Detailing your own car is no easy task which is one reason professional car detailers exist. However, detailing a car can be done easily and inexpensively at home. While it may be tempting to buy all those expensive products available in the car departments in stores to get the job done right, it is not necessary. These cleaning hacks are tested and proven and work so well that they are trade secrets to professionals. Using some of these unique and innovative ways to clean your car will have friends asking how to get in touch with the place that does your detailing.
Use Essential Oils For A Natural Aroma
Rather than spending oodles of money on the car wash for that “new car” smell, place a few drops of essential oils on a sachet or clothespin in the vent.
Replace Air Filters Regularly
In-cabin air filters collect not only dust but foul odors. Replace them every few months to keep the vehicle free of allergens and smelling fresh.
Apply Vaseline To Interior For A Brilliant Shine
Old-fashioned petroleum jelly can be applied to the interior and dashboard of a vehicle to create a glossy finish. It is much cheaper than Armor All and just as effective.
Use Charcoal To Absorb Foul Odors
Among other uses, charcoal is adept at absorbing odors. To rid vehicles of stubborn smells that cannot be covered, place a few pieces of charcoal under the seat.
Make Cheap Car Wash Solution With Everyday Ingredients
Mix a one-quarter spoonful of baking soda and a one-quarter spoonful of liquid detergent into a bucket of water for an effective, inexpensive car wash solution.
Clean The Air Vents
Get rid of unsightly dust accumulation on the slats of the car’s air vents by using an old toothbrush, a paintbrush, or a can of compressed air.
Keep Leather Upholstery Fresh With Vinegar And Linseed Oil
Wiping down leather seats regularly with a solution of equal parts linseed oil and vinegar will keep the upholstery clean, moisturized, and free from cracks.
Scrub Rubber Mats
Use a stiff-bristled brush and a soap solution to clean rubber mats. Soak them and let them sit in the sun for at least fifteen minutes before rinsing to remove tough stains.
Use A Squeegee To Remove Pet Hair
Pet hair can be tough to remove from cloth upholstery. Lightly spray seats with water and rub with a rubber squeegee to remove hair quickly.
Remove Grease And Oil Stains With Cornstarch
Grease and oil can be removed from leather and cloth upholstery by applying cornstarch to the affected area. Let it sit for ten minutes, and the starch will soak up the stain.
Clean The Whole Window Thoroughly
Partially roll down the window to remove grime from the top edge of the pane. Windows will require multiple passes to remove all streaks, but it is worth it to take the time.
Remove Tough Stains With Club Soda
Tough, set-in stains such as those from blood or red wine can be easily removed with the application of club soda. Let it sit for a few minutes and blot it up with a towel.
Remove Baked-On Stains With Mayonnaise
Hard-to-remove stains can be lifted easily with the application of a dollop of mayonnaise. Let it sit for five to ten minutes and then wipe off with a clean rag.
Use Vinegar To Boost Cleaning Solution
The addition of a few tablespoons of vinegar to any cleaning solution will boost its power immensely. It is safe for use on windows and vinyl upholstery.
Use A Razor Blade To Remove Stains And Decals
Baked-on stains can be removed with the patient use of a razor blade. It can similarly remove stuck-on stickers and decals without residue.
Use A Screwdriver To Clean Small Spaces
For hard-to-reach spaces such as small holes and grooves, a screwdriver covered with a soft cloth can be used to remove stubborn dust and grime.
Use Nail Polish To Prevent Hairline Cracks From Spreading
When a hairline crack develops in the body or windshield of a car, temporarily stop it in its tracks by liberally applying nail polish to the afflicted area.
Use Q-Tips To Clean Hard-To-Reach Places
When space is too small to fit a rag or towel, a Q-tip can come in handy. Use cotton swabs to reach corners and narrow spaces.
Use Thermal Paper To Remove Crayon From Upholstery
Children can make messes in imaginative ways. Ground-in wax crayon stains can be removed from car carpet and upholstery by ironing a thermal sheet on the spot.
Remove Sticky Stains With A Magic Eraser
Dip a Magic Eraser in Lysol to scrub away stubborn sticky spill stains from acrylic and vinyl surfaces of the interior of the vehicle.
Use Sticky Mats To Keep Items From Rolling Around The Car
Mobile phones and other loose articles can be securely stuck to the dashboard using a sticky mat. Doing so will keep the vehicle clean and tidy.
Apply Coca-Cola To Rust Stains
In addition to being delicious, Coca-Cola is adept at breaking down rust stains. Apply to a cloth and rub in a circular motion to remove stains. It is not recommended for use on paint.
Stop Leaks With A Mint
If a leak springs up in the engine bay, a partially-chewed mint or a wad of gum can be temporarily used to stop the leak until it can be repaired.
Repurpose Ashtrays As Phone Docks
Many older model vehicles have ashtrays in them. Put cleaned ashtrays to good use as phone docks to keep items from rolling around the car while driving.
Use A Clean Diaper To Soak Up Spills
Diapers are made to be super absorbent. Keep some on hand for when a spill happens. Apply a clean diaper to the spill to soak it up before it can stain the upholstery.
