50 Car Cleaning Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier

Maybe people have issues keeping their cars clean. It’s a chore that you prefer to put off for as long as possible. Well, I am here to save your day with some quick and easy car cleaning tricks. If your car dealers knew I was telling you about this, they probably wouldn’t be too happy. I’ve got some pretty bizarre cleaning methods that you’ve likely
never heard anywhere else.

Hack #1 Cleaning Headlights With Toothpaste

Toothpaste isn’t just for cleaning your teeth anymore. Apparently, toothpaste does more than making your pearly whites sparkle. The cleaning properties in toothpaste can also help clean your dirty foggy headlights. Having dirty headlights is quite noticeable in cars and can make your car look older and much dirtier than it is. Using this trick can also make an older car look like new. Grab any tube of toothpaste and layer it on your headlights. Leave it on for a few minutes before washing it off. Hopefully, your headlights will look good as new all thanks to that $4 tube of toothpaste. This trick is great because it’s so simple and cheap.

Hack #2 Clean Dashboard With A Toothbrush

Toothpaste isn’t the only thing related to dental hygiene that can help keep your car clean. Toothbrushes are a great car cleaning tool. There are many areas of a car’s interior that are hard to reach or clean with a cloth. The small bristles and head on the toothbrush allow you to get into all those nooks and crannies. This is particularly helpful with your dashboard. Car dashboards typically have knobs, buttons, and dials that are small and hard to get at well. Get your car cleaner and a toothbrush and scrub away at those areas. The toothbrush isn’t only helpful with the dashboard either, but all the textured material that you find on the steering wheel or armrests.

Hack #3 Remove Crumbs From Upholstery With Toothbrush

You definitely notice how easy it is to get crumbs, dirt, and dust stuck to your car’s upholstery. Even if you try your best to keep your car clean of junk, this is hard to avoid. Our rag doesn’t do the job of getting whats stuck in the cracks. So, this hack is a really good one to keep in mind. The secret to this dilemma is the trusty toothbrush. Who knew a toothbrush had so many uses. A toothbrushes bristles will get those fine pesky particles out of your upholstery in no time. Just make sure to vacuum up all the remnants, or you’ll end up with all that dirt on the floor of your car.

Hack #4 Dusting And Vacuuming

This trick is ideal because not only does it make your car cleaner, but you save time in the end. If you ever notice how much dust your car collects over time, you will know that dusting is not an optional task if you want to keep your car clean. However, if you simply dust your car, the dust will resettle and you’ll completely waste your time and will still have a dusty car. So, the trick is to dust your car while vacuuming with the dust. You’re going to need a small brush and a vacuum. Dust with one hand and hold the vacuum close by with your other hand.

Hack #5 Cleaning Small Cracks With Flat End Screwdriver

Even though a toothbrush is a great tool to use to get into those nooks and crannies, sometimes you need something a little more heavy-duty to get that really stubborn dirt out. That’s where this trick comes in. All you need is a flat end screwdriver and a thin cloth over. With it, you can get all the permanent dirt out. The screwdriver is hard, so you can do more scraping than with a toothbrush. You specifically want to use a flat end screwdriver because it’s just the right shape to get into those hard-to-reach places. This would not work with an Allen wrench or a Phillips’ head. The cloth is there so you don’t scratch anything in your car.

Hack #6 Trash Can

This is perhaps the easiest tip to follow. This tip is different from most of the others. It’s a preventative measure. Leaving a trashcan or bag in your car will lessen your cleaning time later on. And, don’t pretend you take your garbage with you each time you leave the car. We know that’s not true. A trash can is almost essential unless you’re not embarrassed when your friends get in your car and you have to throw your old fast food bag and receipts in the backseat, even though you can just keep an old plastic grocery bag in your car. This doesn’t look all that appealing. Consider using a reusable plastic cereal container as a trash can.

