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.
- 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.
- 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.