Now that it is finally warm outside, it is time to stop procrastinating and give your car a proper spring-cleaning. Winter can be harsh on both the inside and the outside of your vehicle. The best way to ensure that your vehicle runs well and looks great is by giving it a proper spring-cleaning.
Start With The Trash
It may seem obvious, but start by removing all the trash and items that have accumulated in your car this winter. Take inside any extra jackets, gloves or scarves you were carrying around this winter. Set-up one bag for items that you want to throw away and another bag for items you want to keep in your car. You'll want to remove even the things you want to keep in your car so that you can vacuum more easily.
Be sure to clean out under the seats. Coins and other small objects easily drop down under your seats.
Finally, don't forget about the truck as well. If you have been carrying around a snow shovel or salt in case of a winter emergency, you can take these items out now.
Vacuum Top To Bottom
Once you have pulled everything out of your vehicle, its time to vacuum. Start by vacuuming your roof, and make your way down from there. Use the cervix attachment that comes with your vacuum to clean all the hard to reach places in your vehicle, such as in-between the seats, the doors, and under the seats.
Vacuum the floor mats, and then take them out of your vehicle. Make sure that you don't forget to vacuum under the floor mats. Over time, dirt and debris can make its way under your floor mats as well.
Clean Your Floor Mats
Your floor mats probably sustained the most damage during the winter. If you live somewhere where it snows, they may be caked with salt and sand. Even if it only really rains in the winter where you live, your floor mats are still probably full of dirt.
First off, make sure you vacuum your floor mats either when they are inside of your vehicle or after you take them out. This will help remove any loose dirt from your floor mats.
After you vacuum your floor mats, use a power washer to deep clean them. If you have rubber floor mats, you will probably only need to spray your mats off once. However, if you have carpeted floor mats, you are probably going to need to spray your mats off a couple times in order to get all the debris loose. Make sure you pressure wash both sides of your mats. If you don't have your own pressure washing machine, many car washes are equipped with them.
Finally, let your mats dry out in the sun for a few days before you put them back inside of your vehicle. If you put them back inside your vehicle before they are dry, mold and mildew could develop.
Scrub The Upholstery & Carpet
Pick up a bottle of automotive upholstery and carpet cleaner from your local auto maintenance store. If you don't have one, you'll also need to pick up a scrub brush as well.
Spray the cleaner on the seats and then scrub them down. After you scrub the seats, wipe off any remaining moisture. Don't forget about the accessories – if your doors or consoles have cloth on them, use the cleaner on them as well.
Finally, use the cleaner on the floor of your vehicle. Just like your house, sometimes the floor of your vehicle also needs a good scrubbing! Spray, scrub, wipe down and repeat!
Leave the doors open for a few hours in order to allow the seats and carpet to air out after you clean them.
Wash The Windows
While cleaning the inside of your car, it is easy to forget about the windows. Over the winter, dust has accumulated on both the inside and outside of your windows. Use a car window cleaner and a lint-free cloth to get rid of all that dust. It will be easier to see out of your windows, and with all the dust gone; they will not get as foggy as well!
Wipe Down The Doors
Finally, make sure you don't forget about the doors. Use some cleaning wipes or upholstery cleaner to wipe down the door handles.
Use either a cleaning wipe, or some cleaner and scrub brush to clean away any dirt that has built up on the doorsills.
Finally, spray a little lubricant on the hinges. This will help prevent squeaks and will help prevent wear.
Make sure that you don't forget to spring-clean the inside of your vehicle. Lots of dirt can get inside your vehicle during the winter, and it is natural to not want to clean up your car when it is so cold outside. However, once the warm weather hits, its time to clean out your car. Start big and work your way down to the little details.