Spring always brings a sense of new beginnings and the want of starting fresh. Research has been traced back to the Iranian Nowruz, which is the Persian new year. This new year falls on the first day of spring and the Iranians practice “khooneh tekouni”, which means “shaking the house”. Everything in the house is thoroughly cleaned and not a single thing goes untouched by a cleaning supply, hence the “tradition” of spring cleaning in the modern day. Many of us view spring as a symbol of everything coming back to life, and in preparation for the freshness that spring brings, we all partake in some type of spring cleaning.
One of the most needed spring cleanings that can be glanced over is your vehicle (especially those living in regions with snow, all that salt!). To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of spring cleaning tips for your vehicle. Some of these will end up saving you money, so you should definitely check them out:
Cleaning the Inside:
The first task, before you start cleaning anything, should be to rid your car of all the junk it has accumulated over the fall/winter seasons. We know that our cars can get a little fuller in the winter, especially when you have a bunch of items to carry inside and you’re not trying to make an extra trip when it’s 15 degrees outside. Oftentimes, some unimportant stuff just stays in your car (it usually moves around from the front seat to the back seat, to the trunk). Once you remove everything, and go through all of it, throw out the items that you now deem to be trash and keep the rest out of your car until you are done the cleaning. Once you are done cleaning, make sure everything has its place and is secured. It not only makes you look more organized, but it also keeps everything from flying around if you are involved in an accident.
We’re pretty sure you know how to clean the inside of your car, but we’ve found some extra tips we thought were helpful! The one part of your car that is frequently missed is the ceiling. Wiping this down with a microfiber cloth removes all of the dust, dirt, hair, and grime that is building on your ceiling that you don’t even think about (we know we didn’t).
Something else that most people don’t normally clean is their floor mats. Sure, you may vacuum them from time-to-time, but to get them extra clean, it’s recommended that you throw those bad boys in the washing machine. Many recommend spraying the mats with a stain remover – just to make sure you’re getting the most out of the wash. Make sure not to overload your washer and only put 1-2 floor mats in at a time.
Another great cleaning hack is cleaning the air vents with a foam art brush! It really gets further into the vents then you would be able to with just wiping the vent itself. For a deeper clean, many recommend taking a screwdriver (with a microfiber cloth wrapped around it) to get into the crevices that you wouldn’t normally reach.
To keep your car staying clean, and to make it easier on yourself, people also recommend putting cupcake liners in your cup holders. This makes it much easier to clean those areas since the cup holders are definitely the hardest part to clean. Many companies make silicone versions (specifically for cup holders) and there are other cup holder inserts that you can purchase as well.
To get a fresh scent back after you’re finished cleaning, leave an open container of baking soda or coffee grounds, in the car overnight, with the windows up, to further deodorize your car. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes! You may not think that your car doesn’t smell fresh, but the baking soda really makes everything smell truly fresh and clean for longer. This is also something you can put into your normal car cleaning routine.
Cleaning the Outside:
Washing and waxing your car can seem simple, but there are a few tips to make sure you’re getting the best clean. DO wash your car in the shade, NOT in the sunlight. The sun can make your paint soft and cause it to scratch much easier. You also shouldn’t let your car air dry. Instead, you should dry it with microfiber towels. DO NOT use dish detergent in your car! Make sure you use a car specific cleaning soap. DO use two buckets for your sponges. One bucket with the soapy water, one bucket to rinse the grime you are taking off from your car. You DO NOT want to mix dirt with the soapy water you are using to clean your car. Doing so could potentially scratch your paint job with little bits of gravel or sand in the sponge. Likewise, you should use two separate sponges for the body of your car and the tires/wheels. Experts also recommend getting the underneath of your car sprayed down to try to deter rust. They recommend just going through your local car wash or bringing it to a self-car wash that has the ability to let you spray the underneath.
When waxing your car, a paste wax is easier than a liquid wax (even though a liquid wax cleans the best). A spray of wax is usually the easiest to apply and will leave the fewest amount of stains. Experts say that waxing your car should be done, at least, every 5 weeks.
The front of your car gets the most dirt and grime. Keeping your headlights clean is important, not only for the look of your car but for your safety as well. An easy cleaning hack is to simply use toothpaste that contains baking soda, and a clean rag, to wipe the grime from your headlights. Simply rinse the headlights with water when you are done the scrubbing.
Using a dryer sheet to clean your grill can make it much easier to remove all of the bugs that have been unfortunate victims of your driving.
Freshen up your windshield wipers by wiping them down with rubbing alcohol! This will help you maintain a streak-free wipe until your windshield wipers are replaced. It is recommended that you replace your windshield wipers at least every 6 months (especially if you live in an area with heavy snowfall and/or rainfall). The more you have to use your wipers, the more often they should be replaced.
One last tip is to clean under the hood of your car. At the least, cleaning your engine bay of any debris it may have picked up, like leaves, can lower the potential of something causing a blockage in your engine. If you feel comfortable, wiping your engine down with a soapy rag is a good idea. There are many things to be cautionary about with electrical pieces, so if you don’t feel comfortable, a car cleaning service can do this for you.
Everyone likes a fresh, clean house for spring. Make life 10x better with a fresh, clean car too. Being organized in all of your personal places can make you feel more productive and can keep you motivated to keep everything cleaner, and more organized, at all times. This applies to not only your home, but to your car, and many other aspects of your life, as well.