Your automobile does more than just get you from point A to point B. It’s where you spend lots of time with family and friends going on adventures, working on business deals, and visiting loved ones. Regardless of the make or model you drive, you want your vehicle to be in top-notch condition, both inside and out. A pristine car makes your travels much more enjoyable and enables you to focus on the people you're with and where you're going. Here's how to keep it clean without paying expensive prices for someone else to do it.
Cleaning the Exterior
Before you begin the process of cleaning the exterior of your car, be sure to check the weather forecast. It’s best to clean your car on a day that is not too sunny or hot. This type of weather will cause your cleaning solution to evaporate too fast, leaving soap spots on the exterior finish. Choose a day that is cool and overcast.
If you’re looking to get the factory finish back on your exterior, you’ll need several items to get started. Gather a bucket, a quality automotive soap, a clean sponge, and your garden hose. Turn on the hose and fill the bucket with clean water to remove any debris that might be left inside it. Read the instructions provided by the manufacturer of your automotive soap—the label on the container will tell you how much soap you'll need. Pour the soap into the bucket and then fill it with the necessary amount of water. Be sure to mix the solution together to create suds.
Before you put any suds on your exterior, rinse the finish with cool, clear water. This will help to remove any residue on the surface that could scratch your vehicle when you begin scrubbing with the soap solution. The cool temperature of the water also helps to cool down the finish, preventing the water from evaporating too quickly.
Once you've rinsed the entire exterior, start at the rooftop. Immerse your sponge into the soap solution. Squeeze out any excess liquid, and then wash down the roof in small circles. Move across the roof in sections, overlapping scrubbing motions as you go. As you refill your sponge with soap solution, be sure to wring it out over the ground and not into the bucket. This will keep any dirt in the sponge from going into the bucket of clean solution. When you've finished scrubbing the roof, rinse the area with water. After cleaning the roof, continue with the rest of the exterior, working from the top to the bottom.
Cleaning the Interior
Often, car owners place most of their focus on the exterior cleanliness of their vehicles. But the interior requires attention as well in order to maintain its factory-new appearance and to keep your ride as comfortable as possible.
Before you begin the interior cleaning process, remove the floor mats from your car. If the floor mats are made of rubber, spray them with your hose to rinse any debris from the floor mats. Use a stiff brush to scrub any stubborn dirt off the surface. If the mats are made of upholstery, they will need to be vacuumed.
It’s important to regularly vacuum the interior space to prevent any undue stains on the upholstery and to ensure that all of the nooks and crannies are free of debris and residue. Vacuum the floor mats first while they are on the ground outside of the car. Use an upholstery or carpet cleaning product to remove any stubborn stains on the mats. Read the directions before applying the product. Allow time for the cleaner to work and then place a clean cloth over the area. Press down on the cloth, forcing the residue into the fabric.
Next, vacuum the floor space of your vehicle. If you have upholstered seating, use the vacuum to remove debris from the fabric. Continue by using the attachments to get into all of the tight spaces between and under the seats. If your seats have any stains, use your upholstery cleaner to remove them.
If you have leather seats, you will need a cleaner made specifically for leather. Apply the cleaning solution to one section, and then wipe it off before you move on to the next area. Use a soft cloth to buff the leather when you have finished.
Bring back the shine to the interior by wiping down the interior trim and the dashboard with an automotive product. Spray a small amount onto the surfaces and then wipe them clean with a cloth. Finally, use a glass cleaner on the windows and the windshield.