De-Ice Stuck Doors And Locks With Hand Sanitizer
The high alcohol content of hand sanitizer will quickly melt ice from stuck doors and locks in the winter. The gel solution is easier to use in direct applications than liquid alcohol.
Use Dampened Newspaper To Remove Old Registration Stickers
Nothing ages a car like a stack of registration stickers on the plate. Old stickers can be removed by leaving a wet newspaper on it for ten minutes before peeling it off.
Clean Windows With White Vinegar
Rather than using that blue stuff from the store, use a solution of white vinegar in a spray bottle for streak-free windows. Wipe off with newspaper rather than a towel to avoid lint residue.
Use A Clay Bar To Remove Stubborn Grease Stains
Some grime and grease stains don’t want to come off with soap and water alone. When this happens, the application of a clay bar can lift off the stains with ease.
Use Wet Dryer Sheets To Remove Bug Stains
Old, dried-up bugs can be difficult to remove from the car’s body with soap and water alone. Wet a dryer sheet and scrub the affected area to remove these bug stains.
Use A Shoe As A Cup Holder To Avoid Spills
Many older cars do not have adequate cup holders for today’s drinks. In a pinch, use a (clean) shoe to hold a drink to avoid messy spills.
Spray WD-40 On Stubborn Stickers And Decals
Easily remove stuck-on decals and stickers by spritzing them with WD-40. Let it sit for at least ten minutes and then scrape them off with ease.
Make A Homemade Wiper Blade Cleaning Solution
Using the ratio of .25:1, mix ammonia and cold water for a highly effective homemade windshield wiper blade cleaning solution. Apply with a cotton ball or clean towel.
Use Rubbing Alcohol To Clean Wiper Blades
Residue on windshield wiper blades can cause streaks or even ineffective wiping. Dip a ball of cotton in rubbing alcohol and rub away all residue to eliminate streaks.
Wash Car With Baby Shampoo To Remove Stains
Caked-on stains caused by mud, grease, or bird filth can be quickly removed by pouring baby shampoo onto a clean wet rag and rubbing the stain in a circular motion.
Use Lanolin-Based Hair Conditioner For A Glossy Finish
Save time and money on wax finishes by applying lanolin-based hair conditioner to a freshly washed car. It is faster than waxing and buffing and equally effective.
Fill Windshield Wiper Reservoir With Vodka Solution
Prepare a homemade solution of three cups of cheap vodka, four cups of water, and two tablespoons of liquid detergent and pour in windshield wiper reservoir for a streak-free finish.
Use Toothpaste To Clean Cloudy Headlights
Headlight cleaning kits are effective but can cost up to $25 USD. Use regular toothpaste, let it sit, and buff it off to clear up cloudiness quickly and cheaply.
Protect Vinyl Surfaces With Lemon Juice and Olive Oil
Vinyl upholstery and hard surfaces are susceptible to unsightly cracking if they are not protected. Use a solution of lemon juice and olive oil to keep them shiny and safe from cracks.
Use Bleach To Get Shining Black Tires
Tire-cleaning products are costly. Use a solution of everyday detergent and bleach mixed into warm water to bring back the shine.
Get Streak-Free Windows With Alcohol And Vinegar
Alcohol and Vinegar are miracle cleaning liquids on their own. Mixed with water in a 1.25 to 1 and 1.5 to 1 ratio respectively, this becomes the best solution for cleaning glass and windows.
Keep Baby Wipes Handy For Regular Clean-Up
Keep a pack of baby wipes in the car and use them routinely to wipe down surfaces. Doing so will help keep dust and dirt from building up and cut deep cleaning time down significantly.
Make Sticky Slime At Home To Remove Dust And Dirt
A homemade mixture of liquid starch, glue, and water yields a sticky slime that is perfect for grabbing dirt and dust from interior surfaces of the vehicle.
Use Olive Oil To Keep Leather Upholstery Supple And Like New
After washing dirt and grime off of leather seats with warm, soapy water, rub a small amount of olive oil into the upholstery to keep it from drying out and cracking.
Use Kerosene For A Cheap Glossy Finish
Another alternative to time-consuming and costly wax finishes is the use of kerosene. Use a solution of kerosene and water and wipe the car dry for a brilliant shine.
Remove Burn Stains With A Raw Onion
This little-known hack can save a car’s resale value. Apply a cut onion to a burn stain on leather or vinyl, allow it to soak in, and then blot with warm water to drastically reduce its visibility.
Use A Toothbrush To Clean Small Spaces
On vinyl upholstery, dirt and dust can become caked in the cracks of the seats. Use a toothbrush dipped in soapy water to gently scrub away debris.
Hide Dryer Sheets For A Continual Fresh Aroma
Keep the vehicle smelling fresh all the time with strategically-placed dryer sheets in hidden locations around the car. Change them out weekly.
Clean Tough Stains With Hydrogen Peroxide
A liberal application of hydrogen peroxide can remove even the toughest stains, such as blood, wine, and grass, from cloth upholstery and mats. Allow it to sit before blotting with a damp rag.
The easiest way to save money is to be thorough. Pull out all the mats, check for trash in every corner, and vacuum or wipe down every single surface.