As we look to keep our vehicles cleaner than ever, there are cheaper alternatives to specialised cleaners.

However, a recent study we found that 1 in 4 people admit to almost never cleaning their car. The majority are quite lax to say the least. Meanwhile in our industry it should be second nature.

However the cost of shop bought cleaners can be astonishing. Considering the frequency we have to spruce things up, the bills can begin to pack quite a punch. But there are simple and cost effective solutions that are often better for the environment and your health too.

Moneyshake have provided some simple and effective ideas for you to try. solutionsWe decided to look at simple ways you can clean your car for less time and money by using household products already in your cupboards such as toothpaste and vinegar.”


1. Use vinegar and water instead of window cleaner

Rather than splash out on expensive window cleaner products, a simple hack is to mix some vinegar and water together for your very own homemade solution.

You don’t need a lot (about one part vinegar to 10 parts warm water) and this should do the job. Apply it to your windows and windscreen then wipe the glass with either two rages or paper towel (we’ll explain this part next) until it’s streak-free and is squeaky clean.

This vinegar and water mix works well on other parts of the interior too, including the dashboard, doors and any wood, vinyl and plastic surfaces there are.

2. Wipe your windows with paper towels for a streak-free shine

When cleaning the glass, it’s important to use a couple of paper towels or rags to prevent it from streaking.

This works by one wiping the glass clean, while the second soaks up the remaining window cleaner solution so that you can wipe it completely clean.

Ever seen The Karate Kid? Think wax-on/wax-off motion and your windows should be clean and streak-free in no time!

3. Turn on the air con on while cleaning

Having the air conditioning turned on high while you clean and wipe the inside of your windows will pull the moisture out of the air. This should then help with keeping any excess water off the windows too which causes streaks.

4. Work on small sections at a time

One of the reasons why your car will streak when you clean is if you’re cleaning big sections at once. For example, if you clean the entire windscreen in one go, you probably won’t have time to clear all the cleaner residue with the second dry rag or paper towel.

Alternatively, if you do a window at a time and split the windscreen into multiple sections, you’ll find it easier to keep your car free of streaks.

5. Use laundry detergent to remove interior stains

Again, another household product that’s readily accessible by most is laundry detergent. You can use this as an alternative to pricier interior car cleaning products to get very good results.

Naturally, washing powder is designed to bring out deep stains which it can do with those inside your vehicle, such as mud.

6. Get a toothbrush for the crevices

Even if you clean your car every fortnight, there comes a time where every vehicle needs a good detailed tidying. A toothbrush is a perfect, low-cost item that is great at getting in places where you otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach. For example, areas such as the centre console, dashboard, door bins , cupholders and cubbies will develop build-ups of grime if left.

Used alongside good detergent and hot water mix, you can save money detailing your car and make your car look brand-new.

7. Use toothpaste to restore your headlights

Headlights can go cloudy over time for a number of reasons, including:

  • Prolonged exposure to UV light
  • Dirt and chemicals
  • Debris
  • Water vapour

Should your headlights become cloudy, you can remove stains from them caused by wear and tear using toothpaste. Here’s how:

  1. Take one light at a time and first wash the affected area with soap and water using a sponge or cloth.
  2. Allow this time to air dry then get a soft cloth and dampen it with water, then add a smudge of toothpaste to it.
  3. Firmly rub your headlights in small circles, adding water and toothpaste as you need to – this part can take around five minutes per headlight.
  4. Once you’ve done this, rinse the remaining residue off with water and allow the lights time to air dry again.

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