We have all been guilty of allowing our cars to accumulate dirt and clutter. Cleaning your vehicle can be a dull, time-consuming task that many of us put off for as long as we can get away with – even more so when high-quality cleaning products or taking your car to a professional cleaning service can prove to be somewhat expensive!

One of the most effective ways to keep dirt and clutter at a minimum is to avoid mess accumulating in the first place. So with this in mind, we have devised a guide to our top recommended car cleaning hacks guaranteed to keep your vehicle super in immaculate condition. And even better, you can test them out without breaking the bank! better, you can test them out without breaking the bank!

Top Car Cleaning Hacks To Save Time & Money

You would be surprised by how many household products are excellent at cleaning your vehicle and keeping the interior organised. No longer must you spend a fortune on the latest devices or products to maintain the condition of your car. Our hacks will show you easy and cheap ways to keep your car clean, from cleaning alloy wheels with household products to using olive oil to clean your dashboard.

As experts in custom body work in Milton Keynes, we know the importance of aesthetics when it comes to your vehicle. Not only is keeping your car clean a vital part of maintaining its aesthetics, but it also comes alongside a number of additional benefits. Clearing clutter, in particular, dramatically improves safety as you eliminate the risk of objects rolling under pedals and causing distractions. Furthermore, clutter and dirt are known for leading to an increase in stress levels and causing the mind to become less capable of processing thoughts methodically.

Cleaning Steering Wheel

1. Oven Cleaner To Clean Alloy Wheels

Have you ever wanted to know how to clean alloy wheels with household products? The buildup of brake dust on alloy wheels can be very frustrating and most definitely dampens their appearance. Although a simple combination of soap and water is often the go-to method of achieving bright, polished alloys, it does not usually prove very effective. Oven cleaner, on the other hand, is incredibly useful in breaking up stubborn grime and helps to achieve immediate visible results.

It is imperative to wear gloves when using oven cleaner to clean alloy wheels. Not only will this prevent your hands from becoming covered with dirt, but it will also stop any harsh chemicals from irritating your skin. Begin by spraying the alloy wheels with a generous layer of oven cleaner, ensuring that all areas have been covered, then leave it to sit for a few minutes. The longer you leave the cleaner to work its magic, the easier it will be for the dirt to lift. Wipe away the cleaner and dirt using a large soft sponge or nylon brush. Using a steel brush or abrasive material will risk scratching the surface of your alloys.

2. Make Your Own Wheel Cleaner

While oven cleaner may pose as a convenient solution for keeping your alloys clean for some, others may find that they don’t have any or would prefer a non-toxic and eco-friendly solution. If this is the case for you, why not make your own wheel cleaner? With just a few simple, natural ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen, you can make a cheap and effective wheel rim and tire cleaner. All you’ll need to purchase is a sustainable spray bottle and some eco-friendly microfibre cloths.

To make your own wheel cleaner, you will need to combine two tablespoons of lemon juice with a cup of warm water and put this mixture into your spray bottle. Spray this mixture onto your wheels before sprinkling baking soda onto your microfibre cloth and using it to remove stubborn stains. This method can also be used to clean grease from your stove, countertops and sink in the kitchen!

Cleaning Wheel

3. Install Kick Mats

Drivers with young children who use a car seat will understand the frustration of constant mucky footprints on the back of seats. Front-facing car seats give the smaller members of the family the perfect opportunity to sit back, relax and learn their feet on the driver or passenger seat. Opting to equip your vehicle with ‘kick mats’ is a fantastic way to keep your leather or upholstery clean from dirty footprints, adding a protective layer over seats. Kick mats are secured to the backs of seats and are made using a plastic, waterproof material so they can be quickly wiped clean. If you’re interested in purchasing kick mats, we suggest taking a look at Halfords.

4. Use Olive Oil To Clean The Dashboard

It can become easy to neglect cleaning your dashboard as it does feel as if no matter how much you clean it, the dust immediately begins to build again. While expensive cleaning products can remove dirt, many are unable to reduce the layer of debris from reforming a few days later. A proven, cost-effective alternative is the use of olive oil. Using olive oil to clean your dashboard will leave you pleasantly surprised with the results, particularly as minimal materials or effort will be required.

Begin wiping your dashboard down with a dry cloth to remove all large particles of dirt. Once cleaned, put a few drops of olive oil onto a microfibre cleaning cloth and gently wipe down the area. You will see an instant shine, making the dashboard look as good as new. Don’t forget to wipe away any excess olive oil left over using a dry cloth – this will stop the smell of oil from lingering. Due to the thin, oily layer that will be left over after cleaning, dust will not stick to the surface.

