Your house may seem like it’s perfectly clean, inside and out. Well, even if it’s not perfectly clean, it’s not dirty, right? It may be cluttered, but you don’t need to worry about it being actively filthy. Unfortunately, your home may be a lot dirtier than you even realize, with many of its biggest issues lingering right underneath your nose. In fact, the car is actually consistently dirtier than the home. A car will usually have roughly 17,000 times more bacteria than the home, according to the GAP Enviromicrobial Services. While not all types of bacteria are necessarily harmful, the more bacteria that exists within your care, the more risk there will be that you’re dealing with the bad types of bacteria. Furthermore, nobody wants to have a car full of bacteria, regardless of the type of bacteria that it is. Not only is this potentially bad for those traveling within the car, but it can cause issues for the car itself, and particularly its interior trimmings.
The interior of your car isn’t the only thing you have to worry about, of course. The exterior of your car is even more at risk of being dirty, with dust, dirt, bugs, and of course the odd bird droppings here and there. Think about how long your car has gone without a wash. Over all those months, the various contaminants have built up on your car’s exterior, only becoming more difficult to clean. The same, of course, can be said of the problems building up within your car’s interior. In terms of the exterior, this could actually cause issues with the car’s paint job, while also potentially making it vulnerable to rusting and erosion. Gradually, your car could break down both in terms of interior and exterior. Cleaning those aspects should be considered as much a part of vehicular maintenance as taking your car to be served by a mechanic on a regular basis. Cleaning your car is about more than just having it run through a car wash and waxed on occasion. You need to do your own care, not just to save money but to keep the car in good shape. For that matter, you need to handle these aspects with the right products, as the wrong ones could further erode your vehicle. Let’s look into how you should approach cleaning your car, in order to get the best possible results.
1. Start With The Wheels
The wheels of your car are a great place to start, as you only need one set of products for them, but you’ll really be knocking out four different things. Furthermore, your car’s wheels naturally take quite a beating and are also exposed to a number of different contaminants. Make sure that you buy the right cleaners for your car’s wheels, as there are usually specific types of cleaners made for specific wheels. Some cleaners also clean both wheels and tires together. Use brushes with feathered bristles, as they won’t scratch the surface. Tires, on other hand, will need a brush with stiff bristles because they are made of rubber. You’ll want to approach the tires one by one, right down to the drying process. Finish the process by waxing the wheels, as this will create a barrier between the wheels themselves and the grime they’ll be exposed to, at least at first.
2. Be Methodical About Washing Your Car
Just as you need to wash your wheels and tires one by one, you need to have the same approach with your car. Keep your cleaning solution and clean water in two separate buckets, and make sure that you park the car in the shade so that it doesn’t dry too quickly as you wash it. Begin with rinsing, and rinse out your sponge or washing mitt each time before dipping it back in again. Start from the top, and work your way to the bottom, as the bottom of the car is the dirtiest. You need to rinse and dry the car, before perhaps using a clay bar to remove any final contaminants that can’t be removed through washing. Top it off with a waxing, once against to give the car a type of sealant.
3. Consider DIY-ing Your Headlights
Cleaning your car’s headlights can be a bit tricky, which is why a lot of people do not choose to DIY them. Sometimes, foggy headlights can only be remedied through professionals. But you can try cleaning your headlights with whitening toothpaste, letting it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing it and removing it. Otherwise, try sanding them with sandpaper, or perhaps buy a headlight restoration kit from your local hardware store.
4. Clean Your Seats — But Pay Special Attention To Leather Seats
It’s important to be especially careful when cleaning your car’s interior, especially if it’s undergone water damage. Keep in mind that mold can grow just 24 hours after a flood. But of course, upholstered seats and leather seats must be treated differently. Vacuum them first to remove any dirt and crumbs. You should then apply a cleaning solution, either commercially made or homemade; but make sure that leather seat cleaning solutions, homemade or otherwise, lack ammonia and bleach. Use a bristle brush over any kind of dirt, and then run over that spot with a microfiber cloth. Leather seats should be topped off with a conditioner, to keep the leather material soft.
5. Start Detailing
Next, you need to just get into the nooks and crannies of your car. You can use a cloth around the broader areas, while a paintbrush is a great option for tighter spaces. Reach under the seats to remove any trash that’s fallen underneath them, and then start taking out any excess belongings from the trunk and organize the belongings that you keep in your trunk.
You should keep your car clean on principle, of course. The last thing you want is to bring your car into the dealership for repairs and have it looked unsightly; considering the fact that dealerships wrote over 310 million repair orders, totaling more than $116 billion in last year alone, this could easily happen to you! But keeping your car clean will maintain its value. Your car is an investment that you should care about.