Between driving around dogs, messy toddlers, and teenagers with their muddy sports gear, your car definitely takes a beating. But, don’t worry, we have car cleaning tips & tricks to get rid of the toughest stains, odors, and dirt dilemmas to make your car look brand new again.
1. Clean your headlights using toothpaste.
Using a sponge and a little bit of elbow grease, apply the toothpaste and rub in circular motions until the dirt comes off. Then, wipe away with a light cloth to reveal your crystal clear headlights! Who knew this miracle car detailing product was sitting in your medicine cabinet all along. (via How to Get Rid)
2. Remove a bumper sticker using a blow dryer.
The heat from the blow dryer will help loosen the adhesive so you can then use one of your plastic rewards cards from your wallet to get under it and peel it off without any damage to your car. This doesn’t just work for bumper stickers either, it can also come in handy for removing stickers from your windshield like old registration stickers, toll tags, parking permits, etc. (via Cars.com)
3. Use a coffee filter to dust your car interior.
Coffee filters are awesome for cleaning! They are cheap, disposable, biodegradable and super effective. Keep a stack in your center console and quickly wipe down your dashboard and inside your car with one while you are waiting in your car. It is so easy and convenient that you won’t mind doing it and your car with look so much better! (via The Krazy Coupon Lady)
4. Best Carpet Stain Remover for Less than $1!
One of the trickiest car cleaning dilemmas can be cleaning out those stubborn carpet stains. Well, this 2-ingredient carpet stain remover is a life saver and is SO CHEAP to make. All you need is to fill a bottle 1/3 full with hydrogen peroxide and then fill the rest with water (and you can add essential oil to make it smell good). So, you can make a batch of this for less than $1! Unbelievable, right? If you have darker carpets, test a patch first as it hydrogen peroxide can cause discoloration and it may need to be diluted a bit more. I swear vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are two super cheap, miracle cleaning products that I always buy in bulk! (via Kids Activities Blog)
Speaking of vinegar, next up on our list of genius car cleaning tips & tricks…
5. Mix up a batch of this easy & effective nontoxic car cleaner.
Since cars are such small, enclosed spaces, I am especially careful to try to use nontoxic, natural cleaning products whenever possible. This awesome all-purpose car cleaner solution is a life-saver. It uses just vinegar, lemon, club soda, and dish soap. Keep a bottle in the back of your car and you can immediately get rid of any new stains. (via BuzzFeed)
A cleaner almost identical to the mixture above had these results:
6. Use an old sock to clean out your cupholders.
Car cupholders are notorious for their ooey gooey messes from melted lip balms and spilled sodas. To help get rid of these messes, you can put an old sock over a travel cup, spray with all-purpose cleaner and twist. (via Krazy Coupon Lady)
7. Condition your upholstery to keep it from cracking.
Upkeep like conditioning our car’s interior is one of those things we often neglect because it is not an immediate need. But, it is important because it will keep your car looking great so much longer, which means not buying a new car, which means saving major money! You with me? (via The Family Handyman)
Don’t want to buy a special product to condition your dashboard? Use a small amount of Vaseline and massage it in using a dry clean cloth. (via Krazy Coupon Lady)
8. Keep your rims sparkling using this cheap DIY cleaner.
I love cleaning my tires’ hubcaps. It is so rewarding because you see the grime just melt away. Don’t waste your money on a specialty product, though. Instead, mix baking soda, dish soap, and warm water for this easy DIY tire cleaner that you can make for practically nothing with items in your pantry. (via PopSugar)
9. Clean those hard to reach crevices using Q-tips.
It can be tough to get to all the nooks and crannies in your car, but those are the places where the grime can really build up. So, when you do your deep clean of your car, make sure to have some Q-tips ready. They are the perfect tool to help you clean out those hard to reach spots. I guess it’s called detailing for a reason. (via Popular Mechanics)
There are some hacks out there that have gone viral and yet, in reality, they don’t actually work or can even do damage. So, I like to share those as well to help our readers, Mythbusters style. What car cleaning tips should you not use?
Wack Hack: Conditioning leather car seats using olive oil.
Many sites claim that this is a genius cleaning hack for your leather car seats, but DO NOT do it. While, at first, it may look like it makes them more nourished, in the long run, it actually speeds up the deterioration. Read more about how here.
10. Get rid of pet hair using a spray bottle and a squeegee.
This is one of the car cleaning tips that I am kicking myself for not knowing sooner! I have spent hours trying to vacuum up pet hair out of my back seat after a road trip with a dog. I tried multiple times and yet, still, it seemed like I just couldn’t get rid of it all. Well, to really do the trick, spray the seat with water and then use a squeegee to collect all the hair before vacuuming it up – brilliant! (via BuzzFeed)
11. Most car washes have a 48 hour rain check policy – put it to use!
Whenever I am thinking of taking my car to the car wash, I always check the forecast to make sure there isn’t any rain expected that week. Inevitably, though, there are times when you get a wash and it rains the next day! Well, no need to get frustrated. Most car washes have a raincheck policy where if it rains within 48 hours of getting your car washed, you can get it washed again for free. So, save your receipts!
12. DIY slime is the secret for cleaning those hard to reach places.
Remember how quickly your gak or slime picked up dirt as a kid? Well, instead of trying to avoid it, why not put it to good use! Mix up a batch of homemade slime as a fun craft with your kids. They can have some to play with and they you can have some to clean with. Talk about a great way to get your kids excited about cleaning. You can have them help you smash it into those hard to reach places and magically pick up all the grime. (via Little Things)
13. Clean out your car’s air vents using a foam brush.
These super cheap foam brushes that you can get for less than a dollar at the hardware or craft store are the perfect tool to quickly remove any dirt hiding in your car’s air vents. As with any cleaning job, make sure you do the dusting first and the vacuuming after so you can get rid of all that dust once and for all. (via Fluster Buster)
14. Clean wiper blades with rubbing alcohol for a streak-free windshield.
I hate it when it starts to drizzle so I put on my windshield wipers and..SWEAR! A huge smudge across my windshield that makes it harder to see than the rain drops did. Sound familiar? Try this next hack on our list of car cleaning tips & tricks to prevent future smears: clean your wiper blades with rubbing alcohol. (via Krazy Coupon Lady)
And last but not least on our list of car cleaning tips & tricks…
15. Get rid of any lingering odors with baking soda.
Just like how you clean your mattress, you can get rid of lingering car odors by dusting the upholstery with baking soda. Let sit for a couple of hours and then vacuum up the baking soda and the odors along with it. (via Right at Home)
Then, you can prevent any odors from returning, using this cheap & easy DIY air freshener.
Using just baking soda and essential oils in a mason jar, you can create little DIY air fresheners for next to nothing. These are not just perfect for your car, you can stick them in drawers, near the litter box, or wherever you are constantly fighting odors. (via Mom 4 Real)
We spend so much time in our cars and yet we often neglect cleaning them as often as we do our houses. I know I am guilty of this. But, with these car cleaning tips & tricks, I hope you are feeling much more motivated and dare I see even excited to change that.
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Isn’t that the awesome thing about cleaning hacks? They make the job easier and they motivate you to clean because you want to try them out. Which of these car cleaning tips & tricks was your favorite? Let us know below and comment with what cleaning dilemmas you need hacks for next.