Springtime makes us think about cleaning our houses, but did you know that your car needs spring-cleaning too? Keeping your car clean makes it more enjoyable to drive, but it can also be good for your wallet. Since cleaning your car keeps the interior in good condition, it can boost your cash offer or trade-in value when you decide to get another vehicle. Here are 10 tips for cleaning your car and keeping it in pristine condition.
Store Basic Supplies in Your Car
Some cleaning supplies, like bleach cleaning solutions, need a climate-controlled environment, so it’s best to store them indoors. However, you can keep some basic supplies in your trunk or under-seat storage areas. Having a pack of wipes, a box of foam sponges, a roll of paper towels, and a lint roller on hand can help you clean up unexpected messes on the road.
Keep Clutter to a Minimum
Keeping your car free of clutter, like receipts, junk mail, and other trash, can make it easier for you on cleaning day. Consider getting a car trash bag to place paper and other clutter into when you’re using your car to run errands. You can use a simple grocery bag or buy a specialized trash disposal bag that hangs behind a seat headrest. If you usually drive with passengers, like kids, you might need multiple bags. Use these bags for non-food items that won’t smell if you leave them for several days.
Clean Your Seats
During a deep-cleaning day, you might use a special seat cleaner and conditioner that removes dirt and protects the seat materials. However, on a weekly basis, you can also use a spray bottle to mist water on your vinyl seats and then wipe them off with a paper towel. Make sure you dry the seats thoroughly. If you have leather seats, consider buying special leather seat wipes at an auto supply store.
Use a Lint Roller for Pet Hair
If you use your car to transport your pets, then you’ll know how much hair can get on cloth seats. You might not have time to vacuum your car seats every week, but keeping a lint roller in your glove compartment can help you get hair out quickly and easily. Simply roll it over the seats for stray dander after your dog or cat gets out of the car. Rolling the seats every time you bring your pets into the car can keep the hair from becoming embedded in the cloth.
Grab a Handheld Vacuum for Small Messes
No matter how hard you try to keep your car free from dirt or crumbs, messes happen. When you find a small, dry mess, like cookie crumbs or sand from the beach, cleaning it quickly can keep the particles from getting into the crevices of your car. Handheld, battery-powered vacuums might not be a great choice if you’re vacuuming the entire cab, but they’re perfect for cleaning up smaller messes.
Vacuum Every Month
Vacuuming the interior of your car every month keeps the seats and floor free of dirt. You can adjust your vacuuming schedule based on how often you use your car and how much dirt, sand, or food typically gets into the interior. For example, if you only drive your car a short distance a few times a week, you might vacuum it every five weeks, but if you use it more often or transport a lot of passengers, you might need to do a deep vacuum every three weeks. You can find a car vacuum at most gas stations.
Remove Mats for Easier Cleaning
When you vacuum your car, take the mats out beforehand so you can reach all of the carpet with the vacuum. Removing the mats can also help you find any grit or crumbs that managed to get underneath the mats. After you take the mats out, you can clean them too. If they’re relatively clean already, use a spray bottle of household cleaner and a paper towel. For muddy car mats, you can use a garden hose and dish soap to soak them and hose off any dirt.
Get Creative for Crevices
Car interiors are full of nooks and crannies, but there are a few basic household tools you can use to remove dirt from these tiny spaces. You can use a foam craft brush to clean between the vents of the air conditioner. If the spaces are too small, consider using a cotton swab. In some cases, you can use these tools dry, but if you need to, you can also spray household cleaner on them before using them.
Wash Your Car Regularly
Most of these tips have focused on the interior of your car, but the exterior needs maintenance just as much. If you park your car outside, the environment can cause dirt, smog, and oil to build up on the paint job, and the longer the grime stays, the harder it is to get off. The best way to keep your car’s paint job safe is to get your car washed at least once every few weeks.
Consider a Professional Detail Every Year
Professional detailing services can restore your car to like-new conditions and help you keep the trade-in value high. These experts have specialized cleaning equipment that allows them to remove stubborn grime and scuff marks on the interior and exterior of the car. They usually also wash and wax the car for you. Getting a professional detail job every year can be an inexpensive way to preserve your vehicle’s value.
Keeping your car in pristine condition goes beyond cleaning and includes regular maintenance checks and scheduled services. At Huffines Kia Corinth’s Service Center, you can get your oil changed, your tires rotated, and your brakes serviced for any make or model. We’re dedicated to helping our customers keep their vehicle’s value high, so stop by today or contact us to make an appointment.