Winter is rough on our vehicles, leaving behind harsh chemical residue that can cause irreversible damage. Road salt causes rust and corrosion to your car’s paint and undercarriage over time, damaging parts like mufflers, brakes, and exhaust systems. While you should wash your vehicle several times throughout the winter, once spring rolls around, it’s time to treat it to a serious car wash.
April is Car Care Awareness month, which makes it the perfect time to give you some pointers on how to wash your car like a pro. Remove as much of the wintry mess as possible with these 8 car wash tips.
- Give the undercarriage special attention
First and foremost, you want to protect the undercarriage of your car from rust and corrosion. Don’t try to go at your undercarriage at home with a high-powered spray–this technique may actually wedge salt and debris further into crevices. Instead, visit a car wash that features an undercarriage spray. This will provide an even spray to your entire undercarriage, cleaning it out more efficiently than you would be able to at home.
When you visit our Beavercreek auto service center for your spring Honda service—make sure you to it!—ask us to run your car through the wash twice to help clear out the undercarriage.
- Make it sparkle
Now’s the time to remove that layer of salty, sandy grime from the exterior of your car. A touchless car wash is a fantastic way to get your car sparkling clean without worrying about brushes spreading dirt around and scratching your paint.
But if you prefer to wash your car at home, be sure to use the appropriate materials. Only use soap that is specifically made for cars–other liquid soaps are abrasive and may leave behind scratches and blemishes, or even weaken your car’s paint overall. A lamb’s wool mitt is gentle on your car’s surface; rinse the mitt with water before dipping it back into your soap bucket to further prevent scratches. After drying your vehicle with a microfiber cloth, apply a thin coat of wax for added protection from the sun.
- Don’t forget the wheels
Even under great weather conditions, wheels get quite a build-up of dust. In addition to dust, your wheels are coated in sandy grime from the winter roads at this time of the year. In short, you’ve got a real mess on your hands.
Invest in a great wheel brush with sturdy, densely packed bristles. Spray wheels with your favorite wheel cleaner, wait a few minutes, then scrub away with your wheel brush. Rinse your wheels and repeat the process as often as necessary, remembering to rinse your brush between cleanings as well.
- Give your seats some TLC
The seats in our vehicles face a lot of wear and tear. Taking the extra time to clean and protect them will keep your car looking and feeling like new.
Begin by removing loose dirt with a vacuum. For cloth seats, choose a foaming fabric cleaner that will remove stains and odors. Spray cleaner directly on the surface and scrub in circular motions with a small bristled brush. Repeat as necessary until surfaces are clean.
For leather seats, there are many natural options you can use for stain removal and cleaning: combine 1/2 cup of olive oil and 1/2 cup of vinegar in a spray bottle, apply to your seats and let it rest for five minutes. Wipe surfaces down with a microfiber cloth. Stains on leather seats can be treated with toothpaste or baking soda (toothpaste also removes scuff marks). Then apply a special leather protectant to prevent stains and spills.
- Shake the dust off those mats
To be honest, it’s going to take quite a bit more than a shake to rid your floor mats of all the dirt that’s built up over the winter. There’s probably a good amount of salt on your mats, which tends to really stick to fabric over time.
A great natural way to loosen up that salty mess is with a 50-50 combination of water and vinegar. Mix them together in a spray bottle and generously apply to your floor mats. Let it sit for a few minutes, then use a coarse-bristled brush to remove the chunks of salt and sand. Use a vacuum to remove the rest of the debris.
Of course, you can also invest in new Honda accessories and all-season floor mats to up your car cabin’s game this spring. Just contact our Honda dealership near Dayton, OH, to order the right car accessory for your Honda model.
- Shine those windows
We all know windows need extra attention–a simple spray with the hose while washing the car just won’t cut it.
Waffle-weave microfiber cloths are a great choice for cleaning car windows because they are pretty much lint-free, so they won’t leave behind any annoying pieces of fluff. They can also be washed and reused several times. Choose your favorite auto glass cleaner and spray your window. Fold your cloth into a square, using one side to wipe the wet cleaner and the other side to buff windows dry.
To prevent windshield streaks on the inside, be sure to make long, even swipes with a microfiber cloth or even a newspaper. There’s nothing worse than a streaky windshield.
- Get all the nooks and crannies
Your car is not truly clean if you’ve left crumbs in the cup holders and a build-up of sand in the Bermuda Triangle between the seat and the center console.
Begin by cleaning dust off the dashboard, doors, and consoles with a microfiber cloth and an all-purpose cleaner. Remove crumbs and dust from narrow spots like cup holders and seams with an air-spray can. Use tapered vacuum attachments for spaces between seats. Don’t eat any old French fries you find—that’s just gross.
- Stay organized
Cars have an incredible way of turning into a rolling trash can just days after they’ve been cleaned. Tight schedules and constant rushing from one place to another makes it very easy to leave behind a lot of mess.
Honda makes fantastic organizational accessories to help keep your car neat and tidy. Try a trunk drawer with separate compartments to hold a variety of frequently used items such as umbrellas, air pumps, and outdoor toys. Cargo nets and cargo organizers are great ways to create storage space for specific items and prevent a bunch of “stuff” from rolling around on your car floors. Place an order for your Honda accessory at Honda of Beavercreek today.
Next time a warm, sunny, April day rolls around, make time to give your vehicle the care it deserves by washing away the winter grime. Have dents, scrapes, or service problems that you simply can’t clean off? Make an appointment with Germain Honda of Beavercreek today. A visit to our Beavercreek auto body shop at 2300 Heller Drive will take care of any cosmetic flaws, and scheduled Honda maintenance will ensure that your car runs like new.
Contact our Honda dealership near Dayton at (937) 426-9564 to make an appointment or place an order.
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