My first car was a cream 1990 Ford Bronco II. It was 12 years old and certainly not a looker. While I was a little green with envy of my friends who got brand new cars, I ended up learning a lot from Bonnie the Bronco (yes, I named my car). She taught me how to talk to mechanics, and about basic car maintenance responsibilities. She also taught me the value of a clean car.
I have this theory that even if your car isn’t fancy, you can feel like a million bucks if it’s clean. In addition to the feeling you get from having a clean car, it also serves a purpose. It can help protect your paint from corrosive dirt and salt. It also removes allergens like dust, pet fur, and pollens from your interior.
When it comes to cleaning my car, here are my three favorite cleaning hacks for those tough to clean items, and one for a fresh-smelling car:
Clean bugs off your bumper
Bugs are notoriously hard to clean of your bumper. And if you live in a place with a distinct bug season where they swarm it can be even worse! But hot water and soap can only go so far in removing the splats. To get the dried bugs and the stains off your car you need a bug remover. Make your own with a couple of dryer sheets, a spray water bottle, and some warm water. Spray on the affected areas and rub with a microfiber cloth, then wash your car as normal.
Clean cup holders
What did we do before cup holders were standard in cars? My car’s cup holders are always in use! And as a result they are always a little messy. But these little guys are hands down one of the hardest spots to clean. Restoring them to new car clean though is possible. Try covering a travel cup in a sock and spray the bottom and sides with a little glass cleaner and twist it around the cup holder to clean up the grime. Works like a charm!
Dust your dash
I hate driving down the road looking at a dusty dashboard. I also dislike how hard it is to clean this area. Paper towels leave behind lint and don’t quite get everything, and special wipes can be pricey. A coffee filter however is cheap and sturdy! Place a few drops of cleaner or polish on it and you have a shiny, dust-free dash.
Car air freshener
I love a fresh-smelling car, but hate how air fresheners start off too strong then quickly fade. My favorite solution to this problem is to make my own. With a close pin and some essential oils you can control the strength of the scent easily and add more when it starts to fade.
Cleaning my car isn’t something I view as a chore, but rather it is a way to take pride in my vehicle. Regularly cleaning your car also helps lengthen the life of your car (think rust) and can also help you maintain a higher resale or trade-in value.