If you are like me you like to have a clean car. Also if you are like me, finding the time to clean it in the driveway might be hard. My solution was a monthly membership to Mike’s Carwash which is a local chain in the midwest. It runs about $50 for unlimited washes each month. I have seen first hand what the salt and grime does to trucks and cars in the midwest. So I wanted to share the tips I use to help keep my truck clean and rust free on the outside and how a couple quick tips can keep your interior in top shape as well.
First off you need a couple things. Similar to Clorox wipes, Armor all and Mothers sell their automotive interior wipes in the plastic containers that allow you to grab one at a time. You can find them at many grocery stores as well as Target and others. Next time you are out pick up a pack or 2 to keep in your vehicles. The also sell window wipes in the same type of containers. Most of the packs fit in the glove compartment, center console or even the door/cup holder. Next grab a couple of plastic bags you may have from groceries. Having some bags in the car will help with trash and clutter.
The main times I used the wipes to clean my vehicle is when I am refueling or going through the car wash. Most of us sit idle during these times so this is a great time to clear trash and wipe down the dash, console, etc. If you have young children, then you completely understand the struggle to keep your car clean. If they are old enough, they can help too. Hand them a wipe and have them clean their area. At many car washes there are vacuums as well. If you can throw your trash away at each fill up or even keep it contained to a plastic bag, you will have a semi clean floor that should only take a minute to vacuum up the dirt and debris. Perhaps investing in a set of WeatherTech Floor mats would be great too. Keep an eye out as we sell some product on our site. These floor liners cover almost all of the floorboard and help contain dirt and keep your carpet clean. Also great for spills and mud containment.
Lastly the exterior. This tends to take a little more love. Keep a towel in the car to wipe down mirrors and windows after the wash. This will help remove water spots. If you are willing you can get a bottle of spray shine to help protect the clear coat on the car. For those more invested a nice coat of caranuba wax will do. If you are a car wash hound like me, an additional coat of wax now and then is a great way to protect your paint and it is somewhat necessary. Lastly and perhaps most important is the underbody cleaning. At most newer car washes you have the option to get an underbody clean. I am a big proponent of this service. So many cars come in with rusted brake lines, dust shields, exhaust, etc. because of the salt and road treatments on top of normal oxidation and wear. If you can make a conscious effort to get an underbody clean after a major snow storm or even regularly this will help keep these parts in better condition. When getting an oil change whether you are a DIYer or have someone else do it, you might ask to check for rust and wear. There are companies that sell rust inhibitors that you can spray on. They are not a miracle product but will help slow down wear.
In a world where we are each looking for a few extra minutes to perform tasks, hopefully this will help you find the time to invest a little TLC into your vehicle.