When you think of seasonal cleaning, you probably consider your kitchen, bedroom, and maybe even your storage unit or your garage. But if you drive to work—or put considerable mileage on your car for pleasure—it’s important to put some elbow grease into your ride at least once per quarter. Here’s exactly how to deep-clean your car and maybe actually enjoy your commute!
We recommend working from the inside out so you don't feel too tired or tempted to skip the interior (the most important part)! Grab a bin liner or something to collect all the used parking stubs, food wrappers, empty coffee cups, and any other rubbish you've been driving around.
Check your Seats
No matter what kind of seats you have, they’re likely in need of a good vacuum and scrub—especially if you have any set-in stains to deal with. Vacuum first, then treat any stains with Garment Groom, which is specifically formulated to spot-treat upholstery (like cloth seats). If you have leather seats, even easier: our Leather Cleaner works beautifully on vinyl or leather seats by dissolving surface dirt and grime and protects your seats from future cracking, water damage, scuffs, and scratches. Plus, no creepy chemicals to leach into your skin on a hot day or fume out.
HOW TO CLEAN THE CARPET
After you've swept or vacuumed any obvious dirt or debris from the car mats and carpet, go in with a more vigorous scrub. Get a bucket and mix a small amount of Everything Laundry Soap with warm water. Next, use a firm but soft brush to gently scrub the upholstery, paying particular attention to any visible dirt or stains. The whole car will look and feel fresher, and it will also smell amazing.
How to Clean Your Console & Dashboard
The dashboard and console are usually the trickiest part of cleaning your car, especially if (like me) you like to hit the occasional Drive-Thru!
First, remove everything from the centre console, including any spare change, hair ties, or old wrappers that tend to build up. Then, start with the vacuum detail attachment, spray some All-Purpose Cleaner on a clean cloth, and thoroughly rub down all surfaces. If using dozens of Q-tips to get into the hard-to-reach crevices seems overwhelming, try using an old Dish Brush: Its soft-but-sturdy natural fibre bristles can get into small spaces and loosen up any dirt or debris.
For leather dashboards, finish with a thorough wipe-down with Leather Cleaner, which will condition and protect all at once.
Lastly, spray and wipe the inside of your windows and windshield with our streak-free Glass Cleaner. It's ammonia-free and has zero harsh chemicals, so you can roll those windows up tight without fear of breathing in any toxic fumes.
Now it's time for the final touch: An Art Deco Car Diffuser. It looks more like jewellery than the usual fragrance plug-in, and if you pair it with one of our favourite Murchison-Hume fragrance oils, it will smell like an expensive Home Fragrance instead of cheap, car-wash perfume.
REMEMBER THE BOOT!
Many of us use the boot as a mobile storage unit. Don't. Keeping tons of stuff in your car not only looks messy, but it's also extra weight that can impact your car's fuel efficiency. Not a great idea with [gas/petrol] prices being what they are at the moment. The trunk of your car is often lined with the same material as your car’s carpets, so you can also treat them with Garment Groom or laundry detergent, depending on how much work they need.
Finish with a few spritzes of Room & Linen Spray, and it will look and smell as fresh as the car interior!
How To Wash the Car
First, park your car in a shady spot, as direct sunlight can dry too fast, leaving your exterior with soap or water stops. Then get two buckets ready—one with soapy water and the other with clean water. Next, grab a sponge, clean rag, or lambswool mitt. Work from the car roof to the tires and finish with the hubcaps. Once you remove any loose dirt and debris like twigs or leaves by hand, rinse your car with a hose and lather up your rag. Next, wash any dirt off the exterior, alternating between soapy and clean water. Finally, use an old towel or dishcloth to polish and dry.
How to Clean Your Headlights
If you notice the lights aren't as bright at night, it's probably time to clean them. Hazy headlights don't just look bad; they're also a safety hazard at night or during heavy rain.
You don't need to rush out to buy a headlight-specific cleaner—instead, try using toothpaste with an old toothbrush! The mild abrasive action will clear the cloudiness. Finish with Glass Cleaner for a perfect finish.
If this sounds time-consuming, it’s because it is: But setting aside a couple of hours a few times per year will go a long way in keeping your car in great shape. It’ll make any trip less stressful and improve your mood during your commute!