Now that we’re (supposedly) in the last leg of the Movement Control Order (MCO), we’re sure many of our readers are lamenting the state of your cars. After all, with many car-wash centres still closed, you have to wash them yourselves. But, not everyone has car washing products at home, so what is one to do?
We’re here to tell you that you don’t need the fancy products and equipment used by professionals. You can quickly get your car shining by merely using household products you may have lying around. Here are nine things you can use to make your vehicle looking good again.
1. Baking soda isn’t only used for cakes but also seatbelts
A mixture of baking soda and water can cut dirt buildup on your car’s exterior. All you have to do is mix a cup of baking soda with a bucket of water, and use it to wipe down your car with a microfibre cloth.
Baking soda can also be used on the interior of your car to clean your seatbelts. Mix it with water to make a paste, apply some on the belts and scrub gently, then leave to dry. The non-abrasive cleaning nature of baking soda makes it perfect for this purpose as it won’t compromise the integrity of the fabric. This is important as it involves safety in the event of a crash.
When you’re done cleaning your car, you can then sprinkle some baking soda on the floor mats, leave it for a while and vacuum. You can also leave some in your car’s ashtray as a deodoriser.
2. Shampoo and conditioner cleans and shines your hair and car
Unexpectedly, you can also use shampoo and conditioner to clean your car exterior effectively. Two tablespoons of either one in a bucket of water make a great solution to clean your car. Strong enough to clean the surface but not too abrasive that it damages the paint. Conditioner is an effective cleaning agent, plus it gives your vehicle a newly waxed look. All the shine at a fraction of the cost!
3. Cooking spray greases the pan and keeps the wheels clean
For the tyres and wheels, you can use cooking spray to keep dirt and dust off them by merely spraying them after cleaning. This can also help make it easier to clean your tyres in future. Besides that, it can also be used to clean bugs off the grille and bonnet. Just spray and wipe.
4. Toothpaste cleans teeth and headlights
A commonly known household product hack you can do is using toothpaste to make your headlights shine. Just apply some toothpaste on them and scrub with a brush. Once you’ve scrubbed to your satisfaction, wipe away the excess. Besides lights, toothpaste can also be used to clean stains off leather or vinyl by gently rubbing the surface with it.
5. Rubbing alcohol is for removing stains, not drinking
Meanwhile, for the interior, you can also use rubbing alcohol to remove stains on upholstery. Dip a dye-free cloth in rubbing alcohol and dab at the stain with it. However, it would help if you were careful when dabbing it, and not rub, as rubbing could further damage the surfaces.
6. Vinegar makes acar tasty and your car window shiny
One of the most versatile products you can have in your home is vinegar. It can be used for glass as well as upholstery. Simply mixing three parts water and one part vinegar makes a cleaning solution for your upholstery, while three parts vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle gets you an instant glass cleaner.
7. Cornstarch is vital for puddings and the cleanliness of your windows
Besides vinegar, cornstarch is also good for your windows. Half a cup of cornstarch to four cups of water in a spray bottle is all you need to clean your windows. Just spray on the solution and wipe it with a dye-free cloth to make them as good as new.
Other than the windows, a sprinkle of cornstarch on your upholstery acts as a deodoriser. Just let it sit for half an hour before vacuuming. It’s also handy to get rid of any grease or oil stains on upholstery. Cover the spot with cornstarch, leave it overnight and vacuum.
8. Coconut oil softens skin and your leather upholstery
Coconut oil’s versatility is without borders. Other than being useful to soften your hair and skin, it also acts as a conditioner for leather upholstery. Wipe the leather clean with a damp cloth and leave it to dry. Then, add small amounts of the oil and rub into the leather gently with a clean, dry cloth. However, before rubbing your entire leather upholstery, make sure to test a patch of it first to make sure it won’t spoil your leather.
9. Olive oil works wonders in vinaigrette and on the dashboard
You can also make your dashboard shine using olive oil. After dusting the surface, apply a small amount of olive oil on it and rub with a clean cloth to make it look as good as new. As with the coconut oil above, make sure to do a patch test first in case it causes discolouration.
There you have it, you’ve successfully cleaned your car inside and out using only things you have around the house. Your car is now clean and shiny, and you didn’t even have to spend extra money to do it!