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10 Tips to Spring Clean Your Car

10 Tips to Spring Clean Your Car

By Swansway Motor Group 13-03-2018

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Apparently Spring is just around the corner! While many of us may question this, with the Beast from the East only just having blown through and temperatures still in single figures, Spring IS nearly here and as thoughts turn to the annual ‘Spring Clean’, spare a thought for your car.

Winter weather plays havoc with both the interior and exterior of your car, with dirt encrusted on the exterior and mud encroaching into the interior. How do you make your car Spring-ready?


GET RID OF THE GRIME

The dirty road-grime which covers our cars in winter needs to go. The build-up of grime, a delightful mixture of oil, dirt, particulate, grit, tyre rubber, salt and any other yuck hanging around on our roads, is not good for the paintwork of your car and it needs to go; however, you need to take care how you remove the grime, because it contains grit and if you attack it with a sponge, all you’ll do is scratch your paintwork.

Washing car with a pressure washer

Before you begin washing your car, remove the grit by hosing it off, giving your car, what’s known by the pro’s, as a pre-wash. The best way to remove it is with your pressure washer, remember don’t get too close to your car when you’re pressure washing, you don’t want to damage your paintwork.

If you don’t have a pressure washer then use your garden hose, just make sure that you wash off all the grit, otherwise you’ll do more harm than good!


BUCKET BONANZA

When you’re washing your car, don’t skimp on buckets, there’s no point using dirty water to wash your car and that’s exactly what you’re doing if you use just one bucket.

Treat yourself, go wild and invest in two buckets and buy buckets that have grit-guards in them. These trap the grit in the bottom of the bucket and stop you spreading it back all over your car and scratching it in the process.

Put your soap/washing solution in one bucket and use the other one purely for rinsing. Don’t use a sponge, these are just traps for grit, use a wash mitt and resist the temptation to clean in circular motions, use long smooth strokes.


YOUR WINDOW ON THE WORLD

Car windows get really filthy, with splatted bugs, road grime and all-sorts of nastiness, this is not just unsightly, it’s positively dangerous, especially if the low-in-the-sky, Spring sun is shining straight at your windscreen; and don’t forget the inside of your windows, they develop a film which means that no matter how clean you get your exterior windows, you still won’t see through them clearly unless you’ve tackled the inside windows too.

Car windows being cleaned

To get your windows sparkling all you need is a glass cleaner spray and two microfibre cloths. Use one cloth for cleaning and make sure you spray the cloth with the glass cleaner, rather than spraying it directly onto the windows, this avoids smearing.

Use the other cloth to buff the windows clean and voila, you’ll have brilliantly clear windows.


WIPER WIZARDRY!

Smeary windscreen wipers will make a mockery of all your hard work cleaning the windows, but there’s an easy way to clean the road film of your wipers and have them skating across your windscreen like new.

Use either vinegar on a clean cloth, or alcohol wipes. Run them down the entire length of your wiper and keep doing it until the cloth or wipe, comes off the wiper with no dirt attached.

You’ll be amazed as your wipers are smear free and your window on the world is kept pristine!


EXTENSION NOZZLES ARE YOUR FRIEND

When it comes to the interior of your car, bear in mind that you can do 95% of the work with just hot water and a vacuum cleaner extension nozzle! Hot water cleans most things and when it comes to cleaning your car interior, you must ensure that if you do use any specialist products they’re the right ones for the type of surface you’re cleaning.

Use the extension nozzle to get down into the creases in your seats, where all manner of grit, grime, hair, sweets and dirt accumulates. When you’ve done that, hoover over the seats and finally give them a sponge down with hot water.

Vacuum cleaner extension nozzle being used to clean car seat

Any stains still left, you may need to use an upholstery cleaner; you can also clean your dashboard and console with hot water and you’ll be surprised the amount of dirt that comes off!


MORE WORK FOR YOUR NOZZLE

There are two places you may overlook when cleaning your car; underneath the car mats and underneath the seats. Take a look under your seats and you’ll probably find all-sorts, old coffee cups, lost gloves, kid’s toys; more importantly for the health of your car, this is where dirt and dried salt collect. This nasty cocktail also collects under your car mats and once there it will eventually eat its way through the carpet and then begin to corrode the body of your car.

Get in there with your extension nozzle and you can stop the rot, before it starts!


UP FOR THE CUP

Cup-holders are a brilliant invention, somewhere for you to put that much needed cup of coffee and for kids to put their drinks cans. All very well and good except that we do have a tendency to keep all sorts of other things and not just cups in them!

Loose change, hair clips, lipstick, lipsalve, vital little pieces of paper, sweets, you name it and the cup-holder can seem like a good home for it. This means cleaning out cup-holders can be a real pain, unless of course you use our very clever wheeze and line your cup-holders with the cases that you use when you’re baking cupcakes!

Pop a cupcake case into each of your cup-holders, then it doesn’t matter what ‘stuff’ you keep in them, you can lift it all out in one go, and underneath the cup-holder is still as clean as a whistle!


DE-CLUTTER YOUR BOOT

Not only will you feel better if you de-clutter your boot, your car will thank you by performing better in the mpg department, once it doesn’t have to carry round a load of unnecessary weight!

Very cluttered car boot

Over Winter many of us keep wellies, maybe walking boots, extra coats, bottles of screenwash refill, de-icer, the odd blanket or two, in our car boot. Once the daffodils are out it’s time to chuck out your Winter baggage; not only will you find your boot seems twice the size, but your car will thank you for reducing the weight it has to carry around.


GIVE YOUR VENTS A BLOWOUT

After a Winter spent blowing hot air into your car, your in-car air-vents will probably be full of the ubiquitous fluff that seems to get everywhere and we do mean everywhere!

Some people recommend poking thin brushes or spiral wire brushes into the vents in order to clean them up; we have a much simpler and more effective method, an aerosol of compressed air. These come with a long thin straw which you attach to the nozzle.

Stick that into your vent press down on the nozzle and her presto all that fluff is blown out; do this at the beginning of your cleaning and clean away the fluff as you go.

Cleaning car air vents with compressed air

If you have asthma suffers in the family, now’s the time to put in new pollen filters and give your air-conditioning system a service and re-gas.

BOOK AN AIR CONDITIONING SERVICE OR RE-GAS


WHEELY WHEELY CLEAN

A clean car is really let down by grubby wheels, whether they are alloys or wheel trims. Clean them up and your car will really feel ready for Spring!

Be careful to use the correct cleaner for the composition of your wheels, use the wrong one and you could do some damage.

Whatever type of wheel your car has, don’t start cleaning when you’ve just been using your car, the wheels will still be hot and could burn you. Once they are cool, hose as much of the grime off as possible, either with a pressure washer or a hose. Invest in a couple of soft brushes, a large one and a smaller one for the fiddlier areas, you may even want to retire one of your old toothbrushes and use it for the very fiddly areas.

If you are unsure which cleaner to use, have a go with good old washing up liquid; a bit of extra elbow grease will go a long way.

Washing an alloy wheel

If your wheels are really dirty, it’s more than likely that you will need to use a preparatory wheel cleaner.

If they're chipped and scratched then they would benefit from some TLC from a wheel specialist.

BOOK MY WHEELS IN FOR A REFURB

And to finish off your spring clean, get your tyres looking like new you can wash them off and give them a spray with vegetable oil, this helps bring off the brake dust and other dirt stuck to your tyres.

When you’ve finished cleaning the tyres, spray with oil once more and that will help repel the dirt and dust that collects in future.

Your car is now ready for Spring!


 

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