March 8, 2021
It’s just about that time… time for spring cleaning.
Soon we’ll all be spending our free time deep cleaning and decluttering our lives. Maybe your spring-cleaning checklist includes donating clothes you don’t wear anymore and reorganizing your closet, flipping through the file cabinet and asking yourself if you really need those grocery receipts from two years ago, or deep cleaning the kitchen and going through the dreaded “that one drawer I stick everything in until I can hardly shut it anymore.” Maybe you do it all in a day or maybe you spread out your deep clean by room over time. Whatever the case, it’s not a bad idea to put your car on that checklist and donate ample time to it. After all, it’s cheaper than detailing and a whole lot more care will go into it if you’re doing it yourself! Here’s how to get your car in tip-top shape and springy, I mean squeaky, clean!
4-Step Car Cleaning Checklist:
Wash the exterior
This one is a given. And if you get car washes regularly, then you’re even better off. This is the time to not only wash your car, but check for corrosion and be sure you’ve rid your vehicle of its winter woes. If you live where it snows, you know grime can build up quickly and that salt from the roads can ruin your undercarriage. Alternatively, if you live near the beach, you want to be sure your vehicle is in shape to endure that kind of salt during the summer. Once you’ve washed the nooks and crannies and made sure of no corrosion, choose a method of waxing (whether it be liquid, spray or paste) for optimal protection.
Clean the interior
Also a given, but more of a drag. Turn the radio on to make it seem like less of a chore, but make sure you’re not in an enclosed space if you leave your vehicle on while cleaning its insides so that you don’t run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Throw away trash, bring your belongings inside (a whole other deep clean on its own), dust, vacuum, and wipe down the windows. Once you’ve done that, the work is not done. Power washing your floor mats is important for the same reasons as cleaning the exterior. You bring in salt and grime on your feet which can cause corrosion. Don’t let it sit. And if you have tough stains, a cheap bottle of carpet cleaner should do the trick.
Check and inspect
After you’ve taken care of the aesthetics, you’ll want to be sure your car runs just as beautifully as it looks. So let’s start there: check the outside. Use the quarter test for your tires as winter conditions can wear them down. Check their pressure since drastic drops in temperature usually affect your tires, this will also give you better gas mileage. Fluids! Check all your fluids and make sure your ventilation and tech systems are working properly. You don’t want to be caught in the summer heat without coolant or a functioning aircon. The fewer the lights on your dash, the better.
Anything that didn’t check out in the previous steps will need to be replaced. Winter tires will wear down in the heat, so regular tires are in order and you may ask a professional whether they should be rotated. You’ll likely need to replace at least one of your fluids and get a regular oil change. New windshield wipers can make all the difference when caught in a storm of any kind. Always keep them up to date.
Lastly, take note that implementing these tips every now and then will save you time for next year’s deep clean too. Now all that’s left is to enjoy your sweet, squeaky clean ride!