A car is a rather big investment—and naturally, you want to do whatever you can to maintain the value of it. One of the best ways to do this is to keep your car clean, both inside and out.
Simply put, a car that’s dirty, grimy, or disorganized suggests to possible buyers that it has not been taken care of—and indeed, vehicle owners who don’t keep their cars clean tend to have bigger issues lurking within the engine itself.
But is taking your car through the car wash each month enough to keep it looking spotless? Not necessarily. Wear and tear accumulates through regular, daily driving and use. The good news is, there are some creative ways to keep your vehicle shiny and clean—some methods you may not have heard of before.
Unconventional Ways To Keep Your Car Clean
- If you see rust spots on your car, try using soda to remove it—yes, something like good ol’ Coca Cola! Soda is a great tool for dissolving rust, whether it’s on the battery, the muffler, or along the side of your vehicle. Simply pour some soda onto the rusty spot and let it sit and bubble for a few minutes. Then, rinse it away and try to dry thoroughly. (The rinsing and drying are key steps for avoiding any sticky soda residue on your vehicle.)
- For dirty, grime-caked headlights, the best cleaning product is—surprisingly enough—toothpaste. Rub some toothpaste over the headlights, covering them completely and letting them sit for a few minutes, then rinse and wipe them dry. Your headlines should be positively gleaming!
- If your windshield is chronically dirty, it may be because you’ve run out of window washing fluid. Of course you can buy some more and try to replace it, or take your car into the shop to have a professional do it—but an alternative is to make your own window washing fluid. Just mix some vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and water—a great concoction for keeping your car windows shiny.
- If you want to give the car floor mats a good washing, stick them into your dishwasher and run a full cycle! (You probably want to bang out any big chunks of dirt and debris before you do this.)
- Clean your air vents with a can of condensed air, literally blasting the dirt and dust out of them! You can also put essential oils on a cotton ball to swab them clean and give them a nice, scented sheen.
Also make sure to investigate the best soap for washing cars before you start cleaning the exterior; regular dish and hand soaps are not recommended! And of course, you want to do everything you can to keep your car looking good and clean for as long as possible.