17 Amazing DIY Car Cleaning Hacks for a Clean Car

Are you trying to avoid paying $50 to have someone finally get the bumper sticker off your car? Or picturing yourself out there with a razor blade trying to remove sticker residue off yourself for hours? Don’t worry; we have a hack for that and other car cleaning tips that’ll come in handy.

17 DIY Car Cleaning Hacks

1. Clean Foggy Headlights With Toothpaste

clean foggy headlights with toothpaste, car cleaning hacks diy

Image credit goes to How to Get Rid Of.

Foggy headlights might be something you don’t even notice but over time your headlights develop this yucky residue which means you can’t blind people passing you as easily as you’d like.

Soap and water sometimes just won’t get the job done so you’ll have to use toothpaste.

You’re also going to want to use some microfiber cloths for this. They are great for this type of detailed work. Of course, you can put use an actual toothbrush to gently get any stubborn crusty bugs off. 

2. Don’t Want to Use Toothpaste? Use Baby Oil Instead

use baby oil to clean headlights

Image courtesy of How to get rid of.

Toothpaste might be a little too extreme for some of you. That’s understandable because it isn’t cheap!

If you don’t want to go the toothpaste route then you can switch it up for baby oil.

Or when you’re done washing, grab that baby oil, put it on a microfiber cloth, and wipe the headlights till they look brand new.

3. Dust With a Coffee Filter

use coffee filters to dust car

Image courtesy of The Crazy Coupon Lady.

If you’re old school and happen to have coffee filters in your house, then you can use them to wipe that annoying dust off your dashboard.

Why do they work so well?

Because coffee filters are lint-free material so you won’t wipe and cause even more of a mess.

Even if you don’t drink coffee what’s the harm in buying a cheap pack of coffee filters that will last you years in your battle against dust?

4. Remove Dead Bugs From Grill With Dryer Sheets

remove dead bugs from car grille with dryer sheets

Image courtesy of The Krazy Coupon Lady.

When I lived in Florida, Springtime was the worst because of the love bugs. Those are little black flying bugs that are able to attach to each other and they just fly the perfect height to get stuck on the front of your car.

I don’t know why they do this, maybe it’s a weird mating ritual. But they are annoying and they seem like they are impossible to get off.

But they aren’t. Good ol’ dryer sheets to the rescue with this one. 

5. DIY Air Freshener with Clothes Pins

clothes pin air freshener for car

Image courtesy of The Krazy Coupon Lady.

Admittedly, this one is a bit clunky but keeping a clean car isn’t always about elegance. And besides, doesn’t it seem like those stupid air fresheners that hang from your mirror last just 3 days?

It’s like you can sniff all of the odor from them instantly! If you want to have a bit more variety of aromas in your life then put a few drops of your favorite essential oil onto a clothespin and stick it on your AC vent.

6. Clean Air Vents with a Foam Brush

use foam brush to clean vents

Image courtesy of The Krazy Coupon Lady.

If I had a nickel for every time I got my fingers stuck in my car vents trying to clear the dust with a paper towel then I would be able to get a gumball.

There is an easier way to clean the AC vents of your car so you aren’t inhaling dust mites every road trip and that is by using a craft foam brush.

These are really handy to have everywhere. House, car, Yacht, and probably on Mars.

7. Use This 2-Ingredient Carpet Stain Remover

Image courtesy of Kids Activities Blog.

If you get the carpets in your car dirty then you can’t just simply vacuum them. You need to get the soap out and really get to scrubbing but sometimes those stains seem like they just aren’t going to come out.

What do you do? You make your own super-powered soap.

Use a bottle of hydrogen peroxide that is 1/3 full. If you have a full bottle, either pour some of it out or use another dark-colored bottle. Any clear or semi-translucent bottles will break down the hydrogen peroxide neutralizing the active ingredients.

Fill the bottle the remaining 2/3 of the way full of water. Add 5 drops of lemon essential oil. Shake lightly.

The peroxide breaks down stains and the lemon oil helps release sticky particles.

8. Use Baking Soda to Get Sparkling Hubcaps

use baking soda to clean hubcaps, diy car cleaning tips

This tip comes to us courtesy of Popsugar.

Simply mix one-half cup of baking soda, one tablespoon of dish soap, and two cups of warm water in a small bowl. Use a soft sponge or towel to wash and gently scrub the tires and hubcaps. Spray with water and your car is ready for road-tripping.

9. Use a Hair Dryer to Remove Stickers

use hairdryer to remove bumper sticker

Maybe you went through a bumper sticker phase and it’s time to change things up or up the resale value of your car so you want to get them remove.

They don’t come off easily.

They do come off easily if you use a hair dryer, though.

10. Clean Your Dashboard with Olive Oil

olive oil clean dashboard

Sometimes you don’t want to use chemicals to clean and that is perfectly understandable.

Did you know you can put together a pretty solid cleaning solution for your dashboard with olive oil? Mommy Footprint has more details for you.

11. Remove Pet Hair With Spray Bottle and Squeegee

clean pet hair in car

If you love taking your pets for joy rides then you know how annoying it can be to get their hair stuck in your seats. That stuff doesn’t come out!

