7-step Total Car Cleanout

7-step Total Car Cleanout

Get your car cleaned — inside and out — with our simple 7-step guide.

Step 1: Vacuum 
Snacks and kids mean a mess in the car, so a thorough vacuuming is in order to keep the car looking nice. Regularly vacuuming the carpets will keep them in better shape, and you can even use the vacuum (with a hose extension) on the centre console and cup holders, as well as the pockets in the doors. Be sure to move the seats all the way forward and back so you don’t miss any nooks or crannies.

Step 2: The Interior
Almost any car’s interior needs a little TLC. Find a cleaner that is suitable for vinyl and wipe down the doors and centre console. If the cleaner doesn’t leave a slippery sheen, you can use it on the steering wheel as well. If you have leather seats, check to make sure your cleaner is okay to use or find a cleaner specifically designed for leather.

For any spots on the carpet or cloth seats, spray a generous amount of glass cleaner — or other mild cleaner — directly on the spots and scrub with a dry cotton rag. You may be able to get many of those spots out with just a little elbow grease.

Step 3: The Exterior
Now that the inside is in shipshape, it's time to get to work on the outside of the car. Rinse thoroughly to remove loose dirt.

  • Wash the wheels first (spray and clean one at a time) so you don't splash the clean car later.
  • Use a good quality wheel cleaner. Spray it on, scrub with a wheel brush if needed and rinse. Do not let the wheel cleaner dry on the wheel.
  • Choose a product designed specifically for washing your car, so it doesn't remove the wax.
  • Wash by hand from the bottom up so you don’t miss any spots.
  • Rinse thoroughly from the top down.

Step 4: Dry
Dry the car with old 100 per cent cotton bath or beach towels. For an alternative, use a lawn or leaf blower to dry the car instead. Just make sure the nozzle is clear of any dust or debris — you don’t want to undo the work you’ve just done!

Tip: Be sure to wipe off inside the doorsills when drying the car.


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Step 5: Windows
Wash windows last with glass cleaner and paper towels. Wash the inside horizontally and the outside vertically, so if you get streaks it's easy to tell which side is streaked.

Step 6: Wax
Two times a year, be sure to wax the car with a quality wax. Check your vehicle's owner's manual to see if your car has a clear coat or other paint specifications.

Step 7: Finishing Touches
Hang an air freshener or attach a scented vent clip to keep your freshly cleaned car smelling fresh!

Tip: Keep your car in tip-top shape this winter with our helpful guide.

For more exciting tips on maintaining your home click here.

Get more ideas to maintain a spotless house by clicking here.

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