Fall Cleaning

Posted on September 10th, 2013 by Frank

You may notice, now that summer is coming to a close, that your car received some wear and tear from all your road trips and carpooling. Fortunately, most interior cleaning can be done with products you have around the house! Here are a few tips to getting your car back in tip-top shape for fall:

  1. Refer to your vehicle’s owner manual before beginning to clean its interior. Many of today’s auto components are sensitive to certain cleaners. Before you start, test each of the interior parts in small locations that are out of the way and won’t be too terrible if the cleaner doesn’t work out – better safe than sorry!
  2. Don’t vacuum places that are hard to reach – blow it out by connecting your vacuum hose to the vacuum outlet. Toggle the power switch quickly between the on and off settings. By doing it this way, debris doesn’t blow all over your vehicle; instead it moves it just far enough that you can easily vacuum it up.
  3. Paintbrushes and toothbrushes are the best tools for cleaning inside hard-to-reach cracks and corners. Vacuum with one hand as you brush those small spaces to quickly clean up tricky areas. Leave the brushes in your glove compartment so you will have them at all times.
  4. Using a sturdy brush and a vacuum, you can thoroughly remove debris from carpets and mats, but don’t brush too aggressively or you may cause them to fray.
  5.  Chewing gum remover can adequately remove gum, wax or other sticky materials. It freezes the material so it can be easily scraped off. Once the object is frozen, use a dull paint scraper to remove it. Dry ice works for this purpose as well.
  6. The dirtiest places inside your car are the ones you touch, such as the seat belt, steering wheel, shifting knob and the inside of the driver side door. Spend a little extra time cleaning these areas.
  7. Use a diluted and mild laundry soap to clean seat belts – it protects the integrity of the fabric.
  8. Windows can be cleaned inside and out with glass cleaner and paper towels. You can lightly buff them afterward with a 100% cotton towel.
  9. A cloth dampened with water is sufficient to clean the dashboard and panels. An all-purpose cleaner diluted with water can be used to remove grime.
  10. If you notice any bad smells, use a 20:1 water-to-vinegar concentration and scrub thoroughly. If it doesn’t work, slowly increase the ratio until the smell is gone. Vinegar is much cheaper than commercial products.