Car Cleaning Guide

In the midst of all your spring cleaning and outdoor projects, don’t forget about your vehicle: it needs some TLC too. Your vehicle is a valuable asset, and in order for it to run longer and better you should make sure to clean and protect it thoroughly. This is especially important after winter, a season which means cold temperatures, bad roads, and abrasive salt and sand on the roads. Here are some great products found right here on to help you keep your car in great shape.

Car Washing
It may be more time-consuming, but washing your vehicle by hand is the best way to properly clean your car. Using specifically formulated liquid car wash gets your car cleaner and leaves less residue than getting by with regular dish soap. There are several options in this category, including the premium Armor All Wash & Wax formula and a concentrated mixture from Turtle Wax.

Carrand’s Telescoping Flow-Thru Wash Brush is a great addition to your washing process, as it helps get to hard-to-reach places and can attach to your garden hose to make the wetting and washing process even quicker.

Waxing your car is vital for the long-term durability of its paint and general appearance, as well as preventing rust and other corrosion. Waxes come in basically two varieties: paste and liquid form. The paste wax, like this one from Nu Finish, comes with an applicator pad to apply the product to the surface in a circular pattern before buffing off. Liquid wax is typically easier to apply, and products like this kit from Turtle Wax give you all the items you need to quickly wax your vehicle.

We also stock a few wax applicators and polishers, like the AutoSpa Random Orbital Polisher which makes the buffing process much easier.

No matter where you live, your car is going to pick up minor scratches and dents from rocks, gravel, shopping carts, and other material. If it’s just a surface abrasion, products like the Turtle Wax Renew Scratch Repair Pen can help you take care of those right in your driveway. Washing and waxing your car by hand gives you and up close look at your entire vehicle, giving you a great chance to find and repair the little imperfections. Rubbing compounds are also popular for DIY surface repair jobs.

If your car or truck has chrome anywhere such as the grille or running boards, steel wool and chrome polish can get those surfaces shining in no time. A steel wool pad can gently remove light rust and other tarnishes, and following that up with Turtle Wax’s Renew Chrome Polish & Rust Remover will make a brilliant difference.

Wheels and Tires
Your wheels and tires take a beating every day, so they deserve some attention as well. While poor roads and all kinds of abrasive material take their toll on your wheels, nothing completes the look of a clean car quite like fresh, jet black tires and clean rims. It’s not the easiest part of the vehicle to clean, but products like ArmorAll’s Tire Foam can get your tires back to black without any scrubbing. To top it off and to give your tires a long-lasting shine, ArmorAll features a jet black Outlast Tire Glaze for a shine designed to last for weeks.

Turtle Wax, Armor All, and Black Magic also feature similar no-scrub rim and wheel cleaners as well. Brake dust is the enemy of clean rims, so a wheel brush may still be necessary to clean the nooks and crannies of your car’s wheels.

Interior Cleaning
If you’ve had your car for any length of time, you know the stress of daily driving, kids and passengers, pets, food and whatever else may find its way into your vehicle will wipe out that new car smell pretty quickly. Luckily there are tons of products out there to not only help keep the interior clean, but also keep it feeling fresh as well.

Protectant wipes like these from ArmorAll are great to keep on hand for quick cleanups. You also may want to invest in a surface protectant to wipe down your dashboard and other hard surfaces while protecting them from fading due to damaging UV rays.

For vinyl and non-leather seats, check out Scotchgard’s Upholstery Protectant Spray. The floors are likely the dirtiest part of your car’s interior, so tackle them with Turtle Wax’s interior carpet cleaner. If you have leather seats, a specially designed leather cleaner and conditioner is the way to go.

Finally, a good glass cleaner can make a huge difference inside and out. Rain-X is the way to go for windshield rain protection, but they also feature glass cleaner to clean your windows both on the interior and exterior.

For more car cleaning tips and in-depth info, check out this great read from Popular Mechanics:

Top of Page