Car cleaning tips 

Meashams Self Drive know what a difference having a nice, clean vehicle makes to your journey. If everything is clean, without clutter and free of rubbish, even stop and start commuting doesn’t seem so bad. 

Our cars, vans and minibuses are always kept in pristine condition so you feel like you’re in a brand new vehicle each time you book with us. We’re experts at keeping vehicles tidy and fresh, so check out our car cleaning tips and get your car looking perfect for your next drive. 

Car cleaning tips

Have a read of our car cleaning tips and set to work getting your vehicle into perfect condition, inside and out. 

Time it right 

We know it’s tempting to go out on a sunny afternoon to give your car a good clean, but if the weather is too hot, using wax or wash formulas could actually damage the paintwork. Those finishing touches should be done when it’s a bit cooler. 

Plus, if the sun is too hot, any water on the vehicle will evaporate much faster than normal. This runs the risk of leaving watermarks on your car, rather than leaving it gleaming. 

man using car cleaning tips to wash his vehicle

Work from the inside out 

Start by getting rid of all the big bits of rubbish, discarded toys and any other items that shouldn’t be there. Your car will look so much better for it, and you’ll be able to get to work cleaning the rest without having to clean around clutter. 

Bush carpets before hoovering 

Just hoovering the carpets and mats in your car won’t get out all the bits that have been well trodden in. Brushing the floors first brings all the crumbs and bits of gravel to the surface of the carpet, making it much easier to hoover away. 

Cleaning the dash board 

Use a microfiber cloth for the very best effect on your dash. The cloths are great for attracting dust with the static created as you rub. Using a cloth also means you won’t be at risk of scratching the surface as you clean because they’re super soft. 

Got really embedded dirt in your vinyl? Try rubbing over it with a piece of blu tack to lift out any stubborn stains. 

Wipe round the doors 

This bit often gets missed when cleaning a car! Open all your doors and give the rims a really good wipe down too. 

man using a microfibre cloth to clean car interior

Move on to the wheels

Your wheels are likely the dirtiest part of your car. Give them a good rinse and a wash before you start of the rest of the car to avoid wheel dirt getting onto the car’s clean body. 

Check you’ve got the right type of cleaner for your wheels to avoid damaging them. Get right into the arches and scrub out every speck of grime. You can even get special brushes to make cleaning the wheels much easier. Just make sure the car hasn’t been recently driven, else the brake components could be hot.  

Washing the car 

When it comes to washing the car, start from the top and work down, that way you don’t accidentally add more dirt higher up that you’ll have to wash off again. Start with just a simple rinse to remove any thick bits of gunk that have stuck to your car. 

Once you’re ready to scrub, make sure you’re using a decent car cleaning solution. Washing up liquid and other household cleaners aren’t designed to care for your paintwork and can damage its protective finish. 

Have two buckets on the go at the same time, so you can keep rinsing your cloths out as you go, to avoid putting any dirt back on the car. This also helps prevent scratches and you’ll rinse away any tough bits of dirt that might otherwise have been rubbed back across the surface of your car. 

Clean the glass 

Glass cleaners are fantastic. Spray onto your cloth and buff away any finger prints, smears and grime from your windows. For best results, use one cloth to clean and another to buff to get a really good shine. 

window wipers on a car

Remember your wipers 

Your window wipers are an incredibly important part of your car to ensure safe driving. Use a bit of soapy water to remove any gunk and dry each blade off. This is also a great time to make sure they’re in perfect working order or whether they need to be replaced. 

Drying your car 

To avoid spots and watermarks, make sure you dry the car by hand. If you let the water evaporate naturally, you’ll not get such a stunning finish. 

Polishing and waxing 

Polishing and waxing are two very different, but important finishing touches for your car. Waxing helps to protect your paintwork and can be done by hand. Apply the wax in small areas and rub into the body of your car. Keep your strokes in a consistent direction for the best results. You can also go over the waxed areas with a clean cloth for an extra shiny finish. 

Polishing helps to get rid of any bits of dirt that your elbow grease can’t. Just make sure you’ve got the right pad and polishing compound for your car, and that you wet the pad before you start to use it. These are easy to buy from high street garages. You also don’t need to polish more than twice a year, but you can wax in-between polishing. 

Want a fresh car for your next trip without putting the effort in? Meashams Self Drive hire cars are always perfectly clean and ready to go. 

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