Of all the cleaning jobs the average person has to do, car washing can be among the more pleasurable. With the sun shining and music playing, giving your pride and joy a thorough once over can be relaxing and rewarding.
But whether you’re dealing with a particularly dirty car or you simply want to make life easier for yourself, there are some very handy car washing hacks you should be aware of.
1. Homemade car freshener
Don’t waste money on expensive car fresheners. Just put a little essential oil onto a wooden clothes peg and attach it to an air vent.
2. Buff up leather with oil
No, not motor oil! Put a little olive oil on a soft fibre cloth, and give your leather seats a good rub down. Make sure the seats are clean first, however.
3. Brush dials and buttons
Getting the various dials, buttons and switches on a car dashboard clean can be very tricky. To make life easier, dip an old toothbrush into some washing-up liquid, and get brushing.
4. Make your headlights sparkle even more brightly
While you’re in the bathroom looking for an old toothbrush, pick up the toothpaste as well. Rub the paste onto your headlights, and give it around 10 minutes of contact time. Rinse the toothpaste off, and give the headlights a good polish with a microfibre cloth. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results.
5. Remove sticker glue with grease
If you’re into covering your car with stickers, you’ll know how annoying it can be when glue residue just won’t budge when you remove them. However, just a little WD-40 and a rigorous rubbing with a microfibre cloth should be enough to remove all traces of unsightly glue.
6. Soak your windscreen wipers
Dirty and grimy windscreen wipers can actually do more harm than good. To keep your windscreen clean and clear, rub your wipers with a microfibre cloth soaked in alcohol. This should be enough to remove the most stubborn of bug carcasses and grease.
7. Shine with clay
If you want to add a shine to your car, you can get great results with just water and a clay bar. Available from children’s retailers, clay bars add a sparkle to car bodywork with just a little gentle rubbing.
8. Condition for shine
Another way to make your car shine is to give it the same treatment you’d give your hair. Some hair conditioner rubbed in with a microfibre cloth with make your pride and joy sparkle.
9. Cotton buds and vodka
This strange combination is perfect for all those fiddly cleaning jobs inside a car. Just soak the cotton in neat vodka and rub it into buttons, dials and any nooks and crannies that have a habit of attracting dust and debris.
10. Always have nappies at hand
Whether you have a baby or not, having a pack of nappies in your car at all times will help you to soak up spillages quickly and efficiently. Modern nappies are highly absorbent, so they are perfect for blotting up everything from spilt drinks to vomit.
11. Remove sticky labels with wet newspaper
Not there’s no need for a physical tax disc, many people have a redundant holder stuck to their windscreen. If you’re one of those people, you can remove it fairly quickly by rubbing warm, soapy water over the sticker with some newspaper. This is also an efficient way of removing old glue residues.
12. Shine up your dashboard with grease
Garages and petrol stations charge a small fortune for cleaning products designed for car dashboards. However, exactly the same results can be achieved with petroleum jelly. A standard tub of Vaseline and a microfibre cloth should be enough to make your dashboard shine as brightly as that of a new car.
With these 12 handy car cleaning hacks at your disposal, looking after your pride and joy should be easier — and a lot more fun.