Car Washing Tips
For most of us, our car is one of the biggest investments we make, second only to our home, so it seems right that we do our best to take care of it, from regular MOTs and services, to keeping it clean and shiny.
Whether your motivation is pride, or whether you’re keen to keep your investment in the best shape possible, making sure you wash your car like a professional is a great place to start. The first step is to avoid the large machine car washes and instead embark on some hands-on car TLC. Don’t underestimate how satisfying it can be, but if you feel out of your depth and need some tips, here is our cheat sheet for car washing like a pro!
Check out the condition
Priority number one is to take a look at the condition of your vehicle so that you can properly evaluate what it needs. Perhaps it’s new or newish and other than giving it a good superficial clean and polish, there is little to do. If however you have an older vehicle or a car with a few scratches and visible problems, then your list of cleaning steps might be longer.
Get your car washing products right
Spend a bit of time getting your products and cleaning materials together. And, very importantly, read the instructions!
Using the wrong product to polish your car or scrubbing with too abrasive a brush can do more harm than good, so taking a few minutes to get your products sorted will save you in the long run.
You don’t need to spend a fortune on specialist products and we have some hacks for simple home-made potions you can make with ingredients in your store cupboard.
First step, washing! A simple application of car soap, a wipe over to remove dust and grime, and a wax or polish with premium quality microfibre clothes and you’ll be amazed at the immediate difference you see. When your vehicle is clean and shiny, move to your windscreen and rub the windscreen wipers with rubbing alcohol to prevent your wipers from leaving smears on your windscreen when you next use them.
One tip if you’re going to enlist the help of younger members of the family is to make sure they don’t drop their sponge or cloth on a gritty surface like a driveway and then inadvertently proceed to apply the grit to your shiny paintwork – we learnt that one the hard way!
If you’re faced with removing old stickers or parking tickets from your car, use a razor blade to carefully slide them off the exterior of your car. To ease the process, spray some cooking oil to dislodge them, wait a few seconds and wipe down with your cloth.
Moving to your headlights, grab some toothpaste and apply it with an old rag. Rubbing gently and polishing up will leave you with crystal clear lights.
Our final exterior hack is for cleaning your mud flaps. Mix some laundry washing powder with a little water to create a super-paste, apply with an old toothbrush and polish up with a microfibre cloth. Shiny perfection!
Most of us spend a lot of time in the car and often that’s most apparent in the interior. We have a few clever tricks to bring your interior up to scratch without investing in an expensive valet service.
Start with a good vacuum. It can be really satisfying to use the detachable nozzles to get into all the small spaces around the seat and foot-well and into those back-seat pockets, which seem to mysteriously accumulate a multitude of crumbs. See if you can find an old, fluffy makeup brush and (making sure to clean it first) use this to clean the air vents and smaller nooks.
Moving to your upholstery, if you need to deep clean any areas then we’d suggest you make a paste out of vinegar and baking soda to scrub your fabric seats. Don’t be afraid to use a soft scrubbing brush to work it well into the fibres. Rinse well with clean cold water and you’ll notice that it has taken away a lot of the dirt and bad odours that can linger.
To bring your dashboard up to pro standards, rub them down with some olive oil. Just a small amount will keep the surface looking nice and shiny and will also add some moisture to the material which means it’s less likely to crack over time.
Finally, our favourite of interior car hacks relates to the cup holders. These always seem to gather dust and crumbs, and a million other bits of gunk, so when you’ve cleaned these out, get some silicone cupcake liners and insert them into the cupholders. When they are dirty, take them out, shake them, wash them, and pop them back in. Ta-da!
Abbey Insurance Brokers
If you have a car or are thinking of buying a car, our team at Abbey Insurance would be very happy to help you with practical and expert car insurance advice. Get a quote online or contact us on 08000 66 55 44.