Two simple car cleaning moves to ‘maintains a car’s looks’

Olive oil car cleaning hack

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There is “no secret” to keeping your car looking sparkling and shiny, according said Mat Watson, chief content officer at CarWow, which boasts over seven million subscribers on its YouTube page. The main thing is to make sure you are “regularly” prioritising some simple jobs.


“Regular washing and the application of a good-quality car wax will do more to maintain a car’s looks than almost anything else,” Mat told “Car wax is really good at protecting bodywork from road salt, as well as general dirt and grime, and will help your car shrug off as much winter grot as possible.”

However, when tackling a deep clean during the winter months it’s important to do so on a dry day. “Given how damp it can be during winter months you’ll need a nice, clear day to do this,” said Mat.

“If you don’t have a covered driveway or garage, or use a reputable professional car wash company.” But it isn’t just the outside of your car which you need to pay attention to during a deep clean. It’s important to pay attention to the interior too.

“There are all manner of lotions, potions and air fresheners you can buy for your car,” explained Mat. “While many of these are effective and smell pleasant, they often mask stenches rather than treat them.

“The easiest way to prevent your car from becoming whiffy in the first place is to keep on top of basic cleaning. Simply vacuuming the mats and upholstery on a regular basis will help keep pongs at bay, cleaning up the mud, grime and grot that can build up over time.”

If you do notice an odd smell inside your car, a simple 65p kitchen ingredient can make a world of difference.

“Sprinkling a bit of baking soda over carpets and letting it sit for a couple of hours before vacuuming can help give an extra boost when trying to eliminate smells,” said the car expert.

The alkaline nature of baking soda means it can act as a base to neutralise stubborn acidic odours. For other surfaces, such as the dashboard, windows and other hard surfaces, Mat recommends using car-care products specifically designed for these surfaces.

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Five tips for a perfect clean

Experts from Halfords have shared five of the “best tips” for a perfect clean.

Pick the right time

Although dry days are the perfect time to tackle your car, days which are too hot or too sunny can actually impact the products you use. “High temperatures and blazing sunshine will make your car hot to the touch, and washing with formulas or adding wax in these conditions could end up damaging your paintwork,” explained the car experts.

As such, it is better to apply finishes, such as wax, when the temperature is a little cooler or you are in a shaded area.

Start on the inside

While the outside of your car may be beginning for a wash, the experts recommend starting to clean the inside first. Remove any rubbish or debris before getting on with the cleaning.

Wash the car floor mats

Instead of just running the vacuum over car mats, you should remove them completely and grab a hose to clear off the thickest dirt. Soapy water can remove any stains or mud which may have transferred from your shoes. Once dry, then it’s time to grab the vacuum.

Make sure to use the right products

Using specific products for each part of your car is the best practice. Halfords recommends using a dash and glass cleaner for the inside of your car, such as the Turtle Wax Dash and Glass to break down grease and grim, along with a microfibre cloth.

Tackle car smells

No matter how clean the interior of your car is, a bad smell can ruin the effect. If you notice a whiff coming from your upholstery, sprinkling baking soda and leaving it to sit overnight before vacuuming up in the morning can help.

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