That ‘new car smell’ is one of the most enticing. It speaks of the promise of a fresh start: you’ll keep this one clean and lovely, maintaining that nice scent as long as you can. But inevitably, there will be a long car journey, some spilled coffee, a takeaway meal eaten on the road that leaves crumbs, perhaps even a carsickness incident, and then your lovely clean new car becomes just another regular car. Here are a few tips for cleaning and maintaining you car to a high standard, making a pleasanter journey for all:
Tips For a Clean Car: Vacuum your car when you vacuum the house
Think of the carpets and upholstery in your car as an extension of flooring and furniture in your house. This will stop crumbs of food and dry chunks of dirt from accumulating in the car. If the carpets are starting to pick up a stale smell, sprinkle some borax on and leave for an hour before vacuuming it up. It is also worth noting for dog owners that two applications of borax will kill fleas.
Tips For a Clean Car: Apply some Scotchgard
Do it before you forget: this will limit the impact of stains on your surfaces.
Tips For a Clean Car: Deal with greasy stains
Any food with oil or dairy in it is going to leave an upholstery stain if not treated quickly. For instance, if you spill some coffee, it needs to be diluted with cold water immediately and then blotted. If it still leaves a stain, a window cleaner can be used to lift it (it doesn’t leave a soapy residue). For other greasy kinds of stains, you can use a paint thinner (though make sure you do a spot test first) with a 100% cotton cloth.
Tips For a Clean Car: Ink stains
Believe it or not, you can use hairspray to lift ink stains on your car’s upholstery or carpet.
Tips For a Clean Car: Carsickness
Neutralise the odour with soda water or baking soda with water. If you have kids who often succumb to carsickness, it’s a good idea to keep a box of baking soda in the car, just in case: especially on long journeys.
Tips For a Clean Car: Clutter
There are certain things that are very handy to have in the car – an extra bottle of water, snacks in case you are delayed or if you break down, a tool kit, a first aid kit, a torch, a spare pair of shoes… the list goes on – make sure it doesn’t get out of hand by giving your car a tidy once a week.
Vivienne Egan writes for GEM Motoring Assist who provide car breakdown cover.