineral oil. You can of course buy some Armor All or more expensive leather cleaner, but a little bit of olive oil works just as well, if not better. Just put a little drop of oil on a paper towel and run it over the dull leather. It will restore the leather and bring back the shine it had back in its glory days.
Remove that stubborn pet fur
If you have a pet, especially a dog, you know the joy they get from going on an adventure in the back of your vehicle. What dog doesn’t like sticking their head out the window and smelling the world coming at them at 55 mph!
The downside for pet owners though, is the fur that always seems to get embedded in the floor or seats. Even vacuuming seems to only pick up some of the fur, not all of it. Fortunately, there is a simple trick to help get embedded fur out – it just requires a spray bottle and a squeegee. Lightly spray the area and then use the squeegee to work the fur out of the fabric.
Easy trick to get shiny headlights
As a vehicle ages, the headlights can get worn and appear to be a little cloudy. Also, when the weather gets warmer, the bugs start coming out, which means that your headlights can get pretty smeared with bug guts. Along with being just plain unsightly, dirty headlights can also be a safety hazard as well.
Fortunately, they are actually easy to clean. Just grab a toothbrush and some toothpaste (any brand will work) and scrub away like you’re brushing your teeth! It might take a couple coats of toothpaste but the effort will be worth it once your headlights look like new again.
Of course, if your vehicle is exceptionally dirty, it could probably use a complete car detailing service, which we now offer here at Good Works Auto Repair. You can check out our pricing here. Spring has sprung, so take this opportunity to use some of these cleaning hacks to get your vehicle spring clean in no time!