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Don’t Be That Guy: Clean Your Car

Updated October 6, 2013

Cleaning the car is a tedious task to do. However, this is the only way to make the car look as good as new and enjoyable to ride in. It is important to remove all the dirt and contaminants that may destroy the car’s surface. Here are some tips that can help owners do the cleaning in the most effective way.
Cleaning the Exterior

  • Experts advise to always clean the car in a shaded area. This is to ensure that the car’s surface remains cool during the cleaning process. Soap suds easily dry on hot surfaces. This may lead to staining and require additional washing. It means more time is needed to clean it thoroughly.
  • Cars exposed to heavy contaminants should be pre-soaked before cleaning. Some dirt can be difficult to remove. Pre-soaking makes it soft and easy to wash out.
  • Always use mild liquid soap on a sponge or car wash mitt.
  • Clean one section at a time and be sure to rinse it off with water. It is best to start from the roof of the car. Then, go on to the hood and the rear. The general rule is always clean from top to bottom or from the cleanest to the dirtiest part. With this, you can avoid scratching the car’s surface as there are no pieces of debris that may stick to the sponge or mitt. Additionally, doing so will save a lot of time cleaning.
  • Never soak a dirty sponge in the soap bucket. Rinse it off before putting it back into the bucket.
  • Do not allow the soap to dry on the car’s surface. Always rinse thoroughly before moving to another section to clean.
  • Use separate mitts when cleaning the tires and rims. This will reduce the chance that the car’s paint might get scratched by dirt from the rims.
  • Many car owners love to use spray-on wheel cleaners. This is a great way to ensure good-looking wheels. However, users should make sure they apply the product properly as it can be bad for their health. Only apply the product when wheels have already cooled down. Spraying it on an extremely hot wheel turns chemicals into vapor. Users may inhale it, and the vapor may harm them.
  • Mild liquid soap is the safest cleaner to use. It can remove grease, dirt and other debris without leaving marks and damaging the car’s paint. Most importantly, it is the cheapest cleaning product car owners can get.
  • Make sure to dry the car immediately to avoid water spots. Apply wax. It does not have to be an expensive waxing product. Regular ones can suffice.

Cleaning the Interior

  • Car owners should make sure they are doing the right thing and using the right cleaning products for their car’s interior. They should read the manual as there are some car components that are quite sensitive to cleaners. The smartest way is to try using the cleaning solutions in a small spot in the car’s interior. If it works, then use it when cleaning. Otherwise, find another car cleaner.
  • A newer and more effective method to remove dirt from these areas is to blow it out using a vacuum hose. This should be done with reduced power. Doing so allows the dirt and debris to move far enough that it can easily be vacuumed up.
  • Remove dirt and debris from crevices, cracks and corners using a paint brush and toothbrush. These tools are great for hard to reach areas and deep locations. Pair it up with a vacuum to clean up quickly. It is best to have these cleaning tools all the time.
  • Be cautious when cleaning the carpets and mats using a sturdy brush. This is because they can easily get damaged by too much force. Use a vacuum to accompany brushing. Most interior car mats and carpets are not sturdy even if they come from topnotch manufacturers.
  • Do not use any cleaning materials other than gum removers to clean up gum. These products can effectively remove gum by freezing it and applying a slight scraping. Alternatively, car owners can use dry ice. Apply it to the gum and make sure it gets cold enough to crack. Use a scraper to remove it completely.
  • The dirtiest spots in the car’s interior are the ones that are often touched and used. This includes the steering wheel, shifting knob, seat belt and the shifting side door panel. Use mild disinfectant cleaner on these parts. Mild diluted soaps are also great cleaners to use on these areas. Seat belts are made of fabric, and they can be sensitive to cleaning solutions.
  • Use glass cleaner and paper towels to clean windows in and out. Finish it up by wiping them with a dry, 100-percent cotton towel.
  • Use a damp cloth to clean the dashboard and the panels. For grime and grease, only use mild soap to protect the surfaces.

As car blogger broker from Markham,ON, William Neff has developed the technical know-how aesthetic sense that makes a car enthusiast. Are you a car guy? Visit for the latest tips & info for your automotive needs.



Calvin Escobar
About Calvin Escobar

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.

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