If you spend a lot of time in your car, you know it gets dirty pretty fast if you don’t stay on top of it. But staying on top of it is actually easy when you know the most brilliant car cleaning hacks that we’re sharing today. When you use these hacks, your car stays cleaner than ever!
Brilliant Car Cleaning Hacks
The first of our car cleaning hacks is to always start from the top and work your way down. This way, everything only needs to be cleaned once. Be sure to use car upholstery cleaner to get those seats clean. By the way, the upholstery cleaner also works great for the car ceiling!
Use dryer sheets to remove bugs from the front of your car. And a used dryer sheet works as well as a new one! Just wet it, wring it out a little, and then use it as a wipe for the front of the car.
Your vacuum attachments are perfect to remove dust from the dashboard vents. And remember–work from the top down. Vacuum the vents before you vacuum the floor.
Rubbing alcohol cleans up your windshield wipers. If you’re getting a smeary windshield when you use them, just wipe them down with an alcohol pad. No more smears!
An old toothbrush reaches into all the nooks and crannies of the car dashboard and console.
More Car Cleaning Hacks
Throw your car mats in the washing machine to get them clean. Use your machine’s gentle cycle to avoid any damage to the machine or the mats. This is one of my favorite brilliant car cleaning hacks. Who would have thought?
Once your cupholders are clean, here’s a hack to help them stay that way. Silicone cupcake liners fit perfectly in the bottom of your cupholders to protect them from dirt & crumbs. Genius!
WD-40 helps remove old bumper stickers. Just spray some on the bumper sticker and allow it to soak in for a few minutes. Then just pull the sticker off!
White toothpaste, not the gel kind, is amazing to remove build-up from your car’s headlights. Just rub the toothpaste onto the headlight using a soft microfiber cloth. Let it sit for a bit, and then thoroughly rinse the toothpaste away.
Use soda to clean corrosion off your car’s battery terminals. Dissolve 3-4 tablespoons of baking soda in a glass of warm water. Pour this mixture over the terminals and wait while it bubbles. Rinse with clear water. Repeat steps if necessary.
Wash your car’s hubcaps and floor mats in the dishwasher to get them clean without elbow grease.
Compressed air is another effective way to clean the dashboard vents. Grab a can of air and blow the dust out of the vents. Do this before vacuuming the rest of the car! A soft paintbrush helps so loosen any stubborn dust particles that remain.
Use an old sock as a soft cloth for detailing. It’s an effective budget-saver if you need one.
All about cleaning your car ,the second biggest investment in life? I detail vehicles, heavy trucks-semi 18 wheelers & heavy equipment! My point is don’t be afraid to get dirty,go 2 steps further, next cleaning aprox. 2 mnths ,what took you 9hrs,will take you 2 hrs ?? Scotchguard???? Armor All is the worst that you can use ,all meguiars products ,use applicators third time maybe an hour or so ! Cars happy your happy, and it’s CLEAN
I have 30 years experience detailing vehicles and I agree armor all and any products like armor all are the worst!not only does it trap whatever dirt that May be in cracks etc it also will cause leather or vinyl to crack in extreme heat or cold.the best thing to use in cleaning a vehicle is one part vinegar and three parts water in a spray bottle on everything from Windows to leather vinyl and carpet
for sure and if you get armour on the windows heaven help you it is hard to get off and once it gets on your rag your done for
What would you suggest? I bought armor all wipes. Since you said this is bad, what is good? I have 7 kids. 6 of them boys. The youngest is 3. I need something and baby wipes leaves lint behind.
Wrapped in Rust says
I’ve done a lot of research (because yes armour all can be a nightmare) and it seems a lot of people suggest using 303 aerospace. You can buy it through Amazon here https://www.amazon.com/303-30313-CSR-Protectant-Trigger-Sprayer/dp/B00KN0UOEE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477674661&sr=8-1&keywords=303+aerospace+protectant
I have been looking for silicone cupcake holders big enough for my cupholders..They are always too small.
never mind says
just get the 6 cupcake set and cut it …i gess
Karen C says
For any of the little thin crevices around the door/window buttons, arm rests, stick shift etc. I use round toothpicks to scrape the grunge out. For larger crevices, wet the end so it frays a bit. Works great!
How does one clean seat belts!! I have a 2006 jeep with tan belts that must have been on the oil fields, coal mine files etc., tried all types of degreasers etc. but no luck. Thinking of using an upholstery paint to change color to dark charcoal or black. Before I do that does anyone have a suggestion or remedy for cleaning seat belts. Much appreciated
Thank You, Orvis
Try plain, clear, no suds, undiluted ammonia on a rough cotton towel. Use multiple towels to avoid redepositting dirt onto the belt fabric. The strong smell disappears as the ammonia evaporates. Do not use in a closed vehicle. Leave the doors open for adequate ventilation.
