Car Cleaning Tips 101

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Car Cleaning -- A Clean Car Is A Happy Car!

Keeping your car neat and sweet not only makes you feel better, it makes it last longer. Additionally, if the car is well maintained, you will be able to get a better sales price or trade-in value if your vehicle is maintained well.

Here are some good tips to use on your car:


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  • Spills As with any area, the best way to keep your car clean when spills occur is to clean it up quickly. Pull over safely and wipe it up. Keep extra napkins in the glove box or paper towels in the back seat or trunk for these occasions. Keep a Tide-2-Go pen in the console to help with stain removal. Go over the area with a damp towel (water only) to remove any residue.


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  • Vacuuming Use the brush and crevice tool attachments that come with your vacuum cleaner. The brush is good for vacuuming the air vents and seats. Crevice tools are great to reach between seats, map pockets and console areas. It can pick up food crumbs and other “hidden treasures”. Vacuum the seams on seats. Dirt can accumulate in this area and it can break down the seat fabric. Be sure to move the seats all the way forward, then all the way back to get to all the areas in and around the seats. Be sure and check the bag after you vacuum. You may find that earring you lost two months ago!


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  • Upholstery Cleaning Treat any stains with a stain remover before cleaning. Be sure to rinse with a damp towel (water only). A mild cleaning solution can be used to clean seat fabric. (2 drops of gentle dishwashing detergent per gallon of water is usually good). Use a good leather cleaner on leather seats (check your owner’s manual for product recommendations). Use a clean town or rag and dip it in the cleaning solution and rub gently. Don’t “soak” the seat. Less is best!


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  • Windows & Mirrors Windex can be used to clean the windows, rear and side view mirrors. You can also use a simple vinegar and water solution. If you have tinted windows, do not use a product with ammonia (like Windex). The ammonia can break down the window tint. Using a tool like the Windshield Wonder might come in handy as well for those hard to reach areas. A good microfiber towel is a good way to get a lint-free, streak-free shine. If using paper towels, try to use ones that don’t leave a lint trail.


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  • Instrument Panel, Dashboard A microfiber cloth or towel works best to clean the instrument panel – no streaks or residue!

    Use Armor All or other similar product recommended by the vehicle manufacturer on the dashboard and other vinyl surfaces. Use a leather cleaner recommended by the vehicle manufacturer if the surfaces are leather instead of vinyl. Use a clean cloth and wipe down the surfaces. Use a second one to wipe up excess and buff.

    Try new tucking fabric dryer sheets in the car console and between seats for a long-lasting fresh scent!


    While this page is for clothing, these stain removal tips can also work on car upholstery.

    I hope you enjoyed these car cleaning tips. Enjoy your clean, sweet smelling ride!


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