This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information.
With life being so busy, car cleaning is likely at the bottom of your to-do list. You probably can’t remember the last time you did a deep car cleaning, am I right?
However, skipping your car care routine may seem minor at first, but it’s a terrible habit! Keeping your car interior clean and fresh is just as important as keeping your home clean and presentable. You never know when you’ll need to offer a ride to someone!
People driving with Uber or Lyft to earn extra money understand that having a clean car makes a difference between getting a tip or not. So yes, having a spotless car increases your odds of making more money!
It’s tempting to take your car to an auto detailer and have someone else clean your car for you, but it’s very expensive! You’re better off spending a couple of hours doing it yourself and save several hundreds of dollars.
Don’t worry, I’ll share the best car cleaning hacks to help get your car from dirty to squeaky clean in no time!
Remember, if you want to maintain the value of your car then car cleaning needs to be part of your normal car maintenance schedule.
Pro Tips on the Best Car Cleaning Hacks
Don’t get fooled by the fancy tools that professionals use to clean cars. You don’t need to go out and buy expensive tools or detailing kits to get the job done.
You can get the same results by using supplies you can pick up at your local Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Target, or Walmart.
All of the car cleaning tips and tricks here are very affordable and budget-friendly so you don’t need to spend a fortune to keep your car looking new.
Throughout this post, I’ll share many car cleaning detailing hacks that professional auto detailers are hiding from you!
Easy cleaning, easy life!
1. Clean from Top to Bottom
When you start cleaning your car, it’s natural to start vacuuming the carpets first because it’s one of the dirtiest parts of the car. Avoid this mistake!
If you start your cleaning with vacuuming, your carpet will be dirty and covered with dust again when you wipe the windows, dashboard, air vents, and seats.
What you want to do is start cleaning from the top and slowly work your way to the bottom.
This car cleaning tip will save you time from having to vacuum twice.
2. Brush Like a Pro
No matter how hard you try to use your microfiber cloth and your nails to clean the tiny gaps inside your car, you won’t be able to get rid of the dust.
Save your nails and the frustration by using a soft brush to clean tiny gaps and hard to reach spaces. This is what professionals use to get every speck of dust off your car.
If you don’t have any brushes handy at home (paintbrushes work too), I highly recommend you to buy a pack from your dollar store.
3. Car Detailing Hack – Toothbrush!
You’ve tried wiping your car seats hundreds of times but can’t seem to remove the crumbs and debris stuck between the seams!
Instead of wasting your time picking each debris off the seats, grab a toothbrush and brush away! This car cleaning tip is that simple!
When you’re done, your passengers will be very impressed and will think a professional cleaned your car.
More related articles to cleaning and organizing:
- 20 Dollar Store Home Organizing Hacks You Must Try Today
- 15 Organizing Hacks For Your Tiny Closet Without Adding Space
4. Clean Your Cupholders with an Old Sock
Here’s one of the most brilliant car cleaning hacks you must try!
Your cupholder does a pretty darn good job at keeping your coffee and drinks in a vertical position to avoid spills. However, when you drive over uneven road, more often than not, a drip or two of our favorite beverages will get pass the lids. Over time, these leaks will make your cupholders very sticky and dirty.
To clean your cupholder, wrap a cup or tumbler with a clean old sock that has been soaked with an all-purpose cleaner. Place the wrapped cup into the cupholder and let it sit in there for a few minutes to allow the cleaning solution to work its magic. Next, apply pressure by pressing the cup against the cupholder to scrub away the dirt and grime.
Pro Tip: Protect your cupholder from crumbs and leaks with cupcake liners. It’ll make your cleaning much easier next time!
5. Use a DIY Car Upholstery Cleaner
Unless your car seats are protected by plastic wrap, you’re certainly going to have stains on them. If you have kids, then nothing in this world will stop your kids from dirtying the car.
But don’t worry, just because you have kids doesn’t you can’t have a clean and fresh car. You can get rid of the dirty stains and any unpleasant odor with your own DIY car upholstery cleaner!
