Som etimes a quick drive through the car wash just isn’t enough to clean a dirty car, or to keep it clean. Deep cleanings, inside and out, can actually be easier than expected with some unexpected household items. Give them a try and see how much better it feels to drive a cleaner, shinier, better-smelling car.

On the Outside

  • Dim, dirty headlights? Try cleaning the plastic covers with toothpaste and rags. Toothpaste with baking soda in it works best. Simply spread the mixture over the headlight cover with an old rag, and the grime will come right off. Next, wipe with another wet rag to get all the toothpaste off, and let the headlights shine! Others have found that good old window cleaner spritzed on the headlight covers and wiped off with old panty hose does the trick, as well. Either alternative will save some money off the store-bought headlight-cleaning kit!
  • Smudged windshield and wipers leaving streaks? Try wiping down windshield wipers with rubbing alcohol. Using paper towels doused with rubbing alcohol, rub up and down the blades of the wipers until they are smooth. Then, simply replace them on the clips.
  • Summer can leave lots of gross dead insects in a car’s grille. Dryer sheets soaked in warm water work well to more easily scrub them off.
  • A clean, waxed car will stay clean because new water droplets from rain or sprinklers will just roll right off the paint. Amazingly, the same waterproofing effect can be produced using kerosene mixed with water. Using about a 1:48 ratio of kerosene to water, sponge the mixture all over the car after washing. Another surprising, shiny alternative? Hair conditioner!

On the Inside

interior car cleaning

  • Keep dashboard and cup holders clean and smooth with a simple olive oil dashboard polish. This works well to gloss and condition leather, as well as clean and shine plastic interiors. Just rub it on with a smooth tea towel or paper towels. (But avoid polishing the wheel, as it can get slippery and hard to grip.)
  • Baking soda is a very versatile cleaner, and great for removing odors. Before a good high-powered vacuuming, sprinkle baking soda on the carpets to soak up the odors. Then, once the car is shiny and clean, keep it smelling fresh with a homemade air freshener. A small mason jar with the top covered with a breathable fabric makes a great container for the fresh scent. Simply fill the jar about a quarter of the way with baking soda, and add 3-5 drops of an essential oil before covering with fabric and screwing the lid ring back on. Keep the air freshener in a cup holder and replace the mixture inside every month or two. It will absorb odor and keep the interior of the car smelling great!

While keeping the inside and outside of the car well-maintained, be sure to keep it running smoothly, as well, with a little help from All in the Wrist Auto.

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