Here in South Carolina, we don’t typically experience the harsh winter weather conditions our neighbors to the north endure. But with the fewer daylight hours, it seems like there isn’t enough time in the day to do a lot of the stuff we seem to be able to accomplish in the summer. And one of those chores that often gets neglected is cleaning our cars.
Now that spring is upon us, it’s time to start thinking about those summer road trips to the beach and other destinations. We all strive for that “beach body” to parade around the sand, but what our car looks like in the parking lot is just as important. It doesn’t take much to bring your vehicle back to looking like it just rolled off the showroom lot.
If you’re on a budget, just spending a few hours with a bucket, hose, a sponge, and a chamois can make your pride and joy sparkle again. This is also a good time to apply a nice coat of wax, possibly one with UV protection to keep the paint from fading in the hot summer sun. It’s also not a bad idea to pay some attention to the undercarriage. While we don’t have to contend with road salt, there’s still lots of mud and other grime that can accumulate on the bottom. Cleaning it off can help to prevent rust by removing any hiding places for trapped water.
Over time, tires can lose their shiny black sheen, and wheels can become dull, due to brake dust and road gunk. A cleaning with a good tire cleaning product will have them looking like new.
After you’ve been tracking in water and mud all winter, your car’s interior can start to look a little grungy too. A good vacuuming and shampooing of the carpeting, coupled with some new floor mats will give your car or truck a nice facelift. While you’re at it, giving all the glass a good cleaning with some Windex and paper towels will not only help the car sparkle, it will improve visibility...and safety. Don’t neglect the upholstery, either. If it’s cloth, shampoo it. If it’s leather, treat it to a good quality conditioner. Applying a product such as Armor All to plastic surfaces such as the dashboard, door interiors, and the console will not only get them looking shiny new again but will protect against the harmful rays of the summer sun.
So you see, spring cleaning isn’t just for the house. Resolve to spend a little time each spring to bring your car back to its former glory. You’ll be glad you did.