It builds a city, plants a flag, and then seems to spread around. Before you know it you have Pet Hair Metropolis in your back seat.

Thank goodness for this awesome hack for getting the hair out of your seats. You just need a spray bottle of water and a squeegee.

12. Clean Your Mats With Your Washing Machine

cleaning car mats

All Things Thrifty coming through with this awesome tip.

All you need to do is spray your mats with some homemade stain remover and then throw the mats into the washer. That’s it.

13. Smell Fresh With Baking Soda Air Freshener

baking soda air freshener

Is there anything more powerful than baking soda and essential oils?

Okay, there are probably a lot of things more powerful but when you combine them you can create a pretty fantastic air freshener for your car.

Check out Jen and Joey Go Green for more details on this chemical-free way to keep your car smelling fresh.

14. Rain-X For Windshield

Ok, this isn’t a DIY Rain-x solution, you’ll have to buy a bottle.  But, it’s worth it.  You put this stuff on your windshield and the rain and bug guts slide right off. Your windshield wipers will work better too. It makes keeping it clean so much easier too. 

15. Old Sock for Wiper Blades

This one is for winter when the temp goes below freezing.  To prevent your wiper blades from getting frozen, put an old sock over them.  It’ll keep them covered and prevent them from sticking! 

16. Compressed Air

Do you have a can of compressed air in your office that you use to clean your keyboard with?  You can use it in your car too.  It’ll help blow out all the list crust particles and dust out of your seams and cup holders. 

17. Wax Melts

I’ve seen this one all over TikTok.  Get your favorite scented wax melts and put them in a small vented cup, mason jar, or container and just put them in your car.  You can put it in the cup holder or under the seat.  This is obviously for when the weather is warmer because you need them to melt and release their fragrance! 

What is the best homemade cleaner for cars?

General DIY Car Cleaning Solution:

  • 1 cup of distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup of club soda
  • 1/2 cup of liquid dish soap

Instructions: Mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake well before each use.

DIY Windex:

  • 1/2 cup of white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of distilled or filtered water
  • 10 drops of peppermint or citrus essential oil (optional, for scent)

Instructions: Mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle. Spray on windows and wipe clean with a soft cloth or newspaper for a streak-free shine.

Carpet and Upholstery:

  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1/2 cup of non-bleach, gentle laundry detergent

Instructions: Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray on upholstery or carpet stains and scrub with a soft brush or cloth until the stain is gone. Then rinse with warm water and let it dry.

Wheel Cleaner Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of dish soap
  • 1 cup of distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup of hot water

Instructions: Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle. Spray onto wheels, scrub with a brush, then rinse off.

Remember, you should test it on an inconspicuous area of your car to make sure it doesn’t discolor or damage the surface. Also, always use a soft cloth, sponge, or brush to avoid scratching your car’s surfaces.

What is the fastest way to clean a dirty car?

Materials Needed:

  1. Car wash soap
  2. Two buckets
  3. A soft sponge or car wash mitt
  4. Microfiber towels
  5. Car vacuum
  6. Glass and wheel cleaner

Step-by-Step Process:

  1. Initial Rinse: Start by rinsing your car with a hose, starting from the top and working your way down to the bottom. This will help to remove loose dirt and debris and prepare the surface for washing.
  2. Washing: Fill one bucket with water and car wash soap, following the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct amount. Fill the other bucket with clean water. This two-bucket method helps to avoid scratching your car. Dip your sponge or mitt into the soapy water, wash a section of the car, then rinse the sponge in the clean water bucket before getting more soapy water. Always start at the top of the car and work your way down, as the lower sections tend to be dirtier.
  3. Rinse and Dry: After washing, rinse the car thoroughly, again working from the top down. It’s important to dry your car as quickly as possible after rinsing to avoid water spots. Use microfiber towels to dry, as they are highly absorbent and gentle on your car’s finish.
  4. Clean the Wheels: Use a wheel cleaner and follow the instructions. Usually, this involves spraying the it on, letting it sit for a few minutes, and then scrubbing with a brush and rinsing off.
  5. Clean the Windows: Use a glass cleaner to clean the windows, wiping with a microfiber cloth to avoid streaks.
  6. Clean the Interior: Remove any trash and personal items. Use a car vacuum to clean up dust, dirt, and crumbs. Use an appropriate cleaner for the seats, whether they’re fabric or leather. Wipe down the dashboard, console, and other surfaces.
  7. Final Touches: Depending on your time, you may also consider applying a tire shine product for a polished look, and use an air freshener to make your car smell clean and fresh.

Remember, the key to cleaning your car quickly is to stay organized and avoid distractions. It’s also a good idea to clean your car regularly. The more frequently you clean it, the less time each cleaning will take.

What is the best home remedy to clean car dashboard?

DIY Dashboard Cleaner:
1 part white vinegar
1 part water
A few drops of dish soap
1. Combine the white vinegar, water, and dish soap in a spray bottle. Shake well to mix.
2. Spray the solution onto a soft, clean cloth (microfiber works best).
3. Wipe your dashboard with a dampened cloth. Be sure to get into all the grime, nooks, and crannies.
4. After cleaning, wipe the dashboard with a dry microfiber cloth to prevent any water spots or streaks.

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