Keep your vehicle clean with DIY cleaners

Keep your vehicle clean with DIY cleaners

Your proud of your new whip, but does it look brand new? It sure can with these easy homemade cleaning solutions.

Basic car wash

Taking your car to a commercial car wash can be a costly habit to maintain — and the results are never as satisfying as when you do it yourself. This soap is tough on grime but gentle on your car’s finish and your wallet.

  • 125 ml (1/2 c) mild liquid dish soap
  • 125 g (1/2 c) baking soda
  • 3.75 L (1 gal) warm water
  1. Mix ingredients in a clean four-litre (one-gallon) container. Shake until all the baking soda is dissolved.
  2. To use, mix 250 millilitres (one cup) solution in a pail of warm water.

Upholstery shampoo

Use this shampoo on a regular basis to freshen up fabric interiors that get a lot of use. It’s much cheaper than commercial upholstery cleaners, and does the job just as well.

  • 90 g (6 tbsp) soap flakes
  • 25 g (2 tbsp) borax
  • 475 ml (1 pt) boiling water
  1. To make the soap flakes, lightly grate a bar of pure soap, such as Ivory, on a coarse kitchen grater.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the soap flakes and borax together. Slowly add the boiling water, stirring well to thoroughly dissolve the dry ingredients.
  3. Let cool, then whip into a foamy consistency with an eggbeater.
  4. Brush dry suds onto the furniture, concentrating on soiled areas. Quickly wipe off with a damp sponge.

Vinyl and leather interior cleaner

Put the life back into your car’s vinyl or leather interior with this fresh-scented polish without paying auto-parts-store prices.

  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) vegetable-oil-based soap
  • 50 ml (1/4 c) olive oil
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) lemon essential oil (available at aroma­therapy or health food stores)
  1. Mix the ingredients well in a small bowl, and apply with a sponge.
  2. Wipe off with a soft cloth.

Windshield cleaner

You shouldn’t drive with a dirty windshield, and you shouldn’t have to buy a commercial windshield cleaner either.

Fill up a spray bottle with this solution and keep it in your trunk (along with some old newspaper to wipe off the grime). It will also keep steam and frost from forming on your car’s windshield.

Be sure to wipe off any solution that gets on rubber or plastic gaskets or wipers with a damp cloth, because prolonged contact with alcohol may damage them.

  • 750 ml (3 c) glycerin
  • 250 ml (1 c) rubbing alcohol
  • 500 ml (2 c) water
  • 1 clean 1 L (32 oz) spray bottle

Combine the liquid ingredients in the spray bottle and shake well before using.


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