But not to worry, tuck that wallet back in your back pocket and take a walk around your home, there are numerous items that you already own that will help you in your maintenance mission. But if it all becomes too much, don’t be afraid to get the professionals in once in a while!
1. Toothbrush – My personal favourite! The trusted toothbrush is an extremely versatile aid when it comes to cleaning your car. We will start with the firm brush;
a. Firm Brush – Apply a small amount of upholstery cleaner to the head of the brush, place your thumb behind the head (to prevent it from snapping), and scrub any spot stains on your carpet or upholstery. We find this gets stains out 90% of the time! You may need to do 2 or 3 rounds on those tougher stains.
b. Soft Brush – The soft brush is great for running along small crevice sections such as around the edge of air-vents or gearboxes to get all those small dirt and grime particles. EXPERT TIP – run a microfiber along at the same time to catch whatever you dislodge.
2. Pocket Sized Compressed Air – Admittedly this may not be found in all households but remember that little air canister you picked up to clean your keyboard? It is PHENOMENAL at clearing those hard to get to spots of dust and grime. And for around $2.99 from office supply stores, you really can’t argue! You can also use this to blow off leaves and twigs which often tend to congregate in the boot jambs of your car. In fact, you can use it to remove pretty much anything (just don’t spray it on your bare skin, it can burn!).
3. Rubber Gloves – Apart from protecting yourself against any stronger chemicals you may use for stain removal, they have another secret use… Pet hair! Run the palm of your hand in one direction along the affected area a few times, the pet hair will begin to gather in a small lump, you can then pick up the lump easily. If you still can’t get those last few strands to come out, Sello-tape or (sticky tape as most countries other than the UK call it!) works a charm, just lay it flat over the strands and pull it off much like waxing and you will find it works like a charm!
4. Dish Cloths – Firstly, do not use dirty dish cloths on your paint! You should only use clean cloths when applying any kind of product to your paintwork, otherwise you risk adding contaminants or even scratching your paintwork. However, old dish cloths are fantastic for cleaning your rims! Break dust, although looking horrendous, is amazingly easy to remove, a small amount of either household multi-purpose cleaner or even just water is usually enough to loosen it up to be wiped off by one of your cloths. Recycling dish-cloths is a lot cheaper than buying 2 terry towels for $10 which seems to be the norm nowadays!
5. Air-freshener! – Last but not least is the mighty air-freshener, it seems so, so obvious yet I very rarely meet people who regularly use it to maintain their vehicle. If you deem it nice enough to fragrance your house, why not your car?! A little spray often will really make a difference.
Hopefully these will help you keep your car nice and clean and delay (if not prevent) the need to get a professional car detailing company in!