Thank you for your response. I will try your suggestion and hope to reply that it was successful.
Try simple green
Perhaps if that doesn’t work try oven cleaner. Out towels behind the straps and ventilate well. Let sit for at least 1/2 an hour or longer. Then use a sturdy vegetable brush (hard bristles) and scrub hard. Bring a bowl with hot water and dip the straps in and squeeze into another clean towel. Let dry and good luck
Thank you again for the ammonia tip. I tried it but what I found worked the best was vinegar with a few drops of Dawn soap. I sprayed it on and scrubbed it onto the belt. I left it react with the belt as I went to the othe side of the vehicle and sprayed and scrubbed that belt. I went back to the first belt and used a power washer and it worked great.
Did all four seat belts and will return the upholstery paint spice they look great ( not new but livable).
Thanks for the tips, I have lost all motivation to clean my car. With 4 kids, as soon as I clean the car it looks like a bomb has hit it the very next day!
when my daughter took purple permanent marker to the ceiling liner in my car I freaked out. I had a friend tell me to use mean green and I wouldn’t regret it. I thought he was full of it and that I might as well get used to it. About 3 months later I decided I might as well try it. I didn’t even have to scrub. I sprayed it and wiped it with a wet cloth. maybe a couple times in a few spots. My liner looked brand-new when I was done and I didnt have to put much effort into it at all
Can someone please tell me what I need to use for cloth seats in my car. A 12 pk of cokes leaked on the back seat of my car and I can’t seem to get the stain out of the seat. I was told to use a carpet cleaner to get the stain out and it didn’t work. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Wrapped in Rust says
Have you used a spot treatment as well as the carpet cleaner? That’s usually what I have had to do. This one usually works well for me https://www.amazon.com/Folex-Carpet-Spot-Remover-32/dp/B001B0V5GG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=lacasentinc-20&linkId=1ee6c7634e95d68a01c9a67e818dd874
Acetone (or unscented nail polish remover).
Wear the thick old fashioned dish washing gloves. Use a little bit at a time because it evaporates quickly (smells really bad too!). I use an old t-shirt or sock rag. Hold on top of the acetone and flip it upside down then right side up to get a little bit of acetone on your rag. Rub on stains and they instantly disappear! I got this tip from the service manager at a car dealership when the mechanic got grease on my silver gray cloth seats. I have instantly removed rust and even heavy grease from my cloth seats! Do a test at the bottom of the seat just to make sure the acetone won’t harm your seat fabric but I have never had a problem with any of my vehicles. Careful though. You will find once you remove the stain you will have a super clean spot and may have to clean the whole seat to match the clean spot?! LOL (acetone is ONLY for cloth seats)
Works great on the plastic interior of your car to!
We bought a used car and the previous owners were smokers. How do I get the odor out?
Wrapped in Rust says
That one is tricky! I would first air it out for as long as you can. So leave the windows down even just an inch or two when you can, it’s going to help circulate some air in there and help clean it out. I would replace both air filters, and also look into having the car detailed. I know it can be expensive, but they can achieve a deeper clean than you can when it comes to your car. Best of luck!
My ex-sil nearly destroyed my brother’s SUV it was so filthy and smoke filled when we got it back. I pulled every piece of carpet I could and scrubbed in the tub by hand with rug cleaner like for a carpet cleaner. I might even have used some Dawn at one point for the oily stains. It took about 4 tries before the water was no longer black with dirt and cigarette tar. While those dried I took a vacuum and carpet stain remover to the remaining carpet and any other upholstered surface I hadn’t been able to remove. The staining was so bad I didn’t worry about testing because I needed to cover almost every piece of it. The next step was to wipe every hard surface – glass, dash, console, etc. – and ran loose items like the rubber console cup liners through the dish washer. The goal of doing all that first was of course to get at the dirt and grime, but also to eliminate any surface smoking residue. I used straight vinegar. All this time the doors had been open to air out (and so I could breathe) except for overnight when I locked up for security. Each night, I placed several boxes of baking soda in shallow dishes through out the car and closed the windows. I probably could have reused it, but it was so bad I used new each night.
This all took days because of drying time, but once the interior upholstery was totally dry I sprinkled fresh baking soda on all the carpets and fabric surfaces and let that sit overnight followed by a thorough vacuuming the next morning. I couldn’t get the burn marks out, but by this point the smell was much improved and it was CLEAN! Since there was still a little remaining smell when closed up I punched some holes in the lid of a plastic container and filled it with more baking soda. He kept this in the car for a couple weeks.
All told I spent about $100 (mostly vacuuming costs at the car wash), but he was able to get a good trade-in return a couple years later.
Used smokers care – try leaving a cup of 50-50 vinegar & water in the cup holder each night for a few days with the windows open a crack (if possible). Odour will be strong but vinegar is a great to help diminish the odour after a good car cleaning. Good luck!
