Car Cleaning Hacks
No one likes a dirty car. OK, maybe we shouldn't say no one. Perhaps, there are a few people out there who don't mind, but we think it's reasonable to say that most people would rather have a clean one. Problem is, it takes time to keep a car clean. And unless you break out the cleaning supplies once in a while, your car is going to get messy. So if you have a car that could use a little picking up, here's a few tricks to make the cleaning job more manageable.
Remove bumper stickers with WD-40
Bumper stickers don't age very well, there aren't many that don't fade and tear as they age. Most people leave them on, though, because removing bumper stickers is a hard task. Well, here a cute trick. Soak the sticker down with WD-40 and wait 10 mins or so. You should find that the sticker will peel right off if the WD-40 has soaked in enough. If not, apply the WD-40 a few more times.
Toothpaste for your headlights
This is a great hack. Headlights with polycarbonate covers (almost all cars today) have a tendency fog up as they age. This is due to the sun's Ultra-Violet (UV) light. UV light breaks down polycarbonate plastic and there's not much you can do about it. Thankfully, the effects are just "skin deep" and you can remove just the thin outer layer of the plastic and expose the clear lower layers.
There are fancy polishing kits that you can buy to do this, but you can also use ordinary toothpaste. Because tooth paste has a small amount of "grit" in it, you can use it as a polish. Seriously. Just put a dab of toothpaste on an old rag and polish away until the lens becomes clearer. Note: this may take a while, perhaps 30 mins per lens, but it does work if you keep at it.
Removing smells with baking soda
Cars can smell badly after a while, particularly if you have fabric-covered seats. Whether these offensive odors come from smoking, animals or something else, there is hope. Just pull out some baking powder from your kitchen and spread it all over your car seats. Leave it on for a couple of hours and then suck it up with a vacuum cleaner. It may take a couple of applications, but you will find that this technique works quite well.
Cupcake molds in cupholders
This is a great hack. We got this one from Classic Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Madison, OH. As they suggest, it doesn't take much time before a car's cup holders are simply disgusting. One simple hack to prevent them from collecting pools of disgust is to put some cupcake molds in them. These little babies will collect all the filth and can simply be thrown away once they become gross too.
Foam brushes for your vents
You know those gray foam brushes that are commonly sold as paint brushes? These things are great for cleaning the air vents in your car. The conveniently shaped flat brushes can be slid in between the slats and get to those pesky corners.
Baby wipes for windows
Unless you are a parent, you may not know that baby wipes come in small packets that you can keep in your glove box. These pre-moistened sheets are absolutely invaluable if a you need to clean up small messes on your seats, or on people in the car!
Shine those leather seats
If you have leather seats in your car, you will notice that the factory shine will become dull over time. This is because the leather becomes dry and often starts to crack. You will find quite a number of leather conditioning products at your local car parts outlet but they all will probably be expensive. Time for a hack! Try ordinary Vaseline on your seats. Simply rub some of this magic jelly into the leather and clean off the excess 15 mins later. The Vaseline will sink into the natural leather and make it shiny and subtle again.
Steel wool windshield cleaner
This might sound like the most counterintuitive advice steel wool can work wonders when it comes to cleaning up your windshield. Obviously don't rub too hard but steel wool will clean just about anything that has dried on your car's windshield.
Rubbing alcohol for wipers
The rubber on your windshield wipers can get dry over time. In many cases, it might be best just to buy new wipers but you can also rejuvenate your old ones with some rubbing alcohol. Just put some on a small cloth and rub your wiper blades down.
Scent your car with essential oils
If you want to apply a nice scent to the interior of your car, you may find that the standard tree-shaped fresheners aren't the smell that you want. A neat hack is to take your favorite essential oil and soak a wooden clothes pin in it overnight. Next day, place it near an air vent in your car and you're done.
How to really clean your floor mats
Yes, floor mats can get disgustingly dirty. Want to clean them up? Here's a cool hack. Step one, pull them out of your car and shake out all sand and dirt. Step two, take them to your local commercial laundry and give them a good wash. Step three, bring them back home and hang them somewhere to dry. When done you will be amazed at how good they look.
Clean windows with newspaper
This is an old hack. If your car's windows are dirty, take some newspaper and crumple it into a ball. Next, spray your car's windows with a common window cleaner and wipe them dry with the newspaper. You will be amazed at how well this works.
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