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How to clean a car using common household products

How to clean a car using common household products
Image source: Getty Images

Want to know how to clean a car quickly? It’s easier than you might think, and you only need a few common household products to do it. Here’s what you should know. 

How often you should clean your car

Ideally, you should wash your car every two weeks. The reality? Research by Moneyshake reveals that only 14% of Brits actually clean their car every fortnight. Most people wash their cars every few months. And roughly one in four Brits admit to rarely washing their car.

Is it really a big deal if you don’t wash your car, though? Potentially, yes. Regular car washing gives you a chance to inspect your vehicle. This means you’re more likely to spot early signs of wear and tear before they become costly repairs. What’s more, a well-maintained exterior can boost your car’s resale value, so it’s worth keeping your car clean and polished.  

How to clean your car at home: what you need

Ready to give your car a good clean? Chances are, you’ve already got most of the products you need in your kitchen or bathroom. Here’s how to use them. 

1. Vinegar

Mix vinegar with water to clean your windows quickly and easily. According to Moneyshake, you only need a solution of about 10 parts water to one part vinegar to clean all your windows and glass panels. 

2. Washing powder

Washing powder or detergent is great for cleaning stubborn stains on your seats or around the seatbelts. Mix it with some water, gently scrub down stains, then use fresh water to wash away any excess detergent. 

3. Toothpaste

Want to know how to clean a car with toothpaste? Use it on your headlights! Simply wipe down each headlight with soap and water first, then use a damp cloth and a little toothpaste to brighten each headlight and clear away cloudy spots. 

4. Toothbrush

With a toothbrush, you can gently scrub away excess dirt and marks. So, use a toothbrush, hot water and detergent to clean around your dashboard and other awkward, hard-to-reach areas.

Don’t have a spare toothbrush? A soft nailbrush can work, too, although it might be harder to access small crevices.

5. Paper towels

Paper towels are a handy way to wipe down your windows without leaving streaks or smudges behind. If you don’t have paper towels, though, then microfibre cloths do just as well. 

You can also use damp paper towels to gently wipe your dashboard and clear away any dust. 

Tips for how to clean a car at home

Before you start cleaning your car, bear these tips in mind: 

  • Take your time. If you rush, you’re more likely to miss spots or leave streaks. 
  • Always work in small sections so you have time to clear any residue before it dries on or smudges. 
  • Use your air conditioning – the cold air helps to remove excess moisture. 
  • If you have leather seats or custom upholstery, you’ll probably need a special cleaning solution for these parts. Check with the manufacturer if you’re unsure. 
  • Prevent mud stains on your carpets by using mats.  

Don’t forget to give your car a quick hoover, too! Wait until you’ve washed the car so you can hoover up any excess dust. 

How to clean a car: takeaway

So, that’s how to clean a car. But while you’re checking your vehicle, don’t forget to make sure the MOT is up to date, and always check your car is insured. Otherwise, you could face criminal penalties for driving an unsafe or uninsured car. 

Are you looking for cheaper car insurance? Check out price comparison sites like MoneySuperMarket and for quotes.

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