Salt stains, road grit, ice scuffs, constant moisture; the bane of every car owner’s existence over the long, cold months of the Canadian winter.
Inside and out, they not only cause damage to your car, but they can make it an unsightly mess. With the return of spring — the season of renewal — there is no better time to get outside and reverse the ugly remnants of winter with a thorough car cleaning.
“Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home,” says Megan Currie from Armor All. “ Your car can take a beating through the winter months. Giving it a good scrub inside and out in the spring not only makes it look better, but it also will help maintain and restore the vehicles finishes.”
The following tips from Armor All will help car owners cut through winter’s grime and give his or her car that showroom look.
• It’s your car, not your home. Dish soap is called dish soap for a reason. That’s because it’s for dishes, not your car. Dish detergent is not designed for the types of soils typically found on your car, and it can strip off any wax coating, adversely affecting the protective clear coat. Specially formulated car wash will attack the dirt, dust and grime that dull your car’s look while not stripping the protective coating of wax. Some formulas have some wax or enhanced properties that reduce the water left on the car afterwards so you don’t have to work so hard to dry it off.
• All windows are not created equal. Household window cleaners are great for getting fingerprints off glass. But that is nothing compared to road grit, squished bugs and water spots. Afoaming formula glass cleaner cuts through the worst the elements can throw at your car, giving you crystal clear visibility for improved driving safety. Foaming cleaners also have the added benefit of staying put on the glass and not dripping down into the car door or your dashboard. Using a household glass cleaner that contains ammonia can also strip automotive tint from your vehicle’s glass over time.
• It’s about the trimmings. Bringing a showroom-quality shine to your vehicle is great, but you don’t get full effect unless you pay as much attention to the trim. Plastic bumpers, rubber guards, vinyl trim can all be damaged by the sun’s UV rays and are often in spots that take the worst the road has to throw at you. Restore them to their original glory with a trim restorerand interior protectant that will also help protect them against future damage.
• Shine it up. Cleaning the car is step one. Next is preserving that look — and protecting your car’s finish — with a good wax job. Whether you prefer a paste, liquid or spray, a coat of wax is essential for a great looking car, and it doesn’t have to take all day either.
• Clean inside and out. Your console can take a beating. Spilled drinks (those coffee stains can be nasty!), crumbs and old parking receipts are unsightly, and a healthy layer of dust will collect on your dashboard. A multi-purpose interior cleaner is just the thing to clean up those messes and bring some lustre back to your command centre.
• Look what your feet have done. Does anything in your car get roughed up over the winter like your carpet and upholstery? You walk through some snow and get into your car without a thought of the salt-infused gunk quickly melting off your boots and collecting on your carpet. It’s more mess than a vacuum can handle. An industrial strength cleaner will lift crusted salt, oil, grease or mud.