Banish winter funk with some spring cleaning for your car
If you’re bringing your car out of hibernation, chances are it’s going to need some serious spring cleaning–inside and out. Set aside a morning or afternoon, grab some supplies, and bring your car back to life after a long winter’s slumber.
Remove and recycle anything you no longer need. Get rid of papers, food wrappers, that old jacket you tossed in your backseat. Toss any winter clothing in a “to be washed” pile and recycle or trash any disposable items.
Pull up and wash floor mats. Once you have everything out of the car, pull up the floor mats and give them a good scrubbing. Try for a carpet cleaner that won’t leave a residue. I’ve had great luck with stain removal/cleaning products such as Nature’s Miracle (no affiliation).
Let floor mats dry in the sun for a day or two to dry completely and to get rid of any lingering odors.
Wash your car…carefully. If you live in snow or rain country, your car’s paint will have taken a solid beating from road salt and mud. Before using any car wash products or sponges, hose off the car thoroughly. You’ll spare the paint by not rubbing in any leftover dirt or road salt.
Better yet, invest in a good hand wash at the local car wash if you can spare the cash. It can go a long way in preserving your car’s appearance if you’re not able to use the DIY approach.
Check for rust and take care of it pronto. Today’s minor rust spot can quickly morph into a serious trouble spot if left untreated. Treat rust spots early and often. Don’t skip this step even if your car is a beater. Beaters need TLC (and decent paint) too.
It goes without saying the windows will need a good washing and the same goes for the inside of your windows. Find a good quality streak-free cleaner or make your own. Driving around with your windows closed for the past three months can leave a residue on the inside of your windows.
Clean the upholstery and carpets. Time-consuming, yes. It’s also the best way to freshen your car’s interior and to get rid of a winter’s worth of mud, dirt and salt that have been ground into the carpeting and upholstery.
Cleaning your car’s interior will also get rid of any funky odors (wet dog, anyone?) and keep the fabric and other materials in good shape. Just be sure to spot-test any upholstery/rug cleaners first…just in case.
Air out your car. Let it sit in the driveway with the windows down. It’s a great way to banish that winter funk of stale air, wet pets, mud, dirt, food odors and whatever else was lurking in your car this winter.
Spring cleaning your car can be an adventure(so that’s what was lurking under the driver’s seat) and it can also preserve and maintain your car’s appearance. Your car will look incredible, no matter how old it is.