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Tried and Tested: Hacks to keep your car clean!

Kimberley Dodge profile

Kimberley Dodge

March 8, 2019

News Owning a car 8 min read

It has recently come to my attention that my car is filthy; like in need of ITV’s Call the Cleaners dirty. Now, I’m a pretty clean person yet, it seems that when it comes to my car, I just don’t think of it as something that requires a deep clean. As a result of an annoying and huge tree in my front drive, the exterior of my car is frequently exposed to bird poo and therefore is often treated to a trip through the car wash- I’m talking about those big bristly tunnels not me with a bucket and sponge. However, whilst keeping the outside of my car glistening requires nothing but about a fiver and a trip to Morrisons, the interior doesn’t see the same kind of love. Therefore, as a lazy and stingy individual, I refuse to pay out lots of money for car cleaning supplies or equipment that would require a bit of elbow grease to use anyway. So, I decided to embark on an adventure to test out the internet’s top car cleaning hacks, and see if any of them can make my car’s interior sparkle like the exterior (well, only when I’ve got around to taking the poo mobile through the wash of course).

Hack number 1: Having an in-car bin

What is it supposed to achieve: Keep your car litter-free by getting rid of unwanted clutter

Does it work: Yes

So, I guess this hack is kind of a no brainer? All you need is a clean and empty jar or container that you can easily store inside your car. This means that any infamous gum wrappers or expired car parking tickets can be homed inside the jar rather than littering up your car. As you can see, this got rid of all the rubbish I had building up in my car… now I just have to remember to empty it when it gets full!

Hack number 2: Using a makeup brush as a duster

What is it supposed to achieve: A cheap and quick fix for a dust-free dashboard and air vents

Does it work: Yes

The idea behind this hack is that a makeup brush will help you to dust all those nooks and crannies in your car; from the dashboard to the air vents. I would recommend using an old makeup brush that you no longer use or care for as, I definitely wouldn’t advise rubbing those dusty bristles all over your face! The proof is in the pudding and the dust collected on the brush shows that this hack works. The front of my car was significantly less dusty however, as the makeup-brush I used was fairly small, it took me a little while even to sweep out my dashboard. Next time, I think I’ll have to get a bigger brush.

Hack number 3: Using olive oil to polish your dashboard

What is it supposed to achieve: Pristine and polished dashboards to give your car a brand new feel

Does it work: Yes… kind of

Now, this one had me a little bit sceptical. I was really worried that rubbing olive oil all over the interior of my car would not only make it greasy and slimy, but that it would make my car smell like a campfire cook-up. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it left no lingering smell and actually left a nice show-room interior shine to my dashboard. BUT… do not be deceived. This hack does not actually clean your dashboard, as there was still dirt and dust that had accumulated from neglection. Overall, I would say that this hack worked surprisingly well.

Hack number 4: Bicarbonate soda and vinegar to clean upholstery

What is it supposed to achieve: Get rid of embedded dust and dirt in your car’s upholstery for a fresh and clean feeling

Does it work: Major fail

If I’m completely honest, there is a chance that I did not do this correctly. When I discovered this hack, no measurements or ratios of bicarbonate soda to vinegar was given, nor did it specify if you could use salt and vinegar on your chips vinegar, or if you required some artisanal, probably over-priced white wine or apple cider vinegar. Mixing up the concoction made me feel like I was working on a primary school science project again, with the mixture bubbling up like those frothy volcanoes we used to make (I wish school was still that fun). I dabbed some on a cleaning rag and tried working it into the passenger seat, only to reveal a chalky mess and a rancid vinegary stench. This hack made more dirt than it got rid of, and I was forced to work out the weird, white patch with some hot water and spritz an entire bottle of Febreze in my car. Disappointing. Stick to hoovering upholstery.

The Verdict

So, three out of four is pretty good going. I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of these hacks were actually legit and left my car in a cleaner state than before. My favourite hack would probably have to be the in-car bin, as I’m always just chucking my used wrappers and tickets in the cup holders, leaving it to fester and vegetate, probably until it would compost into soil. Just having a container to collect all my rubbish is actually really helpful and keeps my car free from clutter (only until I can’t be bothered to empty it and start littering again). I would highly recommend trying out all the hacks that actually worked- they actually seemed to make a noticeable difference. Just don’t mix childhood science experiments and car cleaning unless you want your car to permanently smell like your local chippy.

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Kimberley Dodge profile

By Kimberley Dodge

'For me, driving means freedom. I passed my test a year ago and so I’ve been enjoying getting where I want, when I want. I’m now 18, so having my own car has given me a lot more independence: I no longer have to rely on the taxi of mum and dad!'  See more posts by Kimberley

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