10 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Vehicle

Cleaning your vehicle

It won’t be long before you’ll hear the hum of shop vacs throughout your neighborhood as soon as you step outside.   It’s always a sure sign of spring when Northerners emerge from their homes to clean their vehicles after a long, cold winter. If you live in an area like Minnesota, where salt and sand is used to temper the icy roads, then your vehicle (and your paint job) is screaming to be freed from the grime.

10 Practical Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Vehicle

  1. Roll the garbage close. Don’t try to carry all those McDonald’s wrappers and pop cans to the garbage can. Bring it to you to save time.
  2. Have a container ready for items that need to removed from your vehicle and delivered to your house or garage. You know those items we’re talking about; the ones that make you smile and wonder why they are like one sock, a measuring cup from the kitchen, and a paint tray from the garage. Laundry baskets work great for sorting and carrying this items to their rightful place.
  3. Multiple rags. You vehicle is dirty, and it took months to get that way. Don’t expect one rag to do the trick. Bring a stack with you.
  4. A bucket of water to soak your beverage holders and any other removable, but highly sticky item that needs liberating. A simple bucket of warm water with a little dish soap will do wonders for removing pop and food.
  5. An empty shop-vac with a small nozzle. You will want to vacuum out all those fries and skittles between the seats. Use an extra long extension cord so you can move the vacuum with you. If you don’t own a shop vac, it is an excellent investment. Otherwise, plan to use a vacuum at your local car wash.
  6. Use paper towels or coffee filters to clean the windows. If your vehicle is super-dirty, you’ll need to clean it several times to avoid streaks. Don’t wash your windows in extreme sun/heat or they can get streaked. Also, a Windex or a simple vinegar and filtered water mix works best. Hard water from your well may leave spots too.
  7. To remove crayon or pen marks from vinyl, try hairspray on a soft, dry rag.
  8. To remove the remnants of stickers (such a bad idea in cars) from glass or vinyl, try a bit of baby oil on a QTip. It will take some elbow grease too.
  9. To remove a sucker from the carpet, soak a small rag or towel in very hot water. Lay over the sticky mess for a couple minutes and try pulling. Don’t leave too long so that the sucker melts into the carpet.
  10. To freshen the smell or remove mild messes from the vinyl seats, try a baby wet wipe, followed by a dry paper towel.