We spend hours in our cars every week. Whether it’s for commuting, taking the kids to school or just nipping out to do the weekly shop. However, all these hours spent in our cars mean that dirt and grime can soon start to build up unnoticed.
To see just how dirty the nation’s cars can be, we swabbed commonly touched surfaces with Clean-Trace™ Hygiene Swabs. The experiment showed that despite appearing clean, many of these areas, such as the gear stick or steering wheel, were often dirtier than traditionally ‘dirty’ areas such as kitchen bin lids and office keyboards!
We also conducted a survey to find out just how clean we keep our cars – 3% of the UK confessed that they only clean their car once a year, and nearly half said that they would only ever clean their car if they thought it looked dirty enough to need a clean (47%).
To help you keep on top of the invisible dirt and germs in your own car, we’ve compiled five tips, take a look below:
When beginning your car clean, first remove all the junk and rubbish that’s too big to be vacuumed. Make sure you check behind parts of the car that never move either, such as under the car mats and seats. Move the seats to the furthest forward and furthest back positions to reach all those hidden spots.
After clearing out your car, use a vacuum cleaner to collect smaller dirt and rubbish. Remember to use all the different vacuum heads to get to all the nooks and crannies!
If you often eat in your car you might find that clinging odours are a problem. Firstly, dust your air vents and look at changing your air conditioning filter (if possible). A paintbrush can be a good tool to reach inside the vents but make sure you vacuum up the dust as you brush it off so it doesn’t immediately settle elsewhere in the car.
For a fresh fragrance, try using an air freshener in your favourite scent, or to fully remove bad smells spray an A/C cleaner such as Normfest Viro Air Fresh Plus into the air vents to disinfect and eliminate bacteria.
The dashboard is the main feature you notice in a car when you get in, so keeping it clear of finger prints and dust makes a big difference. For day to day cleaning, try keeping a pack of wipes in the car so you can give your screens and dials a wipe whenever they need it.
For a more in-depth clean, use a toothbrush or a Q-tip to clean hard to reach areas or ingrained dirt.
Keeping your car windows clean is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also important for safety. Fingerprints, dust and smears can build up over time and even dazzle you whilst driving. Use a quality product such as Auto Finesse Crystal Glass Cleaner for a residue and smear-free finish.
Make sure you spray the product onto a microfibre cloth instead of straight onto the glass to reduce drip stains, and always buff in a figure of eight or circular motion. Don’t forget to roll down the windows a few inches and clean the hidden top section of the window!
Seats and floors
The seats and floors of your car are the most frequently used and usually the first to get dirty, so cleaning these will make a visible difference to your car’s appearance. For fabric upholstered surfaces e.g. car seats and carpet mats, use a fabric multi-purpose cleaner and stain remover such as Turtlewax. If you have rubber mats instead, these can just be washed with everyday soap and water.
If you have leather seats, they require a little more TLC. Use specialist leather wipes to remove dirt and visible marks before treating the leather with conditioner such as Sonax Leather Care Gel. This will help provide a waterproof barrier and restore any dull colours. These products can also be used on leather interiors in the dashboard or doors.
Keeping your car in good condition not only makes your ride more enjoyable, but extends the life and helps to maintain the value of your car should you want to sell it in the future. You don’t have to deep clean your car weekly to keep germs at bay, but staying on top of general grime and dust will mean that next time you clean, the job isn’t so daunting!
To see our full range of cleaning products for both the interior and exterior of your car, take a look here.