Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring Clean Your Car!

Start the spring out with a detailed car! You do not have to spend $100 to get that detailed finish interior. Here are some simple tips to get it fresh off the lot clean! Time to get the 3 month old cheerios, old coffee cups, mail, clothes, toys and whatever else you have been accumulating, out of the car! There is nothing like getting into a fresh smelling, clean car that you can actually see out of the windows!

Cleaning the Inside of the Car

Put on some good music, a pair of shorts and an old t-shirt and lets get to work!

Begin by getting the car emptied out. Get in there with two bags. One for garbage and one for stuff your keeping. That bag can be sorted through later.

Regular maintenance on car seats, the dashboard and carpet will protect the value of your car.

There are many products on the market for cleaning leather seats. A moisturizing soap will keep leather looking new. Just take a wet soft cloth, rub the bar on it, and lather it up real good on your leather. You do not need to rinse this off, just buff it up with a soft cloth. The moisturizer in the soap keeps the leather soft and supple.

If you have ink stains on the leather, you can remove it with cuticle remover — not nail polish remover! Just put some on the stain and let it set in anywhere from 10 minutes to overnight and then wipe it off.

If you have fabric upholstery, vacuum it well and then spray it with a fabric protector. This will keep spots from forming and makes cleanup easier. Febreeze fabric freshener will make it smell wonderful. Even the old stand by of baking soda will help to absorb and remove the stale and unidentifiable odors! Remove your floor mats and vacuum well and treat any stains.

For detail cleaning on the dashboard, the best thing to use is a soft paintbrush. It gets into all the grooves.

Another handy item to use in cleaning the dashboard is a damp Q-tip. You can work it into all the grooves to remove the accumulated dirt that has built up. Plain old alcohol works great. As does vinegar and water.

The best thing to use to clean the dashboard is a wet microfiber cloth. There is no need to rinse, it does a perfect job. Keep a micro-fiber cloth in the car at all times for those little accidents.

Clean the windows with white vinegar and water solution and newspaper. If you smoke or have had a smoker in the car, this may take a few tries to get the windows streak free and really clean. Be sure to do each window and also all the mirrors.

The last thing you need to remember is your carpet. You want to treat it just like the carpet in your house. Use your favorite carpet cleaner.

Salt residue is a problem for cars in colder parts of the country. Here a recipe to remove the salt.
Removing Salt Residue

Ingredients and Materials:

One part water
One part white vinegar
Spray bottle

Mix a 50/50 solution of the water and vinegar. Spray it onto the salt and really saturate it. Take your cloth and blot until all the salt is removed. You may have to do this a couple of times. You may want to take your carpet spotter and go over it one last time.

Club soda is great to use on stains. The salts in the club soda prevent a stain from setting. Do not be afraid to pour it on the carpet or the upholstery to get any kind of spot out of it.

Shaving cream is another great spot remover. Put some on the spot, massage it in real well with a soft cloth, and then blot it all up. It works well because it is nothing more than whipped soap and works great as a little spotter.

There are two items you never want to be without.. The first is a hand sanitizer — it is a wonderful cleaner because it is loaded with alcohol and alcohol is a great spot and stain remover. The second item is baby wipes — you can use them to wipe up any spot or spill. The oil in the wipe will not harm leather upholstery.

Last but not least, get the outside of the car washed and waxed. It can take a lot of work to do a good job yourself, or take it to a carwash that offers detailing on the outside of the car. If you have a build up of salt on your car, you want to get it off, it can be very damaging to the exterior of your auto. Protect your investment!

Try and follow the rule "Never Leave the Car Empty Handed"..that includes you and your kids. If everyone grabs something, you'll have less junk piling up inside the car!

Now grab the kids and go for a drive, and enjoy the fruits of your labor!


  1. I love the "never leave the car empty handed" rule- I need to really start following that one! I always take the time to make sure the house is clean but I always forget about my car.

  2. I never thought about using shaving cream before - what a great idea!

    I've also found that if I hang a plastic grocery store bag between the armrests of the two front chairs, it gives us a place to throw stuff away. When it gets full, just tie it up and toss it!

    Enjoying your blog,
    Lynn from For Love or Funny

  3. Hi Dawn,
    I'm so inspired by you that I'm going to link to your Housewife Hints blog on Monday morning so that my readers get a chance to check out your Spring Cleaning tips.

    Lynn from For Love or Funny

  4. DO NOT USE ALCOHOL ON YOUR VEHICLE! It dissolves plastics and many synthetic fibers. It'll cause more damage than protection. Simply use 50/50 vinegar/water mixture.

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  6. Useful tips. Cold weather can reduce tire pressure, so make sure all tires, including the spare, are properly inflated and balanced. You can check the inside of your car door to find out what the proper air pressure should be.


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