Cleaning Dashboard

5. Catch Crumbs With Cupcake Cases

Cup holders are prone to collecting dirt, crumbs and spillages, making them considerably trickier to keep clean. An excellent hack for not only keeping cup holders clear but also organised is to line the area using silicone cupcake cases. These are the perfect size to sit securely in cup holders, avoiding sticky spillages and built-up crumbs – they are also a fantastic place to collect loose change! When the cases begin looking a little worse for wear, simply give them a quick rinse under the tap and reuse. Lakeland stocks a great range of silicone cupcake cases in a variety of shades, ideal for adding a pop of colour to your car!

6. Keep A Car Bin

Whether it is a mountain of receipts or endless accumulated coffee cups, clutter can quickly begin to build up in your vehicle. With no place for rubbish, you find yourself stuffing clutter in any available slot from the glovebox to the door compartment. With this in mind, an easy hack for keeping your car tidy is to create a small bin that you empty once a week. You can purchase a travel car bin or merely keep a reusable carrier bag in your vehicle to fill with rubbish. Many drivers even opt for making their own bin using a small dry food container that slots into the door pocket or centre console. Regularly emptying your car bin will prevent bad smells, dirt and clutter from accumulating.

7. Use Toothpaste To Clean Headlights

Ultra-violet rays from the sun can cause headlights to appear cloudy and discoloured. Not only do foggy headlights look unappealing, but they also weaken the headlight beam, therefore reducing its area of coverage. Weakened headlights prove a particular safety hazard when driving at night as you will be faced with restrictions on how far you can see ahead.

Restoring headlights is super simple and can be completed quickly through the use of toothpaste. Toothpaste is a mild abrasive, which means it works exceptionally well as a cheaper, household alternative to specialised polish. You can either apply a small amount of toothpaste to a microfibre cloth and work it to the headlight in circular motions, or dilute the toothpaste with water and use this solution to scrub the surface using a nylon brush. Once cleaned, the toothpaste will continue to form a protective layer over the headlight, meaning they will shine bright for up to 4 months before you will need to complete the process again.

Polishing Headlights

8. Use Car Seat Cleaning Hacks

Car seats can be tricky to clean due to their ability to collect crumbs and the fact that they can’t be easily removed from the car. As car technicians that frequently provide services such as car body repairs in Milton Keynes, we often find ourselves needing to remove stubborn stains, odours and debris from car seats. Thankfully, we have a few car seat cleaning hacks up our sleeves for doing so! By using these, you will keep your car feeling fresh, clean and tidy.

Our first car seat cleaning hack is to use vinegar and baking soda to both clean and deodorise your upholstery. To do this, you will need the following:

  • White Vinegar – 1/4 of a cup
  • Warm Water – 1 cup
  • Baking Soda – 1/4 of a cup
  • A Heavy Duty Bottle Spray

Create your solution based on the measurements above and add it to the spray bottle. Spray the cleaner onto the car’s upholstery and leave the mixture to sit for around 15 minutes before using a dry cloth or towel to absorb any excess moisture. If you have particularly stubborn stains, such as coffee, use a toothbrush to scrub the stained area gently and allow it to soak for half an hour.

Our next car seat cleaning hack is a preventative one. When travelling to work or back from a shopping trip, there is nothing worse than having to brake heavily and noticing the contents of your bag spill over the interior. Not only does this cause an immediate distraction, but it also risks food or drink leaking onto your seats. Avoid the frustration of bag spillages quickly and simply by fitting headrest hooks. Headrest hooks are a low-cost feature which allows you to securely hang bags during your journey. One can be fastened to the front of the passenger seat for your handbag or briefcase, and a few more on the back for shopping bags. A variety of headrest hooks can be found on Etsy.

Our final car seat cleaning hack may surprise you. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to clean crumbs out of your car seats. While fabric car seats can be de-crumbed with the use of a hoover, you may be hesitant to use the same method on leather car seats for fear of damaging them. If this is the case for you, why not consider using car putty? This clever, unconventional car cleaner will help you remove dust, hair and crumbs from even the most awkward of crevices. This makes it ideal for cleaning debris out of your leather car seats without the risk of damaging them.

Keep Your Car Fresh, Clean And Tidy

By trying out our eight car cleaning hacks, you will not only save time and money in the long run, but you may also reduce your environmental impact: commercial cleaning products are often made with harsh chemicals that are harmful to the environment, not to mention the non-sustainable plastic packaging that they often come in. Therefore, you’ve really got nothing to lose by switching to our cost-savvy methods! While our hacks are great for stubborn or tricky areas, if you’re in need of a guide on more general car cleaning methods, feel free to check out our previous article.

Keeping your car clean and tidy is an excellent first step to take in terms of maintaining its aesthetics. However, once you have resolved any issues with dirt, clutter and debris, other aesthetic issues may be highlighted. If you are in need of services such as paint work repairs in Milton Keynes to get your vehicle looking as good as possible, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the VCR team. Our highly qualified technicians are able to assess and repair damage to your car and restore its appearance to its original state.

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