Be in the Limelight – Learn the Secrets of Car Cleaning

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When driving is a pleasure! Top Car Cleaning Secrets

Photo © kokotewan - Fotolia.com

Photo © kokotewan - Fotolia.com

Contents:

  1. Body and Tires
  2. Say No to Bug Traces
  3. Tar Spots
  4. Headlights Washing
  5. Carpet
  6. Seats
  7. Interior
  8. Get Rid of Odor
  9. Sickness Problems
  10. Cleaning Under Hood

Everybody knows that cleaning a car is a must, primarily in order to keep its marketable condition. It seems that it’s very easy to wash your car. However, there are a lot of tricks and features. We’ll tell about them in this article.

1. Body and Tires Cleaning

Hand washing is the easiest way to keep your clean from the mud. To do this, you need the following:

  • a bucket (or better – two),
  • suede and microfiber cloth,
  • telescopic brush with foam roller and wiper,
  • porous sponge and a brush for cleaning wheels,
  • detergent (car shampoo) and a lot of water.

Shampoo for car washing is selected depending on the water hardness and contamination degree of the vehicle.

The procedure is quite simple.

  1. Throw the car with water from a bucket or wet it with a sponge.
  2. Wash the car with soap solution and a sponge. The water in the bucket should be warm so you can properly dissolve the detergent and rich a suitable composition for washing.
  3. Give the shampoo a little time to take effect on the dirt (time varies depending on the degree of contamination of surfaces). Meanwhile, you can remove mud deposits from the tires and rims using a hard brush.
  4. Wash off the shampoo with plenty of water. Then clean soapy places using a brush with a foam roller and wiper. Moreover, the wiper is used to remove excess moisture from the windows.
  5. Remove the remaining water and detergent from the car body, windows, wheels, and inner surfaces (sills, doorways) with special napkins made of suede or microfiber. Be careful not to leave water stains on the body and glass. If they are, you will have to repeat the rinse again. The stains indicate that there are detergent residues on the car and they can react with the paint and corrode it over time (especially if the body is already damaged).
  6. Thoroughly dry the vehicle, if necessary polish the body.
ATTENTION! Try not to wash your car in the scorching sun, do it in the shade of a building or trees. In the sun, moisture will dry quickly and you’ll simply have no time to wipe the car clean. In addition, the sun heats and destroys the paint.

After washing in the winter, cover the straps on the windows and doors with wax. Moreover, you can leave the vehicle outside in the frost, open all doors and let the remaining moisture freeze. This procedure takes just 5-10 minutes, but after it all windows and doors will easily open.

2. Say No to Bug Traces

Tar, together with the remains of insects and plants that are collected on your car while driving, eat into the paint leaving disgusting stains and spoiling the exterior of the car. Do not waste your time. While drying, bug traces are absorbed into the paint.

NOTE! So, if you do not wash the vehicle in time (within a day or two after the traces have appeared), then together with the bugs, you have to remove small pieces of the coating.

Use special means geared to remove the tar and insects. In the nearest auto shop, you can find a wide selection of appropriate products. Apply the agent, leave it for a while, and then wipe the remains of bugs in a circular motion with a cloth. If necessary, scrape difficult spots through the fabric but do not overdo not to damage the paint.

To remove bugs from glass surfaces, you need another agent. Often, a mixture of water and liquid soap is enough. An excellent tool is regular cola. Sprinkle it on the spot and carefully rub. Make sure that the liquid does not hit the body and paint.

3. Tar Spots Cleaning

Of the three sticky substance (tar, bugs and plant juice), tar is the most removable thanks largely to a huge variety of chemicals geared to remove tar stains. Apply the special liquid on the spot and remove it in a minute.

If you prefer homemade detergents then pay attention to peanut butter or mayonnaise. Apply the chosen product on the spot, wait for five minutes, and then remove the softened tar stain with a soft cloth. If the contamination does not come off, then treat it again and wait a few minutes before wiping. Continue to soften the stain with an agent and wipe it until it is fully removed from the surface.

To remove tar and bug stains, use a soft terry cloth. Before you begin, make sure that the no fibers are left on the cloth – give it a good shake several times.

4. Headlights Washing

You may have noticed that it is very difficult to wash the lights well with only water. There is a good detergent – regular toothpaste. Prepare the following:

  • usual toothpaste, you can take the cheapest one;
  • any cloth, of course, it is better to take old towels or clothing, but be careful, sometimes there are metal parts and buttons that can leave scratches on your headlamps;
  • running water.

