How to give your car a spring makeover
So spring has sprung. You might have already done a bit of spring cleaning around the house. Those sad-looking garden beds might have already received some much-needed love.
But what about your car? We might not salt our roads like northern-hemisphere locales, but a harsh Australian winter can still leave our car less than showroom fresh. Here’s how to give your car a spring-time rejuvenation in five simple steps.
Step 1: Ditch it
Regular car cleaning tends to be scaled back or abandoned in winter, so the first step should be emptying out all accumulated clutter from your door pockets, console bins, glovebox, boot and any other storage spots. Remember to recycle what you can.
Step 2: Pop it
Leaves, dirt and other debris can stack up in under-bonnet areas (below the windscreen-wiper area or along the bonnet shut-lines are common spots). Apart from being unsightly, leaves can hold moisture and pose a rust risk, so pop the bonnet and clean it out and up. Give dusty engine covers and other surfaces a quick wipe down with a damp cloth while you’re there.
Step 3: Refresh it
Don’t close the bonnet yet. Now’s a great time for a quick top-up of the washer bottle, oil and other fluids, as well as checking tyre pressure and condition (don’t forget the spare). Wiper blades can take a hammering in winter from frozen windscreens, so check and replace if necessary.
Step 4: Inside-out it
Start by giving the seats and upholstery a good going-over with the vacuum (make sure the head is clean), followed by the floor, floormats and boot, not forgetting to get in right under the seats and other hard-to-reach areas. Then attack carpet and upholstery stains with a suitable automotive cleaner (check on an inconspicuous spot first).
Next, clean all windows with a glass cleaner (don’t forget the mirrors) before wiping the dash, doors, console, plastics, cupholders, door pockets and other relevant spots with a damp cloth (not too wet). Then give everything a quick once-over with some automotive protectant.
Step 5: Cherry-on-top it
Last but not least, get out your bucket out. Or, to do it like a pro, two buckets – one with your carwash product and water, the other with water only for rinsing the sponge between applications.
Focus on the wheels first – scrub them thoroughly with a firm brush and soapy water. Next, rinse the body to remove accumulated dust before washing from top to bottom, not forgetting to give the inner wheel arches and underbody a good scrub to remove any accumulated gunk. Lastly, dry the body with a chamois-style microfibre towel. All of this should be done in the shade.
Still have some stubborn bug or tar stains? There are specific cleaners for that. For that final showroom-floor touch, a spray-on tyre-shine product can make all the difference.