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Get that new car smell back. 12 car cleaning hacks

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Car sickness can be brought on by thinking about your monthly payment. It can also be induced by the lingering smell of that delicious takeaway seafood soup that spilled all over the front seat before you got it home. Fast food, babies, kids with chocolate, your loveable dog. None of these are good for the value, or sparkly newness of your car. Here are some useful car cleaning hacks from the team at Budget Direct Insurance to help you tackle stains and spills.

1. Mopping up coffee spills

Dilute spills with cold water as soon as possible, then blot with a paper towel or clean cloth. If the stain remains, spray with glass cleaner. Why glass cleaner? It cleans all types of carpeting and upholstery without leaving the soapy residue of most traditional carpet cleaners, which only attract more dirt afterward. Leave for five minutes, then blot to remove the remains of the spill.

2. Removing grease stains

Paint thinner will shift many greasy stains. Use a 100% cotton cloth to work the paint thinner into the stain. Cover the affected areas with salt to soak up the moisture, leave to dry, then vacuum. Or cover the spot with a small amount of bicarbonate of soda, let it sit overnight and vacuum in the morning. Important: Test paint thinner on a small piece of carpet first to check that it is colourfast.

3. Getting out pen and ink stains

Hairspray will help get pen and ink stains out. Spray and then apply salt to absorb the stain out of the carpet. Leave for a few minutes, then vacuum or brush off.

4. Cleaning up vomit

Not a stain you can afford to leave. Vomit is acidic and will need to be neutralized with tonic water or a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and water. Let’s be honest, this type of cleaning is not easy. You have two choices: learn how to clean it up yourself or turn the car over to a professional. Number two seems very appealing!

5. Clearing up blood stains

Firstly, what have you been doing in your car? Secondly, some advice should you need to remove blood, either animal or human(!). Cover the stain as soon as possible with a paste of dry laundry starch and cold water. Wait for the stain to dry, then use a stiff brush or vacuum to remove. Hot water will not help, it will only set the stain fast, making it harder to remove.

6. Caring for vinyl seats

Wiping with a mild solution of bicarbonate of soda and warm water is better for vinyl. Oil-based cleaners can cause the vinyl to harden. If the vinyl is textured, you may have dirt that is ground into all those nooks and crannies. An old toothbrush can help you scrub deep into textured surface for a more thorough clean.

7. Cleaning your carpet and upholstery

Make up a solution of hot water, a couple of squirts of washing up liquid, and a little white vinegar. Use a hard bristle brush to work this solution gradually into the carpet. Let it sit for half an hour. Blot dry with paper towels or cotton rags. (This also works well for pet stains).

8.Cleaning up crevices

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush for hard-to-reach crevices and vents. This is a simple and effective way to remove dirt and debris that can accumulate in these areas over time.

9.Put the sparkle back in your headlights

To restore the clarity of your car’s headlights, clean them with a toothpaste. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to a cloth and rub it into the headlights. Then, rinse the headlights with water and dry them with a clean cloth.

10.Keeping your car smelling like roses

Storing a small container of black tea in your car can help to absorb bad odours. The tea leaves will absorb the odours and leave your car smelling fresh.

11.Tidying up cup holders

Cup holders can be difficult to clean, especially if you are prone to spillage. Place cupcake liners in the holders so they don’t get messy in the first place. They will collect all the dirt and you can pull them out and replace them easily.

12. Sweeping away pet hair

Use a lint roller to pick up pet hair and other debris from car upholstery. Simply roll the lint roller over the affected areas to remove the hair and other debris.

The reward for all your hard work is a car that looks and smells more like a spa than a garbage truck. Now, maybe treat yourself with a trip to the movies. You’ve earned it!

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