The very thought of keeping your car clean is tiring. Most of the time you just feel too lazy to do anything about it. Yet it’s likely you can muster up the energy to devote five minutes per day toward the task. Take little steps in keeping your car clean rather than devote hours toward the effort. Here’s the lazy person’s guide to keeping a car clean.
Bring a Garbage Bag
Grab a small garbage bag and check the front of the car, grabbing debris on the floor. Proceed to the back of the car, checking underneath and between seat cushions. Get rid of empty bags, wrappers, and disgusting things you can no longer recognize. Bring two bags, placing things that belong in the trunk or in the home in one, and items to be discarded in the other.
Do a Once Over
Bring an all-purpose cleaner, spraying down the dashboard, wheel, and hard surfaces of the vehicle. Clear surfaces of dirt, debris, and provide the interior with a pleasant scent. Some people use baby wipes for the same purpose; they are gentle and cheaper than buying a bottle cleaner.
Shake and Vac
Remove all of the foot rugs, shake them out, and vacuum. A small, handheld vac should do, especially if you don’t wait too long between cleanings. Don’t forget to vacuum in the small crevices. Get a spray can filled with air from a computer store. It will help loosen the dust and debris that gets stuck in small places. Don’t forget to dust the air vents!
Clean the Windows
Spray the windows with glass cleaner and give a good wipedown. Lower the windows about halfway down so you can clean the dirt that accumulates on the very top. After a rainfall, a dirty windshield can get grimy. Rid the glass of streaks and blotches by pouring cola over the glass, which will get rid of the grime. Clean the sticky cola residue with glass cleaner afterward.
Scrape the Blades
Dirty wiper blades make your windshield dirty rather than clean and visible. Using a solution of ammonia and cold water, lift the blades and wipe both sides with a cloth. This makes the blades clean as new.
Strip and Clean Seat Covers
It can be tiresome to clean your car seats, but you can make the deed a lot easier with a removable seat cover. See the selection of seat covers at Shear Comfort. Rather than spend time getting out stains, you can toss the covers in a washing machine.
Refill the Washer Fluid
Spray washer fluid on your windshield for a quick clean. Some car owners make their own washer fluid at home with a mixture of vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and water.
Degunk the Cup Holders
Cup holders get pretty nasty. Use cupcake liners as inserts, switching dirty ones for new ones when necessary. It’s easier and quicker than trying to get rid of caked-on grime.
Rinse the Battery
It gets dusty and dirty under the hood. Most parts can endure such conditions, but you want to pay attention to the battery and make sure it stays clean. Use a tablespoon of baking soda mixed with water to remove built-up corrosion. Use a wire brush to get acid away from the battery posts. Dry the battery with a towel once you’re finished.
Wash the Exterior
The exterior of the car requires more than five minutes, but it doesn’t need to be washed every day. Start by hosing the exterior to shake loose caked-on dirt and debris. Next, get a sponge and start at the top of the car. It’s best to clean from the top to the bottom. Otherwise, you’ll get cleaning residue on parts of the car you already washed. Be careful about what type of material you use to scrub. Lambswool works well, but abrasive materials scratch the paint.
Use a toothbrush to get dirt out of the cracks in the exterior and between the doors. Next, polish the bare metal parts, avoiding non-metal areas. Use plastic polish to address the headlights, turn signals, and brake lights. Apply wax to the exterior including the wheels.
Go to the Carwash
The above suggestions are meant to maintain the car. However, sporadically take the vehicle to the carwash. If you don’t want to invest in a full clean, use tools present at the facility, such as power vacuums and shampooers. You don’t have to take your car every week, but occasionally get a thorough wash so it takes less time to maintain.
Steven Shepherd is an auto detailer. He enjoys sharing his insights on the Internet. His articles appear mainly on lifestyle websites.