Spring is fast approaching and with it comes the need to start cleaning after a long and dirty winter.
Vehicles go through a punishing time during winter—mud, salt, dirt, sand and sometimes snow, gravel and all leave cars filthy inside and out. From the exterior of the car to the floor mats inside, it’s a good idea to clean the below 9 things:
1. Clean Underneath the Whole Car
Want to avoid rust? Here is the best way to do it - clean underneath the vehicle. After winter is the best time to clean underneath the car. All sorts of salt, dirt, gravel and mud get trapped underneath a car—around the muffler and exhaust as well as the axels and wheel wells and can cause rust if left there for an extended period of time.
2. Look Under the Hood
We almost never clean under the hood of our car. Take a peek inside - leaves, sticks, debris and dirt can get into the engine area and lead to big problems if left there. Something as simple as picking these items out can make a huge difference.
3. Windex Is Your Friend
It’s amazing how simple cleaning a car can be. But it is often the simplest cleaning steps that can yield the biggest rewards, and improve the safety of your car. Just as it is important to clean the headlights and taillights on a vehicle, it’s just as important to clean the mirrors—the side mirrors and the rear view mirror. Just a window cleaner like Windex will do the trick. A spray of Windex and a wipe with some paper towel, and your job is done.
4. Don’t Ignore the Seats and Fabric
While some luxury vehicles come with leather seats, most of us drive cars that are upholstered with fabric. Don’t ignore the seats or fabric in your vehicle. The seats in the car need to hold up as much as any other part. A lot of mud and salt can go from jackets and pants to the seats of our cars. Be sure to wash the seats with a hot, wet cloth. We don’t recommend using a lot of fabric cleaners and other chemicals on car seats as this tends to just add more gunk to the material. Water is the universal cleaner, and for good reason.
5. Wax the Car’s Exterior
It’s good to wash the exterior of a car and get the corrosive salt off the body. But it is also advisable to wax the exterior of a car.
We’re not advocating that people always wax the outside of their car. But doing it once or twice a year—particularly in spring—is a good idea. Wax, after all, has many benefits. It seals the paint, repels the water beads and adds a shiny coat, getting rid of problems that can affect the paint.
6. Check Under the Seats
If there’s a general theme to cleaning a car, it’s to look in hard to see areas. And this definitely includes underneath the seats. From loose change and sippy cups, to bits of food and old coffee cups, people are always amazed at the things they find underneath the seats in their vehicle. Under the seats is also where a lot of dirt and dried salt lives. Stuffing a vacuum hose under there is a great idea and will help to get a lot of unwanted stuff out of the car.
7. Clean Out the Boot
A lot of stuff can accumulate in the trunk of a vehicle during the winter. From multiple Jackets, packets of tissues and blankets, there can be a ton of junk in the boot of a car when the grass turns green. Best to clear all this stuff out.
8. Wash the Headlights and Taillights
Headlights and taillights get really dirty during winter. Come spring, the headlights and taillights on most vehicles are pretty filthy and foggy. Yet, most motorists pay little attention to them. As long as the lights are on and a bulb isn’t burnt out, we don’t worry about them. Yet headlights and taillights are extremely important in terms of visibility at night, and for safety. Taking a warm, damp cloth and giving the headlights on the front of the car and the taillights on the back a wipe in spring can make all the difference.
9. Clean Under the Cloth Floor Mats
The easy and obvious thing is to hose off the rubber floor mats in a vehicle. Many people also vacuum and clean the cloth mats that rest under the rubber mats. But very few people take the time to lift up the cloth floor mats and clean underneath them. This is a shame, because under the cloth floor mats is where a lot of dirt and gravel collects. If you’ve never lifted up the cloth floor mats in your car before, have a look. You’ll be shocked and surprised by what you discover under there. It is important to clean under the cloth mats as the dirt, salt and bits of gravel that collect there can eventually work through the mat and corrode the body of the vehicle.