Keeping you car clean and shiny not only makes for a good impression while driving, it also helps maintain the vehicle’s overall value. Sooner or later, you are going to trade in your car or sell it to a private party. The more your car looks like new, the more you will get for it when it comes time to pass it along to someone else. Here are a few cleaning tips that will make it easier for you to preserve your car’s like-new condition.
1) Washing The Car’s Exterior
Make sure you always wash your car before you take it on a long drive. Driving the vehicle heats up the exterior, and washing it soon afterwards results in lots of cleanser spots. Wash the car in the shade, preferably in the morning before the air temperature starts to rise. Use a mild detergent, preferably an environmentally-friendly soap that will not adversely affect the soil or contaminate the sewer runoff. Always wipe the car down with a soft terry cloth immediately after rinsing. Do not drive the car while it is still wet. Your vehicle will retain its shiny appearance much longer if you dry it yourself.
2) Vacuuming The Interior Carpet
Portable carpet cleaning vacuums are quite affordable and will make the job of cleaning the upholstery much easier. Remember to slide the seats forward to locate any large objects that have fallen down to the floor level. If you find coins, pens, a battery charger, hair pins, or pebbles, it means you are not cleaning the floor often enough. Clean the seats first, then work downwards to the mats. Remove the mats and clean them outside the vehicle. Vacuum the floor carpet and side upholstery with the carpet cleaner machine.
3) Cleaning Vinyl And Leather Surfaces
Use a specialized cleaner for vinyl. These solutions come in a spray bottle and can be purchased at any auto supply store. For leather seats, use a cleaning solution specifically formulated for this material. Use several cloths and flip each one over during the cleaning process to prevent rubbing grime back into the surface. After wiping down the surface, spray on a leather conditioner and wipe down once more.
4) Removing Dirt From Crannies
You will need a flat head screwdriver, a soft-tip brush, and a cloth. Use the screwdriver to remove dirt and dust from linear indentations in the door panels and around the edges of the instrument clusters. Brush the grime onto the cloth and shake out onto the ground. To get at dirt located in crevices, wrap the cloth around the screwdriver and spray on a small amount of eco-friendly cleanser.
5) Cleaning The Air Vents
Spray a small amount of furniture polish onto a medium-sized paint brush and use this to get the dust and grime out of the air vents. Brush the entire surface of the vent blades. Wipe off the brush and repeat with the remaining vent openings.