Hack #7 Wet Wipes And Napkins

We can all be a little messy sometimes and doesn’t it suck when you accidentally spill some coffee on the seat, or in the cup holder. If you don’t have anything to clean it up with, then the coffee will just make your car sticky and covered in stains. An easy solution to this is to always make sure you have wet wipes or napkins in the car. You can keep them in your car’s middle console, or in the door. The wet wipes are also good to wipe your hands if they’re sticky so you don’t get everything else sticky. An easy way to collect napkins is if you just ask for extras next time you’re in a drive-through.

Hack #8 Rubbing Alcohol To Clean Windshield Wipers

Isn’t it annoying when your windshield wipers leave streaks? In addition to being annoying, this can also be dangerous as it can potentially block the driver’s view. People tend to ignore this problem because windshield wipers can be expensive and maybe they don’t have time to go to the store. But eventually, those gross streaks across your windshield will drive you crazy enough to make you want to fix it. Rubbing alcohol is an easy and affordable way to clean your wipers. Wipe down your wipers with a generous amount of rubbing alcohol, and let it dry. Even though changing your wipers is still necessary, this can lengthen your wipers lifespan and will help you if you’re in a pinch.

Hack #9 Clean Floor Mats With Laundry Stain Remover

Turns out stain remover for your clothes isn’t just good to get your Nonna’s famous pasta sauce out of your shirt. They can also be used to clean the floor mats of your car. All you have to do is spray the mats with stain remover, throw them in the washer with launch detergent, and lay them out to dry. You might want to let the mat sit for a while with the stain remover depending on the state of them. This is surprisingly effective and it will save you some embarrassment when your friends or family come into your car. In the end, these tips are all about saving you from embarrassment. You don’t need to be a slob to have a messy car, and you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars cleaning your car up.

Hack #10 Dryer Sheets To Remove Bugs

Bugs will inevitably get squished on your windshield and in the grille of your car. This can drive you crazy if you’re constantly staring at the spots while you’re driving. You’ll also be driven crazy once you get out of your car and see the little dots all over the exterior. A great way to remove bugs from your grill and the windshield is with dryer sheets. Bugs can be hard to get off your car, so you’ll definitely want to try this trick. First, you’ll want to wet your car, then get a bucket of warm water and wipe the dryer sheets in the warm water. Lastly wipe those little bugs away.

Hack #11 Clean Car Exterior With Clay

It’s crazy the number of everyday items that can do such a great job cleaning your car. This one may be one of the most surprising methods. Have you ever washed your car and noticed that it’s not as shiny as you wanted it to be, or maybe it doesn’t look like it was just cleaned. Well, that’s probably because you’ve never tried this trick. You can take a bar of clay which you can get in a children’s toy store, or arts section and your troubles will be solved. After washing your car as you normally would, take a clay bar and rub along the exterior. Your car will shine like crazy. You can also purchase clay that is specifically for cars, but why don’t have a little fun at the toy store to get yours.

Hack #12 Water And Squeegee To Get Rid Of Animal Hair

If you have a pet, then you know the struggle of trying to get your animals hair out of fabric seats. It can be nearly impossible to get everything. Well, we have a great solution for you. All you need is a squeegee, a spray bottle with water in it, and a vacuum. All you gotta do is spray some water on the seats and push the squeegee along the seats to collect the hair. We recommend squeegee in from the back of the seat to the front so you can easily vacuum up the clumps afterward.

Hack #13 Magic Erasers

Most of you are probably familiar with the magic of the Magic Eraser. These erasers can be so helpful in a variety of situations but have you ever considered using them to clean your car? Places you might want to consider cleaning with a magic eraser are your steering wheel, dashboard, and stains on your seats and floor. Make sure you wipe gently. If you rub too hard, you could potentially damage parts of the interior and according to some folks, you can clean your tire rims with magic erasers too. However, they do recommend extra durable magic erasers for the rims.

