Keeping your car clean doesn’t just keep it looking nice, it protects your paint and interior, helping it hold its value.
The car cleaning industry is huge. There are thousands upon thousands of products made especially for car care and you can spend limitless amounts of money on them. But at Strutmasters we are all about saving our customers time and money with the right solutions. So, without further ado, here are some of our favorite family car care secrets.
The power of WD-40
A wise man once said that one only needs two tools in their toolbox, WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn’t move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and it shouldn’t, use duct tape.
Now that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but WD-40 is some pretty useful stuff. But did you know it makes an excellent cleaning solvent?
Though it’s exact composition is a closely-guarded secret, WD-40 is mineral oil-based. Mineral oil is a common ingredient in many household cleaners for things like wood or metals. This is because it keeps these surfaces moisturized, reducing how abrasive the other ingredients in the cleaner are.
You can use WD-40 to clean almost any hard surface in your car. It works great on plastic, vinyl or even leather. You can even use it on your car’s exterior because it doesn’t strip paint.
So go ahead and stock up on those blue cans. Now you know even more uses for that miracle stuff.
Finally get those cupholders clean
Nasty, grubby cupholders. Everyone has them. Whether it’s coffee or Mountain Dew you’re spilling, it always ends up getting gummy, gross and hard to clean.
Fear not! This tried and true method makes cleaning them easier than ever.
Simply take an old sock and put it around the bottom of a glass or mug that fits in your cup holder. Then, apply something like Goo Gone or the aforementioned WD-40 to the sock. Set the sock and cup down into the cupholder and twist it around a few times.
Now your cupholders are ready for their next spills!
Cleaning headlamps with toothpaste
At your local superstore or auto parts store you’ll see any number of “headlight restoration kits.” These definitely work but they also definitely cost way more than you need to spend.
Simply take an old rag–terry cloth rags work the best because they are mildly abrasive–and apply a large dab of toothpaste. Scrub the toothpaste onto the headlights, using a little muscle and a circular motion.
Allow the toothpaste to sit on the headlights for a few minutes. Then, use some warm water and a clean rag to wipe it off. Repeat if necessary and save yourself from spending money on one of those fancy headlight restoration kits.
Removing pet evidence
We love our furry friends. Life is just better with them. However, we’re not as in love with the things they leave behind in our car, namely their odor and their hair.
While there are lots of companies who will gladly sell you specialty products, you can take care of both of these issues with things you may already have.
Before you do anything, give your upholstery a once-over with a vacuum. If you don’t have a a battery-powered vacuum for your car, or one that can be plugged into your car’s power adapter, consider it. They’re not very expensive and often small enough to just stow away under the seat or in the corner of the trunk.
To get rid of pet odors from your upholstery, you’ll need to dip into your liquor cabinet. Not for a drink, mind you, but to act as a solvent for cleaning. Fill a spray bottle with three parts water to one part vodka.
Open all the doors of the car and spray the seats with the solution. Next, while it’s still damp, use a squeegee like you’d use on your windshield, and press down into the cushion dragging the squeegee along. This will roll the pet hair up into a little ball.
Afterwards, vacuum the upholstery again. You may need to repeat this once or twice.
Be sure to let your car air out sufficiently before driving, as having it reek of alcohol will probably get you the wrong type of attention from the authorities should you be pulled over.
Find more money-saving car care tips like these on the Strutmasters blog.