Tidy Up: 6 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Car

Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Car
In celebration of spring, let's give your car a makeover. Photo: Nicholas_T, Flickr

Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Car

Spring is here! Thank goodness.

After a massive blizzard in New York City, I’m relieved to see it… and so is my car! Salt, snow, and slush have made a mess of things. It’s time to tidy up. Here are our six spring cleaning tips for your car. #4 is will awaken your inner Marie Kondo.

1. See.

Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Car

The cleaner your windshield, the faster your reaction time. Photo: Maxpixel

Visibility problems are a common cause of traffic accidents. That shouldn’t come as a surprise. If you fix breakfast while wearing a blindfold, you’ll make a HUGE mess. You depend on all of your senses – not just one of them – to complete even the most basic tasks.

Get yourself a spray bottle of window cleaner (it’s cheap). After you scrub the windows clean and dry them off with a microfiber towel to prevent streaking. Don’t forget about your side mirrors. If you’ve seen a lot of snow this year, they could surely use a good cleaning.

2. Be Seen.

Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Car

Make sure your headlights are as bright as they can be! Photo: Pixabay

Most drivers rarely think about their headlights and taillights. That’s unfortunate, because those lights could save your butt someday. Clean headlights are much easier to see in the dark than cloudy ones.

You don’t even need to buy new cleaning products. Just add some toothpaste to a damp cloth (yes, I’m being serious) and scrub out the dirt. Next, dampen a clean cloth with water and rinse. Simple enough!

3. Change Your Shoes.

Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Car

It’s time to tag in a set of summer or all season tires! Photo: Custom_Cab, Flickr

Tires are like shoes for your car. Your style should change to fit the season. If you wear snow boots in spring, people will look at you funny. Wear sandals in winter and your toes will freeze off!

It’s smart to buy winter tires for the cold months. They’re way better at getting traction on snow and ice. However, winter tires should not be used when it gets hot. The heat will cause them to wear out much sooner than necessary. Replace them with summer or all season tires ASAP!

4. Remove Clutter.

Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Car

Few things are more soothing than an organized glove compartment. Photo: Wikipedia

Hoarding is strange. I don’t understand why so many people collect junk. Having so much clutter in my house that there’s nowhere to sit would stress me out. The same is true for my car.

I like to know exactly what’s inside my trunk, glove box, and side compartment. If I ever need to find a certain item, I don’t have to spend ten minutes searching (which is awkward when you get pulled over). Instead, I can find it in a matter of seconds.

Looking for a suggestion?  First, get rid of gas station receipts, packets of ketchup or hot sauce, and anything else that is not essential. Get two envelopes for your glove-box. Put your registration and insurance card in one. Put all of your auto repair related receipts and warranty information in the other.

Place a pencil and notepad inside your side compartment. If your car ever does something funky or breaks down, write down exactly what happened. Don’t trust yourself to remember. Get that info to a mechanic ASAP. Lastly, don’t put too much heavy stuff in your trunk. This boosts your fuel economy. Sell or donate anything you don’t need. While you’re back there, toss in an emergency kit.

5. Keep Your Shine.

Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Car

Washing and waxing your car will keep its paint coat looking new. Photo: Pixabay

The sun is pretty, but it does a number on your paint job. So does salt. If you’ve seen any snow lately, your car might be covered in the stuff. It’s good to wash your car, but that isn’t enough to stop rust.

Waxing your car protects its coat from damage caused by the sun, snow, salt, and other harsh elements. Don’t go overboard. Car wax is uber efficient. A minimalist might wax their car before and after winter. If you want to be more thorough, wax your car at the beginning or end of every season.

Note: If you don’t have the time or interest in waxing your car by hand, most automatic car washes have a premium option that includes a car wax.

6. Clean Your Interior.

Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Car

Those seats are spotless! Photo: Pixabay.

Want people to feel 100% comfortable in the passenger seat? Keep your interior as clean as possible! The next time you go to a car wash, vacuum your floor and mats. Make sure to move your seats, so you can get any crumbs that are hiding underneath.

Check out your seats. Are there any stains? (If you have small children, I bet the answer is “YES!”) Baby wipes and club soda are great stain removers that don’t leave a yucky chemical smell behind. Invest in this. You’ll be glad it’s there the next time your mini-me spills apple juice in the back seat.

Do you have any spring cleaning tips for your car that weren’t mentioned? If so, tell us about them in the comments! Share this post with your friends so their car can be clean and organized, too. They’ll totally appreciate the advice.

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Master mechanic, automotive expert and teacher, Audra Fordin is the author of End Auto Anxiety, CEO of Women Auto... More about Audra Fordin