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Vehicle Cleaning Checklist

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Hopefully your vehicle is your pride and joy and you look after it well, including cleaning it at least every other week!  Here’s a handy vehicle cleaning checklist to help you get in the groove. When cleaning the exterior wash in the early morning or evening, or in a shady area to avoid streaks.

The Interior

  • Get rid of all the rubbish!
  • Using an electrostatic dust cloth clean the dash,  doors, vinyl surfaces, and plastic trim.
  • Wipe them down with an all-purpose cleaner using an old towel to buff it up.
  • Clean the gearshift by gently pull the leather or plastic away from the sides to vacuum it and wipe it down with a cleanser-dampened towel.
  • Clean the floor and seats by taking out the floor mats, shaking them and give them a good wipe down.
  • Vacuum the trunk/boot, mats, the seats, and the floor carpeting. 
  • Move the seats all the way forward and then all the way back so you can get the nose of the vacuum down in the cracks.
  • Don’t forget to clean the windows and windshield interiors using a microfiber cloth and window cleaner so it doesn’t streak.
  • Roll down the windows to clean off the grime that gathers on the top.

The Exterior

  • Using a hose (assuming there’s no water hose ban in place!) start rinsing your vehicle:
    • Hose off loose dirt.
    • Lift the windshield wipers and spray the cracks below each wiper.
    • Make sure you do the undersides of the wheel hubcaps and wells.
  • Start washing it with a clean cloth:
    • If you don’t have car cleaning liquid, use some mild dishwashing liquid in a bucket of water is fine for unwaxed finishes.
    • Start with the roof then tackle the hood, the sides, and the main body.
  • To prevent streaking, do the windows separately:
    • To clean windows and bug-spattered headlights use a solution of one part white vinegar to two parts water.
    • To avoid streaking on the windows, allow them to dry for a few hours before you roll down the windows.
    • Use a separate sponge to scrub the especially grimy areas: the windshield wipers and the tyres.
    • To remove tar, saturate a cloth with a mixture of 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon linseed oil; rub into the tar and remove.
  • Rinse off your car and make sure you get to the hard to reach places like under the door handles and the inside parts of the side-view mirrors.
  • Before water spots have a chance to ruin the finish, use a towel to dry the surface.
    • If you are using a chamois, use it to mop up any remaining dampness.
    • Remember to dry spots like the roof line just above the windows, which could spill excess water later when you move the car.

About Joanna

Checklistables.com Co-Founder Joanna Miller

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