How To Give Your Car A Back-To-School Makeover

The beginning of September brings about fall and the start of a new school year. September is a great time for new beginnings and for making sure that you have everything in order. It is also a great time to give your car a back-to-school makeover. Follow the steps below to get your vehicle clean and ready for a new school year.

Sort Through The Items In Your Car

The first thing you need to do when giving your car a makeover is to remove all the trash and unnecessary items from your vehicle. Although this may feel like an obvious step, it is an important one. Over the course of the summer, you may have accumulated items like extra sunscreen, sunglasses, towels, and summer-time toys in your vehicle. Set up three different bags as you sort through your vehicle: one for items that you just need to throw away, one for items that you need to put away in your home or storage, and another for items that you can recycle.

As you sort through your vehicle, make sure that you go through all the compartments. Open up your glove box, sort through the storage compartments on your doors and behind your seats, and don't forget to check in-between and under your seats for small items that may have fallen. Finally, remember to go through your trunk as well.

Vacuum Your Vehicle

When you are done removing all the trash from your vehicle, it is time to vacuum it, top to bottom. You may be surprised at how dirty the roof of your car can get. Start by vacuuming the roof, then vacuum your doors, seats, and finally the floor. As you work your way through your vehicle, be sure to use your crevice attachment; it is great for getting rid of dirt in all those hard to reach places, like between your seats and your doors.

When you get to the floor of your vehicle, remove the floor mats and vacuum under them. It is easy for dirt to wiggle its way under your floor mats.

Clean Your Floor Mats

Your floor mats can sustain a lot of damage from dirt and sand throughout the summer months. The first thing you want to do is use your vacuum to remove as much of the surface dirt that you can from your floor mats. Second, in order to really deep clean your floor mats, you are going to want to use a pressure washer to spray them down. This will dislodge any remaining dirt. If you don't have a pressure washer, just use your hose and the "jet" setting on your spray attachment. Then, allow your mats to dry in the sun before putting them back into your vehicle.

Scrub Down Your Seats

Next, you need to scrub down your seats and remove any stains or spills that have gotten on them. The best way to clean your seats is by using an automotive upholstery and carpet cleaner. You should be able to find this product at your local auto parts store. You are also going to need a scrub brush for this step as well.

Spray the cleaner onto your seats and allow it to sit for the time designated on the bottle. Once that amount of time has passed, use your brush to scrub down the area you just sprayed. Then, use a rag to wipe away any remaining moisture or cleaning residue. Start by cleaning your seats, then clean any doors or consoles that have carpet on them, and, finally, clean the floor of your vehicle.

When you have completed this step, you may want to leave the doors of your vehicle open for a couple of hours to allow your seats and carpeting to dry out.

Clean All Smooth Surfaces

To clean all the smooth surfaces in your vehicle that are made out of plastic or similar materials, don't use regular cleaning wipes on these surfaces. They can leave behind a residue and make surfaces such as your steering wheel too slick. Instead, use cleaning wipes designed specifically for automobiles.

Start by wiping down the area of your dash that extends to your windshield. Then, wipe down the all the control panels that face the driver and front passenger seat. Next, clean the doors and finally, any internal consoles on your vehicle. Finally, clean the outside edge of the doors where they meet with your car; this area does not get cleaned when you wash the outside of your car and is often overlooked when cleaning the inside of your car.

Wash The Windows

Lastly, you are going to want to wash your windows. Keep in mind that dust and fingerprints accumulate on both the inside and outside of your windows. Be sure to use a lint-free cloth to wipe down your windows after you apply the cleaning solution; you don't want lint all over your windows, obstructing your view.

When you are done cleaning your vehicle, only put back the things that you absolute need; try to keep the clutter in your vehicle to a minimum. Before the new school year gets into full swing, take a couple of hours to get your vehicle ready for the back to school season. A clean, clutter-free car goes a long way in vehicle maintenance.