Read these 12 Car Cleaning Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Cleaning tips and hundreds of other topics.
To remove a gasoline stain from your car's interior, treat the stain with a mixture of one teaspoon each of vinegar (to remove the odor) and mild dish detergent (to clean the stain) in a quart of warm water. Let the area dry, and if any spot remains, you may need to repeat. If this does not seem to be working, try using dry-cleaning solvent.
To get tree sap off your car, you can try Goof Off (or a product similar to that), or WD40. Spray the product on the stain, rub, and rinse well. For a homemade treatment, try using mayonnaise in a similar fashion. You may want to test the product you choose in a hidden area to ensure that it won't harm the finish on your car.
You can remove bumper stickers by saturating them with hot vinegar, salad oil, or nail polish remover. Lighter fluid is also effective, but since it is flammable, use it with caution. If any residue remains, you can remove it with WD-40 and scrub with nylon netting or a stiff brush.
To get crayon marks off upholstery, first scrape excess crayon off with a dull-edge knife or metal spoon. Spray with WD-40 and let stand a few minutes. With a small, stiff bristle brush work crayon stain and wipe with paper towels. Respray with WD-40 and apply liquid dishwashing detergent on the sprayed area; work in with the brush and wipe stain away with a damp sponge. If stain remains, repeat the procedure.
To remove rubber from spinning tires off of the paint on your car there are a few things you can try: 1) Try mixing equal parts of ammonia and warm water and scrub with a sponge. 2) Try rinsing your car with white vinegar, using a solution of 3 parts soft water to 1 part white vinegar, increasing the vinegar content as needed. 3) Try Goo Be Gone, Goof Off or WD40. Spray the product on the stain, rub, and rinse well. You could also try mayonnaise in a similar fashion.
To remove battery acid from your car upholstery, rub a paste of baking soda and water into the spot right away, leave for two hours, then wipe off with a damp cloth. Repeat if necessary. Any remaining residue can be cleaned off with a commercial upholstery cleaner, or mix 1/2 teaspoon liquid dishwashing detergent in a quart of warm water. Beat with a mixer, then clean the upholstery using only the suds. Work on a small area at a time, overlapping areas to avoid spotting. Change the rinse water frequently to keep it clean. Let dry thoroughly.
Permanent marker is not easy to get off a car's exterior without damaging the paint. However, there is a product called Stoner Xenit Citrus Cleaner which claims it can do just that. I haven't tried it, so I'd advise doing a little more research on it first.
To remove hard water stains on your car, try rinsing your car with white vinegar, using a solution of 3 parts soft water to 1 part white vinegar, increasing the vinegar content as needed. Be careful to only wash your car in the shade, or in the evening, as the sun will dry the water quickly and cause more spots. You may also want to try using crumpled newspaper for polishing your car, as it will leave a nice shine and prevent spots. You may want to treat your car with a commercial product, such as Rain-X to stop the stains from returning.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|