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Cleaning 101 – Keep Your Car Clean without Going to the Wash

Removing Odors from Your Car's Interior

Riding in your car should be relaxing and enjoyable. If your interior smells bad and is filled with garbage and dirt, it might distract you while driving. Here is a quick list of car cleaning tips to keep it looking as if it’s been detailed — without having to go to a carwash. With a little time and elbow grease you can make your vehicle look fantastic.

Exterior

Cleaning 101 - Keep Your Car Clean without Going to the Wash

  • Rinse and clean the wheels and the areas around them with a hose. Then scrub with wheel cleaner of your choice. Do this first to keep road debris off the vehicle’s body.
  • Rinse the exterior of your vehicle and then scrub with a lamb’s wool mitt and cleaner.
  • Remove bugs from the front of your car, windshield, and grill by soaking a rag in bug spray. Scrub off the insects with the rag.
  • Use vinegar, water, and dish soap to clean your windows.
  • Scrub headlights and taillights with toothpaste and baking soda, then rinse.
  • Wipe down your windshield wipers with rubbing alcohol.

Interior

Cleaning 101 - Keep Your Car Clean without Going to the Wash

  • Remove floor mats. Vacuum, scrub, and hang them to dry. Use stain fighter for stubborn stains. Do this first so you they are dry and ready to place back in the vehicle when you are finished with the rest of the interior.
  • Vacuum seats (if they are cloth). You can use a lint brush/roller (or a slightly damp scrub brush) to gently remove clingy pet hair. For leather seats, use a leather cleaner or make your own with ¼ cup vinegar, ¼ cup olive oil and 10 drops of lemon or orange essential oil. Use this solution to wipe down the seats.
  • Use all-purpose cleaner to wipe down the interior. Use a Q-tip to clean out cracks that have accumulated grime and dirt. Olive oil can be used to condition your dash.
  • Use a paint brush to clean out the air vents. Vacuum as you do this to remove all dust.
  • For interior windows, apply the same solution as for outside windows. You can help avoid streaks by wiping with newspaper instead of paper towels.

For all of your car repair needs and maintenance, check out Gerry’s Automotive. Our website contains a full list of services available.