Squeeze a little toothpaste on the cloth. You do not need to squeeze the whole tube all at once as the efficiency of washing will not increase this way. Then apply the paste on the lamps with light circular movements and continue to rub a few minutes. All dirt from the surface will remain on the cloth. Rinse the lights with water. It is necessary to wash away all toothpaste, and then wipe dry so not to leave streaks. Now, the headlights will shine.

5. Carpets Cleaning

It is usually very dirty and wet under the mats and near them and you can’t avoid it.

  1. Take the mats out and shake them properly so that all pieces of dirt and other garbage do not fall into the car. It is better to put them in a dry area near your vehicle and clean the pebbles and sand with a bristle brush.
  2. Thoroughly vacuum the car. Try to vacuum everywhere: under the pedals and seats, in every corner all over the car. You should remove any remaining dirt, crumbs and litter from the floor.
  3. Apply any agent for cleaning carpets.
  4. Dry the mats and the surface underneath. Leave the car in the open air for 3–4 hours with the windows ajar. At the same time, the salon will be ventilated.

6. Cleaning Seats

If the seats are covered with natural or synthetic leather, then use special means because soap and water cause cracks and plaque and the leather will shrink. See our guide how to clean leather car interior.

If the upholstery is fabric, then you can use both automobile chemistry and usual household detergents and bleaches. Add some detergent to the water, drench a soft sponge to get a lot of foam, and then clean the upholstery. Wash off the remnants of foam with a damp cloth. However, it can take a lot of time to dry the interior, so plan the procedure for the weekends when you do not need your vehicle.

If your car is new, it is often enough to vacuum the interior. After five years of operation, this is not enough: even if the seat does not look dirty (for instance, when the upholstery is dark), the dirt will give an unpleasant odor. To get rid of the smell, treat the seats with steam under pressure, covered with a special agent for a few minutes and then steamed again. Finally, clean the seats with a wet-vac.

7. Cleaning Interior

To make the car look like new, clean every corner with a sponge and brush. Pay special attention to the ashtrays, glove box, plastic dashboard elements, and door pockets. For plastic surfaces, use a cloth and cleaning products. For the steering wheel, use leather care products. You can vacuum textile surfaces.

8. Get Rid of Odor

The first thing you can do is to clean carpets and upholstery, which absorb the smell of tobacco. After cleaning, you need to remove the smell forever. There are several means to do this.

  1. Pour vinegar into a small pot and put it in the cabin for a night or day. Vinegar removes some unpleasant odors in the car.
  2. Take a cup of coffee grounds, put it on the dashboard, tightly close all windows and doors, and leave it there for at least 12 hours. Then open doors and windows, take a cup away, and thoroughly ventilate the interior. Repeat the procedure several times, if necessary.
  3. Take natural vanilla extract and put a few drops on the seat in the places where they will be unnoticeable. Vanilla has so persistent smell that its odor will easily absorb the unpleasant smell of tobacco within a day.
  4. Charcoal, like soda, is perhaps the best way to absorb a variety of odors. No wonder, coal is used in various water and air filters. Take a small piece of charcoal and just leave it in the car for a couple of days and you will notice how odors are gradually fading, or rather absorbed by the charcoal.

9. Sickness Problems

  1. First remove all solid contamination with paper towels, and then with a sponge soaked with cold water.
  2. Then sprinkle the wet stain with baking soda, which absorbs liquid, neutralize acid and eliminate unpleasant odor.
  3. Let the soda dry and remove it with a vacuum cleaner.
  4. Treat the stain with a sponge soaked with a solution of a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid and a cup of cold water.
  5. Finally, rinse and dry.

If you have no baking soda at hand, then use a regular club soda. Just sprinkle it on the stain, leave for a few minutes, and then blot it dry.

10. Cleaning Under Hood

Usually the hood space gets very dirty from dust, salt, and oil. Some drivers make a mistake trying to clean up this place on their own as then there are electrical problems. It is better to wipe (not to wash) all available space with a cloth and detergent. Full motor washing should be made only at a special service station, where generator, power relays, and fuses will be covered and protected from water.

Proper care of the car not only makes it look nice but also prolongs its service life.

Author: Anna Wallace