To make your DIY car cleaner, mix equal parts of Dawn dish soap, vinegar, and club soda in a spray bottle. Just give the bottle a good shake and your cleaning solution is ready to go. You can check out the full recipe here.
What I love about this DIY car cleaner is that you can use it to wash your floor mats too!
6. Clean Your Headlights with Toothpaste & Baking Soda
Driving with clean headlights is extremely important as this is what we rely on at night to help us see the road ahead. Before you get into your car next time, do a quick inspection of your headlights to make sure they’re clean and clear.
If your headlights are covered with dirt and look foggy, then it’s time to give it a good cleaning!
Simply squeeze a bit of toothpaste onto a damp cloth and mix the toothpaste with some baking soda. Apply this paste onto the headlights and scrub in a circular motion to get rid of the grime.
You’ll be surprised how this simple car cleaning tip will make your headlights look afterward!
7. Polish Your Dashboard with Olive Oil
Did you know that you can use the olive oil from your kitchen to clean and restore your car dashboard?
That’s right! Olive oil is not only good for cooking, but it’s also great for giving your dashboard a new shine!
First, wiped away the dirt and dust that’s been collecting on your dashboard with an all-purpose cleaner. Once your dashboard is clean and dry, pour a little bit of olive oil onto a clean cloth and rub it onto the dashboard. Do not pour the olive oil directly on the dashboard as this can cause stains.
Ditch the chemicals and opt for this chemical-free way to give your vehicle a new look!
8. DIY Salt Stain Remover
One of the annoying stains you’ll have to deal with after winter is over is salt stains. They leave an awful white stain on your shoes and your car carpets. It’s not pretty.
Luckily, there’s a solution for you!
You can easily make your own natural salt stain cleaner by mixing equal parts of vinegar with warm water in a spray bottle.
Simply spray the mixture onto the salt stains and let it sit for a couple of minutes to allow the vinegar to breakdown the salt crystals. Afterward, blot the dirty spot with a dry cloth to absorb the stain. You’ll need to repeat this process several times to fully remove the stains.
When you’re done, make sure you air out and dry your carpets completely to avoid mildew.
9. Freshen Your Car with Essential Oil
When your nose is exposed to the same smell over a long period of time, your nose will adapt to the smell. Think about the smell of your home.
There’s no smell, correct?
That’s because it’s your home and your nose got used to the smell of your place. You’ve gone nose-blind to your home’s odors.
If you ask your friends, they’ll tell your home smells different from someone else’s place.
This concept applies to your car as well.
You drive in it every day so you won’t notice any smell. But your passengers will definitely be able to tell what you had for lunch just by taking a sniff of your car!
Keep your car interior smelling nice and fresh by creating your own scented air fresheners.
10. Keep Your Trunk Clean with Baskets
Do you hate how your groceries and belongings slide and fly inside your car trunk? Things can get quite messy when you’re driving on bumpy roads and making sudden turns.
You can solve this problem and keep your trunks organized with affordable laundry baskets! You should be able to fit 2 baskets comfortably inside your trunk to keep your shopping bags in place.
What I love about using baskets to hold my stuff is that I can easily pick up the baskets by the handles and carry my groceries from the car to the house!
Wrap up on the best car cleaning hacks
Here’s a quick summary of the best car cleaning hacks that you should try today. You’ll notice a remarkable difference in how clean your car looks!
- Clean from top to bottom with a microfibre cloth.
- Brush your car like a pro.
- Clean your car with this one car detailing tip – the good old toothbrush!
- Clean your car’s cupholders with a pair of old socks.
- Use a DIY car upholstery cleaner.
- Wipe your headlights with toothpaste and some baking soda.
- Use some of that olive oil to polish your car’s dashboard.
- Be frugal and make some DIY salt stain remover.
- Make your car smell fresh and nice with some essential oils.
- Keep your trunk nice and organized with a few storage baskets from the dollar store.
So, what do you think of these car cleaning hacks? Have you tried these cleaning tips? Which one was your favorite? Be sure to leave your comment below!