Hack #14 Club Soda Cup

Soda is another one of those miracle products that have saved us from embarrassment and potentially expensive fixes. For example: did you know club soda works wonders to get red wine out of fabric? Well, cup soda can also make your clean car dreams come true. If you have non-leather fabric seats, then you probably understand the struggle of keeping your seats clean. Even if you are a neat and tidy person, this is still difficult. Well, lucky for you there’s club soda. If this stain is new, pat the steam dry first, then wet a cloth with club soda and pat the stain again. If it’s an older stain just use more club soda.

Hack #15 Vinegar

Oh, the magic of vinegar. Vinegar can be used for many different tasks around the house and car. Cleaning is one of them. Do you want a window washing solution that
will make your windows sparkle? All you have to do is mix vinegar with a little dishwashing detergent, and wash your windows with that. If you have stains in your upholstery, make some shampoo or laundry detergent with the vinegar and work it well into the fabric. Make sure you mix well. We wonder how people figure this out. Do you think it was by accident, or do you think the people that discovered this used their scientific knowledge?

Hack #16 Coca-Cola

The world’s most popular soft drink is soon to be a well-known car cleaning product. If that sounds strange to you, that’s probably because it is. You would hope that something so many people around the world consumed wouldn’t be able to be used as a cleaning product. Well, think again. All those chemicals that are in your can of coke actually have the power to remove rust stains from your car’s exterior. If you’ve got some particularly stubborn rust areas, all you have to do is pour some coke on a steel wool pad and rub it in a circular motion. That might make you think twice next time before you drink a can of that bubbly dark liquid.

Hack #17 Frequency Of Cleaning

Now, you might think this tip is a little dull but trust us, this is one of the most important ones and that is to just make sure you clean your car frequently. And, don’t mean every day or every week, but you might want to set aside some time each month to give your car a little extra TLC. Not only will clean your car regularly and frequently help with your car’s longevity, but you’ll also spend a lot less time cleaning your car overall. Think about it. You could spend one or two hours a month cleaning your car or realize two or three months down the road that your car is disgusting and you need to spend five hours cleaning it, or you decide to cough up the cash and get it cleaned professionally. So, trust us cleaning your car often will save you time and money.

Hack #18 Pool Noodle

If you park your car in your garage, this trick may be just what you’re looking for. When you park your car in the garage, it’s possible that you might open your door and hit it against the garage wall. It has happened to all of us before. All you have to do is grab the pool noodle and glue it or screw it on the wall where your door will touch when you open it. So, if you do accidentally open your door to wide, the pool noodle will prevent anything from happening to your door. Take your pool noodles, cut it in half lengthwise, and either bolts glue, or nail the noodle to the wall.

Hack #19 Slime

This is probably by far the weirdest tip you ever heard. Did you ever play with the ball of goo or slime when you were younger? Children would mold bounce or squish this weird substance. However, as soon as you got any dirt on it, your slime would never be clean again which is probably why people thought to use slime as a car cleaner. Just take some slime and dab it around your car where dust and dirt collect. Easy as that. You can buy slime from kids toy stores, but you can also make your own. All you need to do is open up YouTube and search for DIY cleaning slime.

Hack #20 Tennis-Ball As A Parking Aide

Do you have trouble parking in your garage? It can be hard to determine how far you are from the garage wall. The last thing you want to do is to dent or scratch your car as a result of poor parking skills. The easier and best fix for this is the hang a tennis ball from the ceiling of your garage. For this DIY all you need is a string or a cord, a tennis ball, a drill, and cup hooks. Drill a hole in your tennis ball and knot the string or cord. Make an X on the ceiling where you’re going to screw in your cup hooks. Screw in the cup and tie the string to the cup hook and that’s it.

Hack #21 Castile Soap Carwash

If you don’t want to go through a car wash where they use chemicals to wash your car, you can do it yourself. All you need is castile soap which is made from plant oils and it’s completely organic. All you need to do is mix the soap with some water, lather up the car and rinse. If you get your car nice and clean, it won’t damage your paint job the way the chemicals used at the car wash might. Also, all car washes say that they are using soft brushes, but somehow I always see new scratches on my car. That is why I am always cleaning my car at home.

