Some people love it, and others hate it, but either way – we all deep down want to make an effort to have our car looking fabulous, don’t we? So, whether you’re a ‘out polishing the bumper’ every weekend kind of guy, or more of the ‘welcoming the spider who now lives in your wing mirror’ type – we’ve got top tips on keeping your car clean, and we’re making it super easy for you. And no, the answer isn’t just to take it to a hand car wash and pay £20 for the inside and out to be done – just think how much you can save doing it yourself!
Give yourself some time and get stuck in! It will be worth it in the end.
1. Hose it down
Before you get out any cleaners for your car, hose it down with good old cold water. This will help the dirt and grime lift from your car and make it easier to get it all off.
2. Wheely clean
See what I did there? You need to give your wheels a good clean too, as these tend to be the dirtiest part of the car. Spray the wheels with special wheel cleaner and leave it on to soak up the dirt.
3. Because it’s worth it
It’s now time to get out the Shampoo. No – not Pantene’s latest hair revitalising miracle formula, actual car shampoo! Start at the top of the car and work your way down, using a sponge to make sure every part of the car is bubbled up! Then use plenty of cold water to rinse it off when you’re done and make sure it’s all gone.
4. Out to dry
The worst part of the cleaning process is probably drying it. You may think you can let the wind do it, but leaving your car to dry by itself will give you streaks and smears for days, which makes it look just as dirty as when you started. Now is the time to get ahold of your Dad’s chamois and wipe off the excess water like your life depends on it (if, like me, you don’t really have a clue what a chamois is – I’ve inserted a picture of one below. You’re welcome!) Say hello to the gleam!
Disclaimer: This image probably doesn’t help you at all, does it? Just pop into a DIY store as ask for one. They’ll know what ya’ mean!
5. Heart of glass
There are a few different products that you can use to clean the glass, but it’s a good idea that no matter what you go with, to have a different cloth to apply and another to wipe it away. A good tip is when cleaning your windows, open them just a little mid-way. This will make sure you clean it all, and don’t leave a dirty banner at the top of the window.
6. Wax on, wax off
If you want to take it further and get your Mr. Miyagi on, some people wax or polish their cars – or both! Now this shouldn’t be done every time you clean your car, once or twice a year will be plenty as polish is mildly abrasive and may take away some of your paint work!
7. You’re beautiful on the inside, too
This is probably the hardest part of the cleaning process, but surely it’s the one that’s most worth it! So get out the bin bags, clear out the rubbish and get cleaning. I like to hoover the carpets and seats to give an overall fresh feeling, as well as wiping off the dust from the dashboard and other plastic parts that I forget about. And to give me that fresh valeted feeling – I’ll always finish it off with a new air freshener! A great tip for cleaning those hard to reach, awkward places (such as air vents) is to use an old, soft bristled tooth brush! This will help you clean in all the nooks and crannies.
Use these tips, get your hands dirty (and then clean) and take some pride in your car by giving it a fresh feeling inside and out. Don‘t be the one who turns up to pick up friends with a car full of takeaway wrappers and empty bottles – drive the car that will make everyone else jealous!