Winter is a harsh time of year for the exterior and interior of your car…and that makes spring the perfect time to remove the remnants of winter! To improve the look and feel of your car, focus on:
Removing winter road wash residue from your car’s exterior
Salt is corrosive, and any salt left behind can eat into body panels. Removing it requires a thorough wash, which includes:
- Gentle spray rinse to dislodge sizable debris that can scratch your car’s coat
- Lather with soap formulated for use on cars (not household dish or laundry detergent) using a soft cloth or mitt
- Power spray rinse to all soap and dirt from the vehicle (the sheeting action of the water will minimize actual drying)
Whether you dry your car or allow it to air-dry, follow with a coat of wax for protection. Even though salt may no longer damage your car’s coat, UV radiation will.
Removing salt and road grime from the carpet and upholstery
A lot of salt, grime and debris can be shaken loose from floor mats, but for stuck-on gunk, lay damp towels on the area to soften it. A soft-bristle brush may be used to gently massage particles loose from the carpet or upholstery. Vacuum the interior to remove remaining debris.
A thorough wash will remove residue from the exterior of your windows, but you need to clean the insides. You may be surprised at how dirty windows can be just from condensation cycles and the frequent entry/exit of your vehicle. Plus, if you’ve been driving with outside air circulating in, there’s likely to be even more dirt clinging to the glass.
Use a window cleaner with a clean cloth to shine the windows. Adding a coat of gloss or window wax with a dry paper towel can add an extra shine.
Cleaning consoles and dash
If you’re going to go to the trouble of spring cleaning, you might as well do a thorough job. That means cleaning out the trash in the consoles, in the doors, in the glovebox, etc. And once the obvious stuff is picked up, wipe off all vinyl and plastic surfaces, making sure not to get electrical components wet.
A mild soapy solution and clean cloth are sufficient for cleaning the consoles. When dry, apply a coat of vinyl protectant to guard against sun damage.