Spring, glorious spring, is finally here. Unfortunately, many of our vehicles are filled with all kinds of junk. You know, everything that was left behind each evening as we sprinted inside to escape the polar vortex. If you’re cramped in a car brimming with winter’s build-up, too, then spring cleaning your car can start you off right. Here are a few tips to help you out.
First, go through your car and clear everything out. The floorboards, seats, consoles, cup-holders, change drawers, ashtrays, door pockets, seat-back pockets, the glove compartment, and your trunk. Throw away all trash, put items that won’t be staying in the car into a bag or box to be put away where they belong, and place everything that goes back into the car in a separate box. We’ll return them later.
You can opt for a car wash vacuum or just use yours at home. Make sure you remove floor mats and vacuum the seats, too. This is a great way to clean out loose crumbs from cup-holders and door pockets. Don’t forget your trunk.
Floor mats hold more mess than you might think, and vacuuming alone probably won’t remove it all. Give removed mats a gentle scrub with a soft cleaning brush, mild soap and warm water. Rinse thoroughly with clean, warm water, shake out the excess water gently, and hang to dry.
This step can be a bit more difficult, especially near the dashboard. However, good visibility is vital to safe driving. Using a lint-free cleaning mitt and streak-free cleaner, spray all window interiors and mirrors. Wipe clean in circular motions.
A lint-free cloth is advised here. For leather surfaces, use a leather upholstery cleaner, or you can opt for leather upholstery wipes. Both can be found in the automotive center of any store. Follow the manufacturer directions. For vinyl interiors, dampen a lint-free cloth and gently wipe all surfaces. For thick, stuck on substances (like soda), place a warm, wet cloth over the grime for several minutes. This should dissolve or loosen the mess enough to be wiped up fairly easily.
Replace all floor mats and return the previously boxed items to their rightful place. You might even throw in some air freshener. You have officially finished spring cleaning your vehicle. Give yourself a pat on the back and celebrate with ice cream. Just don’t eat it in the car.