A guide to: Spring cleaning your car

Spring cleaning your car

If this sunshine has got you dreaming of summer family day trips, it might be time to dig out your duster and give your motor a spring clean.

Over the winter, dashing to and from the car with muddy shoes, screaming kids and heavy bags can take its toll on our cars, with dirt and debris leaving them looking worse for wear.

Spring cleaning your car doesn’t need to be stressful, so we’ve put together this time-saving guide to help you get your car ready for the road. You can even get the kids involved!

Spring cleaning your car

Say hello to sparkling paintwork and squeaky-clean windows

What you’ll need:

  • Hose pipe
  • Two buckets, one for washing and one for rinsing
  • Exterior car shampoo
  • Wash mitt
  • Ammonia-free glass cleaner
  • Two microfibre cloths, one for wiping and one for buffing
  • Vinegar

1. Start by soaking your car for five minutes to loosen up stubborn dirt. A few sprays with a hose pipe or a bucket of water should do the trick.

2. Fill two buckets with warm water and add shampoo to one. Taking your wash mitt, wipe the dirt from your car in straight lines. You should start at the top of the vehicle to avoid drips and work one panel at a time.

3. Rinse the wash mitt regularly in the clean water to avoid scratching your car with stones and dirt, and once the panel is complete, use the water to wash off any suds.

4. To get your windows and windscreen sparkling, spray ammonia-free glass cleaner onto a microfibre cloth and rub onto the window, before buffing with a second microfibre cloth. Remember to wind your window down to access those pesky marks towards the top.

5. Finish by pouring a little vinegar on your cloth, lifting up your windscreen wipers and running the cloth along the blade to get rid of dirt and prevent streaking.

 Spring cleaning your car

Get your dashboard glistening

What you’ll need:

  • Vacuum cleaner with various nozzles
  • Brushes: bristle brush, small paint brush
  • Interior car shampoo for fabric upholstery
  • Leather cleaner and conditioner for leather upholstery
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Air freshener

1. Bid farewell to the junk you’ve accumulated over the winter, from coffee cups to cuddly toys and receipts, then empty the car of car mats and car seats.

2. Working top to bottom, use the brush nozzle of your vacuum cleaner to target your dashboard, seats and door pockets. For hard to reach areas, switch to the crevice nozzle, but be careful not to scratch any plastic.

3. Remove loose debris from your carpets using your standard vacuum nozzle, repositioning seats to provide full access to hidden dirt, then give car mats and car seats a once over.

4. Rid your air vents and control panel of dust by taking a small paintbrush and gently dusting the nooks and crannies, then use the paintbrush to remove crumbs from upholstery seams.

5. Once the rest of the car is taken care of, it’s time to get to grips with upholstery. For leather, use a specialist leather cleaner and microfibre cloth and finish with a conditioner.

6. Fabric seats and carpets can be cleaned with interior car shampoo, working the shampoo into seats with a cloth or using a bristle brush on carpets before rinsing and drying out.

7. To finish, pop a pack of cleaning wipes in your glove compartment to mop spillages on the go and treat yourself to a new air freshener.

Happy day tripping! If you’re short of ideas, why not take a look at our car-themed family day trips post?

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