Whether it was a long or short winter in your neck of the woods, chances are your car is due for a good spring cleaning.
To keep your vehicle looking its best and make car rides more enjoyable in the coming months, you must thoroughly clean it.
Fortunately, the team at Ultramar has thought of everything and prepared a list of tasks to check off for your car’s spring-cleaning to-do list. Let’s get started!
First, take out the floor mats and any other items that could get in the way of cleaning the inside of your car. Determine what can be thrown away or recycled, what can go back in the house and what will return to your vehicle once it’s clean.
Clean the Seats
Car seats often go unnoticed and can quickly go from gleaming to grimy. Since there are two distinct car seat materials, here are some appropriate ways to clean them.
Before deep cleaning your seats, vacuum them. Make sure to get in all the grooves and seams. That’s where dirt loves to hide!
1- Cleaning Fabric Seats
You can use a steamer to deep clean your car seats and remove stubborn stains.
If you don’t have a steamer, you can clean the seats with a water and white vinegar solution. Simply mix equal parts white vinegar and hot water and use a sponge to scrub the fabric. Afterwards, wipe the seats with a damp cloth to remove any lingering residue.
2- Cleaning Leather Seats
It’s best to use an upholstery cleaner designed explicitly for leather seats. After spraying your seats with the cleaning solution, promptly wipe them with a microfibre cloth.
Don’t put your vacuum cleaner away just yet! You’ll still need it to clean the floor, cup holders, glove box and trunk.
Make sure you vacuum all the way under the seats. That’s where crumbs and debris tend to accumulate.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll find that pair of headphones you lost last fall!
Clean the Floor Mats
Now’s the perfect time to swap out your winter floor mats for your summer ones. To clean your winter ones, wipe them with a damp cloth and an all-purpose cleaner. If they’re full of gravel and dirt, rinse them with water to remove excess pebbles and road salt.
Once your winter floor mats are clean and dry, put them away until next year and install your summer ones.
Clean the Plastic Surfaces
It’s time to give your vacuum a break. However, don’t rush to clean the outside of your car just yet. You still have to clean the plastic and vinyl surfaces in your vehicle, like the dashboard, steering wheel and inside the doors.
Get a lint-free cloth and a cleaning product designed for vinyl and plastic surfaces. Give them a little elbow grease and leave the windows open to remove any stale odours.
Now that you’ve cleaned the inside of your car, you can put back everything you removed back inside.
Get Rid of Road Salt and Calcium
Sand and road salt can do a lot of damage to your car and often in some of the most hard-to-reach places!
1- Cleaning the Exterior of Your Car
Go to your nearest Ultrawash carwash to clean the body and undercarriage of your vehicle. You should make a habit of going to the carwash regularly to keep your car in good condition.
Moreover, just because you can’t see the underside of your car doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of it. Snow, ice and road salts can cause a lot of damage to your car’s mechanics during the winter, which will only worsen with neglect.
2- Cleaning Every Nook and Cranny
It’s important to clean every nook and cranny on the outside of your car. For instance, you should open the hood and wipe down all the mechanical parts to ensure there aren’t any traces of salt or calcium.
Clean the Windows
While doing your deep cleaning, wash both the interior and exterior windows of your car. We’re talking about the front and rear windshields and the passenger and driver side windows.
If you don’t like the smell of chemical cleaners, make your own by mixing four litres of water with 125 ml of white vinegar and 2.5 ml of liquid dishwashing detergent. Spray this solution all over your windows and wipe away the grime for a streak-free shine.
Wax the Car
It’s time to pamper the exterior of your car. To do so, choose from the following types of waxes available in retail stores.
1- Paste Wax
This type of wax is suitable for older cars or those with damaged or deteriorated bodywork because it’s incredibly durable.
Keep in mind that takes longer to apply paste wax than any other type of wax. For example, you must wait a good half hour before you can polish your car to ensure the wax is completely dry.
2- Liquid Wax
Liquid wax is ideal if your car is new or in excellent condition. Liquid waxes offer increased protection and provide a flawless finish. However, you must be very careful when polishing your car with liquid wax.
3- Spray Wax
Spray wax dries quickly and is easy to apply. However, the effects don’t last very long.
Here are a few short tasks that will put the finishing touches on your spring cleaning.
1- Air Freshener
Once your car’s interior is clean, use a scented air freshener to make it smell great.
You can create a unique mist to perfume your car by mixing 125 ml of distilled or purified water with 5 ml of rubbing alcohol and about 25 drops of your favourite essential oil.
You can also make a wood air freshener. Spray a small wooden disk with a sprayable essential oil. Then, place it in a sealed container and wait a few hours for the essential oil to penetrate the wood.
Then, show it off by hanging it on your car’s rear-view mirror.
2- Windshield Wiper Blades
Inspect your windshield wiper blades to determine if they need to be replaced. Make sure the rubber isn’t ripped, torn or damaged.
3- Air Conditioner
Ensure your car’s air conditioning and ventilation system is working correctly, so you don’t have to open your windows to get fresh air when it’s 30 C.
If you live in a province where snow tires are mandatory, it may be time to make an appointment at your local repair shop for a tire change. If not, it’s still a great time to make sure your tires are in good shape for the summer.
Get ready for a busy day of cleaning your vehicle! Once all your spring cleaning tasks are done, you can hit the road in a sparkling clean car.