A clean car does not only looks new and appealing, but also drives better and feels fresh. However, achieving this at your local automatic car wash is hard as the stiff brushes may not be effective. Instead of risking scratches on your ride at the car wash, you can safely and effectively clean your car right from your driveway. In this article, we will focus on simple DIY tips for cleaning your car.
Determining the Condition of Your Car
Maintaining a clean car doesn’t start when it gets dirty. It should start right from when you are choosing which car to buy. This may sound extreme but you need to do a thorough background check of the car to ensure that it is in good condition and easy to maintain especially if you go for a used car. Fortunately, there are several resourceful online services like https://vincheck.info/free-vehicle-history/ that you can use to get a comprehensive report on vehicle history. Such reports can help you settle on a vehicle that is not only worth its price, but also easy to maintain and clean. Nonetheless, when you already have the car, there are a few tricks of keeping ever shiny, clean and new.
8 Effective DIY Car Cleaning Tips
- Only Use the Right Tools and Products Correctly
Once you determine the condition of the car, you can choose the right tools and products for cleaning. It is also important to read and understand the manual/labels before using any cleaning tools or products on your car. Some may do more harm than good depending on your car’s coat or finishes. Besides, you need to know the correct way and amount to apply to your vehicle when washing.
At this point, it is important to remove the muddy mats and carpets for cleaning.
- Wet Your Car Down with Clean Water
Before you start working on the body with soap or detergent, you should first wet the entire car’s body in preparation for scrubbing. You can use a bucket of clean water and a small container to splash the water on the car. A more effective method is to spray the car with a hosepipe. This will help loosen the sticky dirt as well as remove excess dust, mud and dirt from the surface.
- Employ the 3-Bucket Car Wash System
This system is simple; you need 3 buckets or washing containers with clean water. Add your car washing soap, preferably plant-based products into one of the 3 buckets and use a gentle wash mitt to scrub the outer surface of the vehicle. You should be careful on the soap/detergent you decide to use as some dish cleaners and liquid detergents can damage the paint. Consider using a spray foam cannon to equally coat your vehicle. Additionally, avoid using hard-bristled brushes on the surface to prevent scratches.
The purpose of the second bucket is to rinse the mitt before dipping it back to the soapy water. Rinsing the cleaning mitt prevents reintroducing the dirty back to the surface as well as keeping the soapy water clean for effective cleaning. If your car is too dirty, you can change the water in the second bucket in the process.
The last bucket is reserved for the wheels and tires as they are often dirtier than the body.
- Rinsing the Body Surface
After soaking the car in soapy water and gently scrubbing the surface to remove sticky contaminants, rinse the surface with clean water from a hosepipe to remove the soap and lose particles from the surface.
- Working on the Blemishes
With the surface clean, you can easily see tough stains and marks such as oxidation spots, scratches and swirls. Use a clay bar to safely get rid of the stubborn marks together with wax remains and then polish the surface to keep it smooth. Some scratches may require repainting though you can use Oz compound to hide such defects.
- Cleaning the Windows and Interior
A mixture of water, vinegar and alcohol is one of the most effective DIY frugal cleaners. Mix the 3 in the ratio of 4:2:1 in a spray bottle and use a clean cloth/towel wipe to clean the windows, windscreen and the vinyl parts of the inner car. You could use coke in place of the mixture and achieve the same results.
For the leather or vinyl seats, you can use toothpaste or alcohol to remove mild to tough stains. However, you need to test the products first to ensure that they will not damage the dye on the material.
Another DIY miracle is to spray baking soda on the seat/ floor mats and then vacuum to freshen the car.
- Adding Shine and Protection
Protect the paint from UV rays by adding a layer of wax on the coat. If you don’t have wax, a solution of kerosene and water is a great DIY protectant. Wax also provides shine, but if you want your car to shine more you can polish up with a hair conditioner.
- Cleaning the Tires and the Wheels
Add baking soda into water and stir to form a paste solution. Apply the paste and work around the tires with a scrub brush to remove all the mud and dirt. You should allow the paste to sit for a few minutes before rinsing for the best results.
Cleaning your car should not be a stressful or expensive task. With the above DIY car cleaning tips and hacks, you can always keep your ride polished with things that you already have at home.