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5 clever car cleaning tips


Car cleaning tipsEverybody loves a good hack—a little trick that makes your life just that much easier. That's why we've rounded up this list of car cleaning tips that are so clever you might actually look forward to cleaning your vehicle. Even better, these simple hacks involve ingredients and materials you probably already have at home. 

As an educator, you may be gearing up for a road trip once school's out for the summer. Why not try these cleaning tips to get your vehicle looking in tiptop shape before you hit the road?

1. Brush your seats

Believe it or not, toothpaste and toothbrushes clean more than just your teeth. Grab an old toothbrush and use it to get deep into those hard to reach places like between the seats or in textured upholstery. Toothbrushes not only give you a little bit of extra length, but the tiny bristles can remove even the most miniscule pieces of dirt and grime.

Don't forget the toothpaste. Slather that minty goodness all over your car's headlights, wait a few minutes and then give them a good wipe clean. Toothpaste with baking soda is grittier which can be even better for lights that are particularly grimy.

The sparkle toothpaste leaves behind is definitely something to smile about, especially since clear lights make it easier to see what's in front of you when you're driving.

2. Just the essentials

Natural cleaning solutions are not only easy to make yourself, but they're healthier for your body and the air you breathe. Plus, they smell amazing—even better than that new car smell!

You can make your own gentle car cleanser for the interior of your vehicle using a few simple ingredients. In an empty spray bottle (which you can find at the dollar store), mix:

  • Equal-parts water
  • Equal-parts white vinegar
  • 5-15 drops of essential oils

Feel free to use whichever essential oils you like. A classic blend of lemon, tea tree and lavender will not only kill bacteria and eliminate dust, but will freshen the air with aromas of spring. Use a coffee filter to wipe the solution away for extra polish and shine.

If you're loving the smell of essential oil, drop a few drops of an invigorating scent like peppermint or citrus onto a clothespin and clip it on your vent for a natural air freshener.

3. Vaseline clean

Vaseline has a million uses, one of which is conditioning. You might already be aware that Vaseline makes for an incredible lip balm with its moisturizing and healing properties. Just like your lips, your dashboard can benefit from this too.

Vaseline's effectiveness has been compared to Armour All for its ability to diminish small marks and scratches and improve the overall condition of a car's dashboard. The trick is to clean the dashboard first then apply a small amount of Vaseline to a microfiber cloth and wipe the dash. Vaseline should be applied in a thin layer that adds a polished, conditioned look without appearing greasy. Wipe the dash down until the Vaseline has soaked in.

4. Foam party

Air vents are masters at collecting dust, but their design can make thoroughly cleaning them difficult. This means we may be breathing in a plethora of built up dust and allergens.

One way to combat this is by using a simple foam paintbrush. Like this video demonstrates, these foam brushes easily collect the dust bunnies that have been living in your vehicle by sliding seamlessly through the vents. Lightly spraying the brush with a cleaner (like the homemade essential oil one above) can help dust and allergens better stick to the foam, but it's not always necessary.

These brushes can be reused many times, so keep one in your glove compartment for easy cleaning on the go.

5. Wipe your wipers

If your windshield wipers are leaving streaks on your windows, it's time to give them a taste of their own medicine. Using rubbing or denatured alcohol and a cloth, wipe the wipers down to remove built up residue. Sometimes this residue is also responsible for that awful sound wipers make when they drag or snag along the window.

This video from mechanic and YouTube star Scott Kilmer shows you just how easy it is to do, and how entertaining it can be!

For more articles related to car maintenance and car insurance, check out our blog here. To learn more about OTIP, Ontario's only non-profit insurance provider exclusively for educators, click here.

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