DIY

23 Ways To Make Your Car Cleaner Than It’s Ever Been

Sparkly clean zoom.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed
Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

1. Use a cheap foam brush or paint brush to dust between the AC vents.

You can get foam brushes at craft stores for as little as 49 cents, like this one. From here.

2. Vacuum up the dust as you brush it off, so it doesn’t immediately settle somewhere else in the car.

From here.

3. The vacuum+brush duster combo also works to clean all your car’s knobs and buttons.

From here.

4. Remove and replace your cabin’s air filter to get rid of stinky smells.

You’ll have to check your owner’s manual to see if your make and model has a removable air filter first. From here.

5. Get all of the trash out from every nook and cranny.

Slide all of your seats all the way forward and pull out your floor mats, so nothing escapes your notice. Use a plastic grocery bag to collect trash as you go. From here.

6. Use a Magic Eraser to scrub gross sticky things off of vinyl and leather.

 

Gently rub dried on gunk with the Magic Eraser — don’t rub too hard, because you don’t want to damage the fabric. From here.

7. If dirt has embedded itself in the textures of your vinyl, some detail scrubbing with a toothbrush may be necessary.

Some dish soap or Castile soap diluted with water will do the trick. Find more tips at Popular Mechanics.

8. Use olive oil to condition and polish the leather on your dashboard.

From here.

9. Banish animal hair from your upholstery with a spray bottle of water and a squeegee.

Similar to this carpet cleaning trick. Then, vacuum up all the clumps. From here.

10. Use a fine-bristled brush (like a toothbrush) to get dirt and crumbs out from the seams of your seat cushions.

Then vacuum up. From here.

11. Use paper and an iron to remove melted wax (like crayons) from your upholstery.

This tutorial is for carpet, but the same trick works on many different fabrics.

12. Shampoo the seats in your car with diluted all-purpose cleaner, a sponge or scrub brush, and washcloths.

 

Elbow grease FTW. Use white or un-dyed washcloths, though, so the color dyes in the cloth don’t rub off onto your car’s fabric. See the full step-by-step here, and a recipe that uses dish soap and washing soda instead of all-purpose cleaner here.

13. Spray your dirty floor mats with stain remover and throw them in the washing machine.

Easiest thing ever. Read the tutorial here.

14. Or, scrub them with a DIY upholstery cleaner.

See the recipe and tutorial here.

15. Enlist a lint roller, bristle brush, toothbrush, dish soap, steam cleaner, and baking soda if you need to clean a kiddo’s car seat.

 

This is not an easy process, but you can do it! See the full tutorial here.

16. When everything’s fresh and clean, keep it smelling that way with a baking soda air freshener.

 

Get the how-to here.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

17. ~Super clean~ your windshield using steel wool and glass cleaner, then treat it to a coat of Rain X.

You only need to clean it this way a couple of times per year, though. Learn more about this here.

18. Wipe down your windshield wipers with rubbing alcohol to prevent a smeared windshield.

See how here.

19. Get stubborn bugs out of your grille (and off of your bumper) with the help of dryer sheets.

Soak it in warm water, and wipe. See the full tutorial here.

20. Shine up cloudy headlights with toothpaste and water.

Read the tutorial here.

21. Remember to roll down your windows before you start wiping them with glass cleaner.

There’s grime there too! See more car cleaning tips at Family Handyman.

22. Use a cleaning powder and water to clean your wheels.

See how here. You can also just pick up some wheel cleaner, although that can be tough on the wheel’s finish — read more about that here.

23. After washing your car, use a clay bar to pick up bits of grime that water doesn’t rinse off.

Read more about how this works (and what you should do afterward to keep that shine shiny) here.

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