What Are The Best Cleaning Products On The Market For My Car?

It’s spring, which means your car is due for a cleaning. And don’t think “cleaning” means going through the car wash, either. If you want the best results, you’re going to have to get a little dirty yourself.

Perhaps you’ve been waiting for warmer weather, or maybe you can’t remember the last time you’ve cleaned your car (uh oh!). In any case, you’ll need to make sure you have the proper products for the job. Before you grab that window spray, make sure you have these cleaning supplies at the ready.

What You’ll Need for the Interior

Whether you start on the inside or the outside of your car is really up to you. Regardless of the state of your car’s interior, you’d probably do well to give it a once-over with a vacuum cleaner once you’ve gotten everything picked up and out of the way. While your regular stand-up vacuum cleaner with extension hose should do the trick, wrangling that hose can be a bit tricky. This is especially so once you start getting under the seats, where the real mess is. For best results, consider getting a handheld vacuum cleaner. The purchase won’t run you too much, and you’ll have the added benefit of being able to use the handheld vac in your home as well.

You’ll also want the right sprays and wipes to give the interior that new-car shine. If you’re worried about the condition of your upholstery, think about getting a fabric guard spray or a leather cleaner–both will only run you a few bucks and they’ll help guard your upholstery against stains and water. As far as cleaning the windows, any standard window cleaner should do. The real trick is to not spray too much cleaner and to use circular wiping motions to avoid smears.

Give Your Wheels a Scrub

Your wheels aren’t exactly the focal point of your car, but they’re the spot that gets the most dirt. They deserve a little love, too. As far as which cleaning supplies you’ll want to have on hand, you should consider getting some wheel spray–Sonax Wheel Cleaner is highly recommended–as well as a scrub brush and terry cloth for drying. While you could get away with using just one brush for this job, a pointed wheel brush may allow you to get into the nooks and crannies of your wheel well which a regular brush just can’t reach.

Suds, Buffs, and Waxes

How deep you go down the car wash hole is entirely up to you. In any case, you’ll need to start on the exterior with some soapy water. Be sure that you use soap that’s meant for washing cars, as other soaps could affect the paint job. You could go ahead and use rags to wash the exterior of your car, but if you’re concerned about not creating any tiny scratches, opt for a microfiber brush instead.

After rubbing in the suds and rinsing off your car, you could call it a day. But, if you want to go the extra mile, consider applying a polish with a buffer pad. Be forewarned: a buffer tool will cost you, but those who use them swear by them. After you’ve got the polish worked into the car’s surface, the last thing will be to apply a wax. Keep in mind that the better quality the wax, the better shine you’ll get.

There are not many hard-and-fast rules to washing your car, and everyone is going to have their opinion on the best soap or why you should use a certain kind of wax. As long as you’re careful, feel free to experiment a little and see what works best for you and your car. Anything is better than the alternative–a dirty car with “Wash me!” inscribed on it!

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