How do I get mould out of the back footwell of car gran kids spill milk juice then drop food so hence the mess under the mats I’ve bought new mats but can’t shift mould n smell thanks
Wrapped in Rust says
Unfortunately when it comes to deep stains/smells you might have to take it to a professional cleaner. Good luck though, I had something similar happen once with my sister’s chocolate milk. The smell is terrible.
Foggy film frustration says
Does anybody have ideas on how to get off and prevent the film/foggyness on the inside of the windshield. Ive had this issue before and now it happened again on my way home this evening when I rubbed it with my finger it came off but left smudges. It isn’t dirt because my finger was clean. Already tried wiping it/ cleaning it with cleaner but it keeps happening and smudging worse than before. HELP PLEASE!
Rain X Anti fog will do the trick
You will NEVER get rid of that fogging, well at lease for the first few years after tne car’s manufacture. The reason being, is that there is SO much plastic used in auto interiors, and the better grade suppliers use a chemical in the formula to keep the plastic supple.
The generic term for these ingredients is known as “Platicizers”. After a while, these nice little additives begin to exude or migrate to the surface of the molded parts. Once on the surface of parts like the dashboard, windshield frames, mirror housings, vent grills, etc., with the help of the sun’s heat (winter included), these plasticizers begin to evaporate and leave their residue all over your nice c.ean glass. The ONLY thing you can do, is to keep up with it by washing as instructed above with either an amonia or vinegar (acedic acid) diluted solution.
Sorry………Typo should be “Acetic” acid.
P.S. forgot to mention a word of caution about the use of Acetone above:
Certain plastics will actually DISOLVE with acetone so please use caution.
Wrapped in Rust says
Thank you for the tip!
Help – how can I really clean the outside of my windshield? I have tried several window cleaning products as well as coke as well as vinegar but it stays streaky?
Wrapped in Rust says
It might be the paper towels you are using to clean your windshield. Try using old newspaper instead 🙂
David rice says
Looking for ice defrost for car . Made a solution up last year with vinegar and peroxide as well as i think it was bottled of alcohol. Help in removing ice from the car windows
Gregg Rajan says
Thank you for your post. Your site is very nice. Keep posting! 🙂
Rebekah Purnel says
The list is great! I think all these are must have for a car owner for clinging. Some of these are missing from my collection. Will fil it up asap! But, thanks for sharing such wonderful ideas with us!
Wrapped in Rust says
So glad you loved the ideas! Thank you for reading!
It’s perfect ideas with 20 brilliant hacks for car cleaning. Some of them I never think out.
You have a ton of great cleaning hacks. Really, such a useful information for car cleaning. Some of this hacks are so much helpful. It’s really needed for me. Seriously, these are the best hacks I saw that. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing post. keep it up.
Peter Fedrick says
Use a homemade vehicle upholstery cleansing answer to help you address muddy mats, carpets, and any dingy spots in your automobile seats. You can use dishwashing powder like laundry detergent, liquid cleaner and essential car tools cleaner.
Sarah Kite says
Thank you for sharing! When you think you’ve seen them all, you find some more awesome tips.
car revoval melborne says
This was a great information about the resolving of issue permanently in a car during driving easily by using the service of Victoria car removal in Melbourne with in a short period of time a start your journey safe and fast without any trouble shoot ,If your car is still running before you sell it to the junkyard due to any kind of issue then you must use the service of car removal in Melbourne , you might want to use up the gasoline in the tank before you have it towed away. Depending on the size of the tank in your car or truck, the value of the gasoline in the tank can represent a substantial portion of the total value of the price you’re getting from the junkyard. If your car isn’t running, be careful if you attempt to siphon gasoline from the tank. Use only approved containers to carry the gasoline, and never start a siphon using your mouth. Don’t worry about the value of the gas to the junkyard. They’ll have to drain all the fluids out of your car before recycling or scrapping the parts, and gasoline in the tank is a nuisance for them.
Christopher Coles says
Nice cleaning ideas! Thanks for sharing!
Rose A. says
To get rid of smoke smell in your car, put apple cider vinegar in a bowl and leave in your vehicle overnight.
To get rid of stains in upholstery, mix equal parts dawn and hydrogen peroxide with water. Spray and scrub.
I had a bad smell in my fridge one time and a fridge repair man told me to put a piece of charcoal in the fridge to keep it clean smelling, it works beautifully. I wonder if buying a bag of charcoal, opening it up and leaving it in your car would get rid of the cigarette/tobbaco smell. It could be a cheap/easy solution.
Spray the car seat belt cleaner directly onto the belt. Alternatively, you can use a fabric cleaner or an all-purpose cleaner. Make sure that your applications are even and light. Next, use your fingers to hold the sides of the belt and flip it for an underside spritz.