There’s nothing quite as nice as the smell of spring. The sweetness of flowers and the freshness of a rainy day give an exciting indication of the warmth to come. However, while winter melts away, your car is probably getting more dirty with each drive. Between the salt stains, dirt-streaks, and crumpled leaves, that car might not be looking so good. I suggest you do what I do for spring cleaning: roll your sleeves up and follow these quick cleaning tips to scrape away what is left from winter!
- CarpetsSnow, slush and street salt have been layering your floor mats since winter began, and it’s time to get that crust off! Follow these tips from cars.com to get those stubborn stains off your carpets.
- UpholsteryUse a damp towel with baking soda to wash down vinyl seating, or hot water, white vinegar, and a hard bristle brush to work the mixture through cloth upholstery. Vacuum excess debris using a carpet-cleaning machine or hand-held vacuum.
- ConsoleUse a damp microfiber cloth (microfiber does not leave excess fibers on your surfaces) to wipe down the console and dashboard of your car. Consider using a dash brush to get into those nooks and crannies of your vent system and remove whatever dust has built up between the cracks.
- Cup holdersSpills happen, it’s okay! But come spring, any of those spills you thought you cleaned up might begin to smell as the air warms. First, clear the cup holders of whatever may be occupying them, and throw away any extra cups, garbage, or wrappers you may come across. To quickly and easily finish the task, put a sock over the bottom of a travel cup and dampen it with window cleaner – twist the cup around in the cup holder and voila!
- Windows (inside and out)Those streaks and salt stains can become obnoxious when not tended to. Try to avoid using ammonia when cleaning car windows, as its fumes and ingredients are harmful to you and the different materials in your car. Take a microfiber cloth and dip half of it into a bucket of water, leaving the other half dry. Use the damp half to scrub the windows clean, and the dry half to remove any streaks that may have formed.
- TrunkThe trunk of a car seems to become the junk pile for many, and it continues to grow throughout the winter. Now that it’s spring, clear extra items out of that space to leave room for baseball bats, picnic baskets, or bikes. Use a vacuum to remove leaves and other debris from the trunk.
- WheelsFew things are more satisfying than kicking that slushy blob of snow from the wheel wells – get the rest of that dirty excess off your tires as well! Use a strong hose to spray off any easy-to-remove grime, followed by a chrome wheel cleaner. Scrub the surface with a soft bristled wheel brush while making sure to get the front and back of each spoke. Rinse the surface again with a blast of water and dry the wheel off with a microfiber cloth to avoid water stains.
- Exterior bodyAfter cleaning your wheels (which should always be done first to prevent brake dust and dirty water from splashing onto an otherwise clean car), you can clean your car’s exterior! Spray your car down, then begin detailing with a thick sponge and soapy bucket of water. Work from the roof downwards, and take one section of the car at a time so you don’t end up with dried soap on the surface of your car. After scrubbing a section of your car with the sponge, rinse it down with the hose. Once you’ve completely scrubbed your car from top to bottom, take a ride around the block to dry it off before waxing (if you decide to do so). Check out this article from Popular Mechanics for detailed instructions on waxing your car’s exterior.
- Under the hoodLeaves, debris, and dirt can get under the hood of your car, so make sure you wipe down the edges to remove that excess mess.
- WipersWinter can be hard on your windshield wipers, so make sure you have working wipers for those rainy days. Clean the road residue off your wipers by swiping a wet cloth across each of the blades.
Breathe in the scent of clean car and enjoy your spring days!