How to Clean Your Car With Household Items | YourMechanic Advice

How to Clean Your Car With Household Items

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Take a look in your cabinets and you’ll discover cleaning supplies just waiting to be used on your car. When you use ingredients from around the house, cleaning the inside and outside of your vehicle is straightforward. They are less expensive and safe to use on many materials. Follow these Parts for a sparkling interior and exterior.

Part 1 of 7: Wet down the car exterior

Materials Needed

  • Baking soda
  • Bucket
  • Garden hose

hosing down a car

Step 1: Rinse your car. Begin by rinsing your car thoroughly with a hose. This breaks up dry dirt and debris. Use a soft sponge to scrub the exterior gently to prevent any dirt from scratching or damaging the paint.

Step 2: Create mixture. Mix one cup of baking soda to one gallon of hot water. This mixture helps remove grime from your car without being too harsh.

Part 2 of 7: Clean the exterior

Materials Needed

  • Brush (stiff-bristles)
  • Bucket
  • Soap
  • Sponge
  • Water

Step 1: Create mixture. To clean the entire exterior, combine ¼ cup of soap with one gallon of hot water.

Make sure the soap has a base of vegetable oil. Do not use dishwashing soap as it can damage the finish of your car.

Use a sponge to wash the exterior and a stiff-bristled brush for the tires and wheels.

Part 3 of 7: Rinse the exterior

Materials Needed

  • Spray bottle
  • Vinegar
  • Water

Step 1: Rinse. Rinse all ingredients off your car with cold water and a hose.

Step 2: Spray exterior. Mix vinegar and water with a ratio of 3:1 into a spray bottle. Spray the exterior of your car and wipe it with newspaper. Your car will dry without streaks and shine.

Part 4 of 7: Clean the windows

Materials Needed

  • Alcohol
  • Spray bottle
  • Vinegar
  • Water

Step 1: Create mixture. Make a window cleaner of one cup of water, one-half cup of vinegar and one-fourth cup of alcohol. Mix and put in a spray bottle.

cleaning car windows with newspaper

Step 2: Spray and dry. Spray window solution onto windows and use newspaper to dry. Save this task for last to remove any other cleaners that might have accidentally gotten on the glass.

Step 3: Remove bugs. Use plain vinegar to remove bug splatter.

Part 5 of 7: Clean the interior

Step 1: Wipe. Wipe down the interior with a clean damp cloth. Use it on the dash, center console and other areas.

The following chart details which products work on the different areas in the cabin of the car:

chart of cleaning ingredients

Part 6 of 7: Treat difficult stains

chart of stains and what they treat

Treat stains on the car with special products that remove it without hurting the exterior. The ingredient used depends on the type of stain.

  • Tip: Use a soft cloth that won’t be abrasive to your car’s paint. For tight areas, use a dust mop which works on the roof and other places.

Part 7 of 7: Clean upholstery

Materials Needed

  • Brush
  • Cornstarch
  • Dish soap
  • Dryer sheets
  • Onion
  • Vacuum
  • Water
  • Wet cloth

Step 1: Vacuum. Vacuum your upholstery to get rid of dirt.

sprinkle cornstarch on car seat stain

Step 2: Sprinkle and wait. Sprinkle cornstarch on any stains and leave it to work for half an hour.

Step 3: Vacuum. Vacuum up the cornstarch.

Step 4: Create paste. Mix the cornstarch with a small amount of water if the stain is still there. Spread the paste on the stain and allow it to dry. It will then be easy to vacuum up.

Step 5: Spray mixture and blot. Another option is to mix equal parts water and vinegar and put it in a spray bottle. Spray it on a stain and allow it to soak for a few minutes. Blot it with a cloth. If that doesn’t work, scrub gently.

Step 6: Treat grass stains. Treat grass stains with equal parts rubbing alcohol, vinegar and warm water. Rub on the stain and wash the area with water.

Step 7: Treat cigarette burns. Place a raw onion on a scorch mark from a cigarette. While it won’t repair the damage, the acid from the onion will absorb into the fabric and make it less noticeable.

Step 8: Treat heavy-duty stains. Mix one cup of dish soap with one cup of club soda and one cup of white vinegar and spray on heavy-duty stains. Use a brush to work it into the stain.

dryer sheet under car floor mat

  • Tip: Place dryer sheets under floor mats, in storage pockets and under the seats to freshen the air.

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Number of Reviews

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Rating Summary
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11,350
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Jose

8 years of experience
33 reviews
Jose
8 years of experience
BMW 325i - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Redwood City, California
I had a few mechanics from YM and _all_ of them arrived late (some even 2 hours late) , but not Jose! He arrived right on time! I gave him the keys and let him do his job. I am a curious person so I asked him a few questions about his techniques and he had no problem answering them all with detailed explanations! He did run into a problem on my car because of stripped bolts, but he literally went above and beyond and found a way to remove it. Best mechanic ever.
Lexus CT200h - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - South San Francisco, California
Jose was on time and did a great job on my brakes. He was friendly and explained the entire process. Would highly recommend.

Augustine

11 years of experience
35 reviews
Augustine
11 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Augustine was amazing. He was the perfect example of customer service all around. While he was working, I was recommending him to my neighbors. Next time I need work, I will be requesting Augustine specifically!!!!! Please give him a raise or bonus!!!
Toyota Corolla - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Mr. Sanchez showed up on time and finished replacing my rotors and break pads. He was very informative and treats your car like his own. He was very time efficient and communicated very well. I highly recommend Mr. Sanchez’s services!!!!

John

26 years of experience
552 reviews
John
26 years of experience
GMC Yukon XL 1500 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - League City, Texas
I am so happy John is back. I trust him very much. He is efficient and has a tremendous amount of mechanical knowledge. He is a true asset to Your Mechanic.
Ford F-150 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Alvin, Texas
I like John because he is very knowledgeable about all my vehicles. In addition he is very organized regarding how he performs his work.

Wesley

8 years of experience
45 reviews
Wesley
8 years of experience
Dodge Nitro - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Peoria, Arizona
Great experience. Very professional, friendly, and knowledgeable. Highly recommended and will continue to use for future work.

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