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Car Cleaning Hacks and Tricks to Save You Money

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Getting your vehicle detailed can cost a couple hundred bucks or more. And drive-through car washes don’t always do the job. Instead, try these car cleaning hacks and tricks

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Sure, every once in a while, you can take your car to the local car wash. But nobody loves your ride as much as you do.

That means that even if you get an interior/exterior clean at the car wash, chances are, it’s not always going to be a thorough job. And for some people, there’s just the satisfaction of doing it yourself as well as saving money.

You may not always have the luxury of free time. But every once in a blue moon, you can try some of the following car cleaning hacks and tricks, we’ve scoured the web for.

But first, make sure you declutter the garage so you have a place to keep your car out of the elements!

The best DIY tips we found contain everyday home items you can use.

So ready to get started and give your ride some lovin’?

Tips for Cleaning Your Car

Let’s start from the bottom….

A blogger at Geeky Camel suggests using bleach on the wheels. Although it may not be an instantaneous fix, just a small amount of bleach on a rag can make those wheels shiny again.

The blogger recommends combining bleach with a bit of Lysol. Using a rag, simply scrub the rims until they look sparkly and brand new. Well, almost like brand new.

Now, then … let’s move to the interior of the car, to an area of the car you probably never think of: air vents.

The same vents that blast air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter can become clogged with dirt. You’re probably not even aware of it but if you’re prone to sneezing attacks in the car, the culprit could be the air vents.

To clean them the source at Geeky Camel recommends using a small foam brush. The squishy, malleable nature of the foam will allow it to deeply penetrate the air vents and remove dust.

Another easy car cleaning hacks and tricks especially for vents is using a can of compressed air. You can easily find compressed air at hardware stores and electronic stores.

Electronic stores sell it because it’s used to clean laptop and other hardware vents.

Removing Rust & Bumper Stickers

Now let’s move to the rear of the vehicle. If your car is old, you may have some bumper stickers that are outdated.

For example, if you have one of those “my kid made honor roll at ____ school” and your kid is now in college, it’s time to remove it.

To do this, the Geeky Camel blogger says you can spray the sticker with WD-40 and let it soak (for exactly how long is not mentioned).

After soaking the sticker with WD-40 spray, the blogger promises the sticker will peel right off.

And if you’re vehicle is showing its age not just with outdated bumper stickers but also from rust, use Coca Cola.

(Any other cola brand will work as well. And unless your car is sensitive to caffeine, diet soda will probably work, too.)

To remove the rust with cola, pour the cola into a spray bottle. Spray the affected areas and the acidity from the cola will eat the rust away.

(For this reason, it’s best not to drink cola; it’ll eat away at your stomach acid, leading to chronic heartburn and acid reflux.)

Car cleaning hacks and tips to save money

Car Cleaning Hacks and Tricks for a Sleek and Sexy Body

We try our best to make ourselves look beautiful. But how often do we give some TLC to our cars?

And if you do want to keep its shine, the conventional approach is letting a professional detailer give it a makeover. However, getting your ride detailed can cost $250 or more.

Thus, one car hack that will help rejuvenate the body of the vehicle’s shine is clay. This is another trick that comes from the blogger at Geeky Camel.

To attempt your hand at this unique DIY car-cleaning hack, simply use normal clay that you’d find at an art supply store. Take said clay and run it over the body of the vehicle.

The blogger claims that doing so will pick up dirt, including fingerprints.

Once your done claying your ride, let’s hop back on in and clean the dash….

Some bloggers recommend olive oil for revitalizing the dashboard. It probably doesn’t have to be organic extra virgin; any quality olive oil will do.

To try this trick, the blogger recommends rubbing a small amount of the oil onto a cloth. Apply the oil in a circular motion for dust removal.

Another way to clean the dash is by using magic board erasers. You can actually use them anywhere there’s grime, dirt or smudges in the interior of the car.

Cleaning Small Spaces

But how about those pesky hard to reach areas? You know, like the radio and temperature control dials?

Perhaps the oldest of the car cleaning hacks and tricks is using a Q-tip. But a small toothbrush can also work for tiny crevices.

In fact, the source at Expert Home Tips recommends using toothbrushes for sticky stains in cup holders. To do so, dip the toothbrush in soapy water and scrub, scrub, scrub.

A blogger at One Crazy House also suggests preventing cup holder stains in the first place by inserting silicone molds.

Yet another simple solution for keeping your car clean is keeping baby wipes in your glove compartment. Just two or three wipes is all it takes to give a thorough interior cleaning.

Car cleaning hacks and tips to make a car shine

Car Wash Hacks

Expert Home Tips recommends not only toothbrushes but also toothpaste. Especially for buffing headlights.

You might not give your headlights much thought but if your headlights are dirty, other cars can’t see you as well.

To get brighter beams, give your headlights a good wiping with paper towels or cloth. Then, rub toothpaste over the headlights with a microfiber cloth.

The blogger recommends leaving the paste on for a few minutes, after which, you can rinse off with water and dry well.

Car Window Cleaning Hacks

No good car wash is complete without cleaning the windows.

Expert Home Tips recommends WD-40 spray or cooking oil spray for your windshield. This trick works especially well for removing splattered bugs.

Rain spots can also be removed with WD-40 or hair conditioner, says the blogger at the aforementioned One Crazy House.

If you want to use conditioner, find one that has lanolin and silicone, both of which may help prevent rain spots from forming on your windshield and windows.

Got any other clever ways to clean your vehicle? Leave a comment.

  1. I need to clean my Jeep more often lol! It is the small interior spaces that make it annoying, plus being SO hot down here lately that I have just given up!

  2. when I learned about the cleaning action of coca cola it almost made me stop drinking it. Almost. It’s great at removing clogs from drains too.

  3. Great car cleaning hacks, the windows are always so hard to get right. I use a mix of vinegar and water on my glass shower doors it helps to break down soap grimes and water spots. I’m wondering if this would help as well for my car windows.

  4. I need to try most of these hacks, they sound great! I don’t think I can try the clay one though..that ones rather intimidating, but I especially want to focus on the bleach tire one.. thats one area of the truck I despise washing to begin with.

  5. I can add one more hack. Have your kids do it for you! For some reason they love to clean the car and I certainly won’t complain! Great post!

  6. I don’t clean my car as often as I should. I really should, especially when my grandpa always tells me how important it is to keep it clean and why I should.

  7. These are great tips. I think I need to try toothbrushes in my cupholders. Unfortunately, baby wipes don’t work in my car. I live in the very hot desert, and they dry out, even in the closed packages!

  8. I actually don’t have a car! I know it’s a bit shocking! But Melbourne’s public transport network is just so incredible I ended up getting rid of my car. I always loved washing my own car and used to use some of the tips you recommended!

  9. I hate what a pain it is to remove bumper stickers or anything sticky from a car’s paint. This is such a great post for doing so.


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