Specialised car cleaning products are expensive, and full of chemicals that end up being washed down the drain and into our waterways. Fortunately, they’re also totally unnecessary when there are so many great eco-friendly ways to make your car look like it’s just been professionally detailed!
To thoroughly clean your car’s painted exterior, wheels, and windows all you need is 1/3 cup white vinegar diluted with 3.5 litres of water. If you’ve just been on a four wheel driving adventure and your car is filthy you can add a couple of teaspoons of mild soap or eco friendly detergent. Wash one section at a time, rinsing off your cleaning product as you go.
If your headlights get foggy, dirty, or covered in squished bugs the best way to clean them is with toothpaste – the white kind, not the gel kind. Apply toothpaste to the headlight, use a rag to rub in small circular motions, then rinse. Repeat if necessary. You’ll be surprised how much dirt will come off.
Vinegar and water to the rescue again. For this job you’ll want a less diluted solution – three parts vinegar to one part warm water in a spray bottle. Spray the seats with this, then wipe with a clean, damp chamois. This is also ideal for vinyl interiors. To give your leather a conditioning treatment for extra shine and softness rub a light amount of olive oil into it. Always test in an inconspicuous area, and don’t use too much.
You may remember our recommendation for cleaning carpets, couches, and curtains from the cleaning with baking soda post. This tip is also perfect for cleaning and deodorising fabric car upholstery. Sprinkle baking soda all over your seats and floor, then leave it for half an hour before vacuuming up.
Air Conditioner Vents
Pick up dust in cracks and crevices with a small painter’s foam brush (unused).
Car mats cop the brunt of dirty feet and fallen snacks. If yours are carpet the easiest way to deal with them is to make use of your washing machine. Use your usual washing liquid and a splash of vinegar and stains should come out easily.
If your windscreen wipers seem to just make your glass more dirty give the rubber part a once-over with a rag and some rubbing alcohol to remove any stickiness.
If you’ve got some dried bird droppings on your roof or bonnet they might need a bit of extra attention to remove them. Try dabbing some vegetable oil on a rag and rubbing the caked on droppings, then wash with the regular vinegar and water solution.