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As good as new! Easy steps towards a thoroughly clean car

For some of us, cleaning the car out can be a therapeutic experience, whilst for others it can just be a dull chore. But whichever way you look at it, you’re maintaining your car’s value and potentially even helping to extend its lifespan – not a bad way to spend the afternoon then!

Easy steps towards a thoroughly clean carInterior

If it’s a baking hot summers day, it’s best to start with cleaning out the car itself as it involves the most legwork. Firstly, remove any items from the car seats and the floor and have a thorough look for anything small that could disappear up the hoover. It could be a valuable earring so it’s worth being thorough – especially if you ever have small children in tow as small bits and pieces found lying around are a choking hazard.

Next remove all floor mats and wipe them clean of any dust or stains and leave these out to get them aired while you clean the rest of the car. Use carpet cleaner on the car’s floor and the mats if stains are particularly stubborn. You can also use this to wipe the seats clean; check first that the cleaner doesn’t stain the cloth, as this could be a good indication as to whether or not it might ruin the seat’s fabric.

Wipe the dashboard and door panels with a j-cloth and a small amount of car wash soap. If you don’t have this to hand, an odourless anti-bacterial spray will do – just be sure to wipe areas dry of any excess. If your car’s interior contains leather or vinyl, take care to use a vinyl or leather protectant; apply and wipe as normal with a dry cloth. Once all areas of the car are spick and span, give the car (and both sides of the car mats) a quick vacuum and remove the nozzle for hard to reach areas.

Easy steps towards a thoroughly clean car exterior

Easy steps towards a thoroughly clean car exterior

Exterior

Now for the fun bit (providing it’s a sunny day!), make sure you’re parked in a shady spot, since direct sunlight will dry the newly applied soap and water, leaving unsightly streaks and creating twice the work for yourself.

Start by removing any dirt with an all-over spray from a water hose. If you’re working with a bucket and sponge, chuck at least three filled buckets over the car to get an even coverage. Next, spray wheel cleaner to the rims of your tyres and allow this to soak in; this is really for extra shine, so normal soap and water will suffice if pressed.

Using a soft sponge, begin wiping the car’s frame and windows, starting at the top and working your way down and rinse the entire car body until the water runs clear – again, streaks can be a nightmare! Once the entire car frame and wheels have been cleaned, dry the entire car off using an old towel or shammy leather, again starting at the top and working your way down – always in straight lines to avoid marks and streaks. Use a soft absorbent cloth for windows, or turn to newspaper in a pinch.

Voila! Your car should be positively sparkling. If all of this sounds like a little bit too much effort, remember that you could always pop into the car-wash at your nearest garage. And because our fuel cards are accepted around the country (and beyond!) at so many fuel stations, you can rest assured that you’ll probably be able to fill up the old tank too.

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