Those quick car wash centers and specialty cleaning supplies and waxes may make it easier to detail your car, but at what cost? A few bucks here, a few more there, and before you know it you’re looking at hundreds of dollars just to give your vehicle some shimmer.
We’re here to tell you that there are better and cost-effective ways to clean your vehicle. Here are ten affordable car detailing tips to ensure you’re spending your paychecks on groceries this spring, not a coupon booklet from a local Phoenix car wash.
DIY Window Cleaner
A streaky windshield can turn a beautiful spring day into a dreary one. Don’t let it.
Mix 2 parts vinegar, 1 part high-quality h2o, and a squirt of dish soap into a spray bottle. Shake it like Andre 3000 and spritz your car windows inside and out. Lightly scrub off exterior gunk, insect carcasses, and mud with a damp sponge. Use a crumpled page from the Phoenix New Times to wipe down the inside windows, making uniform swipes to avoid streaking.
Give Old Windshield Wipers New Life
Although our Phoenix Honda dealers recommend buying a new set of wipers each spring—they’re very affordable and can be installed at any of our Valley Honda Dealers locations—some car owners may want to cut expenses by cleaning their old wiper blades.
Soak rubbing alcohol on a small piece of cloth or paper towel, then swipe it across your windshield wiper blades several times. Repeat the process if your wipers still look dirty.
Natural Car Deodorizer
Your old ASU roommates borrowed your car for the weekend. They miraculously returned it in great shape—until you open the door and take a whiff. That smell is a nightmare for your nostrils, and you don’t even want to know its origin. What do you do?
Grab that bag of charcoal from the patio. “Charcoal?” you ask. Yes: Charcoal, the stuff that catches fire and powers your grill. Leave an open bag of charcoal in your car overnight to absorb those horrible smells, vanquishing them from whence they came.
Clean Foggy Headlights
Somewhere in your house, deep in the recesses of a cabinet or drawer, you’ll find one of those miniature tubes of toothpaste. Everyone’s got one or two. Not only are they handy for cleaning your teeth when on a road trip, they’re also a great remedy for dirty headlights.
Apply a liberal amount of toothpaste to a damp cloth. Rub firmly all around your foggy headlights. Put some elbow grease into it for a few minutes, then rinse and allow everything to air dry. Presto! Your old car is ready for the spot(head)light.
De-Hair Your Seats
If you’re constantly accompanied by your furry baby, you know how difficult it can be to get rid of pet hair. A vacuum helps keep your car cabin clean, but what happens when that Dirt Devil goes up in a puff of smoke, leaving you nearly penniless and completely vacuumless?
Static electricity. What may seem like a truly odd segue is actually quite intentional. Put on a pair of cheap latex gloves and rub your hands over the carpets and cloth seats. The static electricity will attract stray pet hair in clumps. Yeah, science!
Remove Gum from Car Seats
What’s your favorite flavor of gum: wintergreen, spearmint, or fruity? We doubt it matters when you’ve got a piece embedded in your car’s carpet or seat. You could scrape, pick, yank, and scream at it, but that stuck gum is probably not coming out very easily without this common household item.
“What is ‘WD-40,’ Alex?” A spray of WD-40 can clean up stuck gum, grease spots, ink marks, and many other stains from your car’s interior. Just don’t chew it again.
Clean Tires & Rims in Minutes
Just looking at your car’s tires might leave you with dirty palms. They’re often the filthiest part of your vehicle, and cleaning them can take a lot of time and soap. A box of Borax powder or can of Bar Keeper’s Friend can work wonders on those grimy rims and tires. Just add a clean bucket of water and a sponge into the equation to make them sparkle.
Iron Out Melted Crayons
Parents know how difficult it can be to keep their SUV clean. There are constantly spills, crumbles, and stains to combat. Then the big disaster comes: A billion Crayola crayons melted in the back seat, leaving you and your car a mess. Crayon stains are a doozy to overcome, but overcome them you shall.
What you’ll need: an iron, cloths or paper towels, and patience. Apply the cloth or paper towel to the melted crayon. Slowly press the iron around, lifting the cloth regularly to see your progress. When the crayons have adhered to the cloth, gently pull up and toss it. Repeat the process as many times as needed. And Godspeed.
Wash in the Shade
Washing your car in direct sunlight may seem like a great idea, but it isn’t—especially not in the Arizona sun. Direct UV rays can weaken car wax and protectants, create water spots, and leave your car soaked in soap residue. Yuck.
Luckily, it’s springtime, so the temperatures aren’t that bad yet. So roll up your sleeves, get the suds going, and clean your car in a shady spot or right before the sun sets.
Something So Nice, You’ll Use It Twice
WD-40 is much like vinegar: it can be used to solve all sorts of problems. If you’ve got an old car that was taken over by your adolescent love for Third Eye Blind and Avril Lavigne, it’s probably got an exoskeleton made of bumper stickers. Now that you’ve grown out of that phase (luckily), it’s time to remove them.
Some WD-40 and a razor blade or plastic scraper should do the job. Spray ‘em, scrape ‘em, and save ‘em in your scrapbook to show the grandkids how dorky you were. Plus, once you remove your bumper stickers, your car instantly becomes more valuable when you sell it or trade it in!
Speaking of selling cars, our Honda dealerships in Phoenix, Tempe, Prescott, Scottsdale, Peoria, Mesa, Chandler and Surprize, AZ will gladly buy your trade-in vehicle and get you behind the wheel of something from this generation, like the 2018 Honda Accord or family-friendly Pilot SUV. A new car might even make you want to do your own detailing every spring—or every day, for that matter.
Find and contact your closest Valley Honda Dealers location to speak with our sales team about trading in your car for a new one. We have Honda dealerships near Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, and throughout the surrounding area.
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