Having your car washed and cleaned can be satisfying. Regular upkeep of your priced vehicle can keep you from spending on costly repairs. It also makes your car safer and its interior healthier for a few hours of stay, especially during a long drive. Getting your car shined by a car-wash service, though, can come with a high price tag.
If you have a tight budget and do not want to spend too much on car-wash services, you can go the DIY route. Here are some techniques to clean your own car and save a few bucks:
Things You Need
You will need to prepare an assortment of cleaning implements to successfully clean your vehicle. Before starting with the cleaning process, make sure to prepare or gather the following:
- Vacuum cleaner
- Car cleaners or car washing shampoo
- Rags, chamois leather, or microfiber towel
- Applicators and brushes
- Bucket of water
- Hose and faucet with running water
When using car cleaners, be sure that they do not contain chemicals that may stain or damage parts of your car’s interior or exterior. Some cleaners may be too harsh, so it pays to ask sellers if they can have unpleasant effects when used. Asking around for referrals and reviews may also help.
Whether you should start cleaning with the interior or exterior of your car will depend on your preference. Either way, make sure to have all materials available and be careful not to scratch any surface.
Cleaning the Interior
First, make sure to take out all rubbish from inside the car. You may also remove the floor mats or carpets so that they can be separately cleaned and vacuumed. Floor mats and carpets are the dirtiest parts of a car’s interior, so they may need separate washing for better cleaning and dirt removal.
Vacuum all parts of the car’s interior, making sure to give attention to door pockets, seat crevices, and corners that are hard to clean. For easy cleaning, use a vacuum that has an extension hose and handheld attachments. Such types allow you to clean hard to reach crevices and corners.
Sometimes, a vacuum may lack suction or shut off during use and may not be able to clean your car effectively. If this is the case, be sure to have the vacuum checked so that you can use it next time without any issues. A Dyson repair technician can do wonders and make your vacuum reliable again for car cleaning.
Next, wipe the dashboard, steering wheel, console, seats, and gear stick with clean, damp cloth or rag. You may also use a spray to better clean these areas of the car. When done, spray the windows with glass cleaner. Wipe with the rags to buff the windows dry.
If the mats and carpets have been thoroughly cleaned, you can now return them in their places inside the car. For a fresher appeal, you may add an air freshener to complete the cleaning process.
Cleaning the Exterior
Close the windows and doors to make sure that no water will get inside the car. Use the hose to rinse off clumps of dirt in the car’s exterior. Lift wipers up so that you can thoroughly clean underneath.
Put a few drops of car cleaners, car shampoo, or car washing soap into a bucket of water according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Soak the sponge in the bubbly water and wipe it gently on the car’s surface in a circular motion, starting from the top to the bottom. When done, start cleaning the wheels. The wheels should be cleaned last because they are the dirtiest.
Make sure to clean the sponge and soak it again in the bubbly water after each application. This will prevent scratches caused by dirt that has lodged into the sponge.
Rinse off the soapy bubbles on the car’s surface thoroughly with clean water. Use the hose for this purpose. When all soap suds are washed away, buff the car dry with the chamois leather. Do this in a circular motion to prevent the formation of streaks and to give the car a better shine.
Once the car has been cleaned and dried, you may apply car wax for better shine and protection.
Always remember to wash your car under a canopy. If you wash it under the heat of the sun, the exterior can dry up so fast before you even get a chance to wipe or buff it. Instead of a shiny glow, you might just end up with a streaky finish.