Hack #22 Baking Soda And Vinegar Upholstery Cleaner

If you eat or drink in your car, and you spill, or if your kids eat in the car, you know how dirty and stinky your upholstery can get. To easily clean the mess, all you need is to mix some white vinegar and baking soda to create a paste. Using an old toothbrush, rub your upholstery. When you finish cleaning the mess, allow the mixture to dry and then vacuum it up. Not only will this remove the stain, it’ll also make the car’s upholstery smell fresh.

Hack #23 Odor Eliminator

If you notice a foul smell in your vehicle, the first thing you need to do is find the source of that smell and remove it. The cause of the bad smell could be a dirty air filter, dirty ac filter, or if you accidentally spilled some oil on the engine. Your local mechanic could help you with diagnosing. I can help you with a new smell. In a mason jar combine baking soda and your favorite essential oils. Next, poke several holes in the jar and the jar can be kept in a cup holder or anywhere that it’ll remain upright. This will help pull the foul smell out of the air while making the vehicle smell fresh.

Hack #24 Clean Your Wheels

If you want to make your wheels look brand new like they just rolled off the showroom floor, you only need baking soda and water. You need to combine the two so that you create a paste, and then wipe it on the wheels. Allow the pace to sit for about 20 minutes or so and then rinse it off. Be amazed how shiny your wheels are when you’re done.

Hack #25 Dust With A Foam Paintbrush

If you’re having trouble cleaning your vents with the toothbrush method, try using a foam paintbrush. Dust can get into the vents deeply and it can build up pretty quick. You can use a foam paintbrush to clear out the dust and then use a vacuum cleaner to suck away anything the brush doesn’t pick up. So, the next time you decide to heat or cool yourself, you won’t need to worry about dust flowing into your face.

Hack #26 Clean Off Your Bumper Sticker Gunk

If you have bumper stickers on your car that you’d like to remove, that can be a hassle. Your used car that you just bought could have some ”Kids on board” stickers that you don’t need. After you get the bumper sticker off, then you have to worry about that access glue that remains. If you want to remove the bumper sticker and the excess glue, spray on some wd-40 on that bumper sticker and allow it to soak for a while. Once the wd-40 is soaked in, you can pull the bumper sticker right off glue at all.

Hack #27 Polish Your Dashboard With Olive Oil

If you want to polish your dashboard and your leather interior, but you don’t want to use harsh chemicals, try olive oil. Simply pour some olive oil on a wet rag and clean the interior of your car. It’s an organic way to get the job done. Please make sure you use a microfiber towel, and not an old t-shirt or a dirty rag.

Hack #28 Shine Up Your Chrome

If you have chrome wheels, you should keep them looking great. If your chrome wheels are dirty, it can have a negative effect on the appearance of your entire vehicle. If you’re sick of using chemicals to clean your wheels and you want to find an all-natural method, try water and vinegar. All you need to do is combine equal parts of each into a squirt bottle, spray the mixture onto your wheels and then wipe them down with a rag. Of course, there are a lot of products that you can buy online, but just give this hack a try share your feedback in the comments.

Hack #29 Do It Yourself Air Fresheners

To make your own air fresheners, all you need to do is put a few drops of your favorite essential oil onto a clothespin and place it over the air vent. My wife has a lavender based air freshener in her car, and I can say that it is doing a pretty good job. If you want to design your own air freshener, you can glue pom-poms glitter or any other fancy design that you can think of.

Hack #30 Remove Melted Crayon

This is one of the most genius car cleaning hacks. If your kids leave crayons on the back seat of the car, you know that they can melt all over the seat. Taking your car to get it clean professionally can cost hundreds of dollars. To clean this up quickly you need wax paper and an iron. Simply put the wax paper over the melted crayon and run an iron over it. It will quickly clean up the mess.
Those were the 30 car cleaning hacks that will make your life easier. If you have any trick or hack, please share it down in the comments.

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Car Care Hacks

Hi there. I am a certified Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) mechanic since 2018 and a car detailer for 10 years.

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