Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Car

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The snow has melted away in most areas, the cold is fading and spring is in the air. That means it's time to clean up from the harsh winter months. Spring is the perfect time to clean up your car, getting it ready for the warmer seasons ahead. To help motivate you, here are some tips on what to tackle and how to do it.

The Interior

Start by throwing out the trash and removing unneeded items. Then organize what’s left in the car by putting things away in the side pockets or compartments. After all is tidy, use a mild spray with a microfiber cloth to remove dust and grime off the dash and consoles.

After the inside is clean and dust-free, use a vacuum to remove debris and dirt from the seats, floor mats, rugs and trunk. If you have stains on the upholstery, a steam cleaner is a good option, but could be expensive. You can also use a spray-on carpet cleaner. For leather trim, use a leather cleaner. Next, clean the inside windows with glass cleaner, but spray directly on a cloth to avoid streaking.

The Exterior

Never wash or wax a car in direct sunlight or if the paint is hot to the touch. The sun can soften the paint and make it more susceptible to scratching. Use a dedicated car-wash soap designed for use on automotive paint. Apply the suds with a large, soft natural sponge or a lamb's-wool mitt — making sure they are clean, so as to avoid potential scratches from embedded particles. Wash the car from the roof down. Use a separate sponge to clean the tires and wheels as they could be coated with debris that could harm the vehicle’s finish. Don’t let the car air dry when done — use a soft towel to dry.

Waxing a car can provide a good shine and some protection for the paint. Car waxes come in three forms: liquid, paste and spray.

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