Going ahead with annual servicing and completing regular maintenance is one thing but one of the biggest challenges a car owner faces is not cleaning their vehicle but keeping it that way. Not everyone is a domestic god or goddess, and the car is one area that is often forgotten about and/or a glorified dumping ground for rubbish and belongings on journeys long and short.
There are however many ways that you can keep your car clean both inside and out without spending all your spare time on such a task. Here we reveal the quick tips that will leave your car as good as the day it was last cleaned.
Sticky fingers are a real nightmare when it comes to keeping your vehicle clean and pristine. Whilst drinks are important for staying hydrated and alert, especially on those lengthier car journeys, eating is certainly an optional activity that should ideally be kept out of the confines of your vehicle. As a parent it may not be possible to keep the common culprit of mess when eating out – that’s right, your little ones – but enforcing an eating ban may limit that grub and those smears.
Clean up spillages fast
Despite your eating ban, accidents do happen causing potential spillages and even stains. The key to ensuring that spillages don’t lead to stains is to clean them up as soon as possible. If spillages do occur dilute with cool water, many people think that using hot water is better but it can in fact make stains more prominent. Next blot the excess liquid with a clean cloth or paper towel. Regular vacuuming will ensure the dirt and debris that is present in every car doesn’t have time to work its way into the upholstery, whilst periodic deep cleaning can also have a protecting effect particularly with the use of specialist products.
Leather and vinyl upholstery require different tactics; leather should be soaked in water and soap, preferably one with a low pH, whilst vinyl requires a damp rag and baking soda to clean spillages or ensure general upkeep.
Take care with dirty shoes
Similar to the presence of a door mat at the entrance of your home, dragging in debris from outside will also not do the cleanliness of your vehicle any good. Banging your shoes together before you enter your vehicle will limit the dirt and debris that comes into your vehicle, dirt that you will have to clean up in the weeks to come. Make your cleaning job a little bit easier by sitting down on your car seat with your legs outside and knocking your feet together, then simply swivel on in!
Bag it up
Every car is likely to accumulate some rubbish, especially if you use your vehicle to complete that dreaded commute to work or busy school run. Being prepared is the key to ensuring that your interior is used as a car, not a rubbish tip! If left to amass rubbish can overtake the most modestly sized interior, falling into the gaps around your car and even finding its way underneath the seats. Clean as you go by bagging up your rubbish.
Don’t forget about the exterior
The exterior appearance of your car needs a little tender loving care too, and whilst regular cleaning is the ideal way to keep both the inside and outside of your car in optimum condition, it’s unlikely that you have the time, the money or the inclination to get your vehicle professionally cleaned every day! Storing your vehicle in a garage when it’s not in use will protect it from the elements and Mother Nature’s little critters – as you may know from experience birds love a parked car! Waxing your vehicle occasionally will also make your routine cleaning process easier, whether you are doing it yourself or calling on a professional.