Summer road trips are underway but before you go marking off your road trip checklist, it’s important to have a clean car. I recently got a new car along with my driver’s license, and I’m the one who drives the most now. I use my car to shuttle my son to playdates with his friends or to his youth group after school, to doctor’s appointments for hubby and of course, there’s grocery shopping and gassing up to be done each week. I promised myself I would keep my car looking clean. Yeah, well that hasn’t happened. To be honest, I don’t really know how to clean a car properly since I’ve never had one, and believe me it’s messy.
The back seat of my car looks like a party of twenty kids were there, with french fries stuck between the seats, pop cans and juice box dribbles all over the door handles. Plus there are coffee spills on the console. I also have a sunroof (which I love and so do the seagulls) I think they are eyeing those french fries and want me to know. I keep looking up at my panoramic roof view wondering how on earth I’m going to get all that poop off.
Knowing how to clean your car like a pro is just as important as having a clean car before you pull out of the driveway. Recently I received a Premier Car Care Kit from Armor to help me with my cleaning dilemma.
Getting Started With Armor All Car Care Kit
The first thing you want to do is head to Canadian Tire or Walmart and pick up an Armor All Car Care Kit. They have different varieties of kits available. The one I received had everything I needed to get started with learning how to clean my car like a pro. Here is what you need to do to keep your vehicle shiny and new looking.
- Pick a spot to wash. Pick a cool and shady place to wash your car, on a side street, in your driveway, or like me in my underground parking. This helps to reduce streaks and water spots. Soak your car using a strong stream to hose your vehicle down, knocking off any chunks of dirt or debris. You’d be amazed at where dirt can hide on the outside of a vehicle.
- Use two buckets. You’ll need one bucket mixed with warm water and car wash detergent. The other bucket will be plain warm water. Using a soft sponge or car wash mitt, get water from the soapy bucket and use circular motions to clean the car. Rinse the sponge or mitt in the clean water to get rid of excess dirt before going back into the soap solution.
(PRO TIP: Do not use regular dish or household soap as this will damage your car’s clear coat.)
- Start top to bottom. Ever notice how much more dirt there is at the bottom of the car? You don’t want to drag the dirt upward over other parts of the vehicle, so always wash top to bottom. You want to use chamois or terrycloth, and remember to buff out any water spots.
- Get those wheels shiny. Mud, slush and dirt, puddles and brake dust, tires and rims take a beating. Tire treatment helps to restore your tires to showroom gloss and protects them against damage from harsh conditions. Armor All’s Quicksilver Tire & Rim Cleaner makes it easy. Simply spray it on before you wet the car down, let it soak for five minutes and then spray it off with a strong blast from your hose. Don’t forget to give it a coat of protective wax when you are done to give your car that added shine!
- Protect the interior. Constant exposure to sunlight can be damaging to your interior — especially plastic, vinyl or rubber-like surfaces. Use a good protectant to penetrate the surface of the dashboard, providing a beautiful shine while also adding a layer of protection against harmful UV rays. A good protectant also helps eliminate dust. I get enough dust on my dash it looks like the Sahara Desert!
- Preserve the leather. If you have leather surfaces in your car like I do which I love btw, you want to use special care. A protectant designed specifically for leather will give the leather a deep clean while conditioning and protect it against wear and tear, especially if you get wet kids bums after swimming and sticky fingers in the back.
- Streak Free Windows. My Fiat 500L has nothing but windows everywhere. I have a 360-degree panoramic sunroof, not to mention a huge front windshield, extra front window peaks, and passenger windows. One thing I hate while driving is looking through streaky glass. My favorite product in the Armor All line-up is the Glass Cleaner. It provides streak-free glass, cleans so easily, getting rid of bugs, bird poop, and dirt.
(PRO TIP: I always thought paper towel was the best thing to use when cleaning glass. I was wrong. Next time use newspaper. You’ll be amazed at the streak-free results. It even acts as a polishing agent.)
Now that you know how to clean your car from top to bottom, the hard job is keeping it clean. At least I have the products I need to help me try to keep mine in tip-top shape. For more information on great car cleaning products visit www.armorall.ca