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How to Spring Clean Your Car

While I was out running errands in preparation for spring cleaning, I popped over to Walmart to grab everything I needed for cleaning, including Fabuloso® all purpose cleaner.  I found it on a special end cap near the cleaning supplies.  I picked up the Lavender Fabuloso® because lavender is a calming scent and goodness knows, that this busy mama could use a calming environment while driving (and driving and driving) and waiting (and waiting and waiting) at sports practices.  I also brought home the Limited Edition Spring Bloom Fabuloso® cleaner because it has a fresh, spring-like scent and I’m so very happy that spring is finally here!

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Step 1 – Vacuum the dashboard, doors, console and any other surfaces other than the upholstery and carpet

I use the soft brush attachment on the vacuum to remove all dust and debris.  I’m careful to look in crevices where dust or other surprises maybe hiding.

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Step 2 – Use all purpose cleaner to wipe down plastic or metal surfaces

I add a tsp of all purpose cleaner to a large bowl of water.  I also have a second bowl of water for rinsing.  I use a cloth to wipe every surface down with cleaner and then wipe the surfaces well with a second cloth dipped in water.  I clean from the top down and leave the door wells for later.  I often have to change out the bowls of cleaner and water a couple of times.

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Step 3 – Clean the seats

Vacuum all the upholstery.  Use the crevice tool to get down into the back of the seats.  Clean up stains with a soft cloth and water.  For more stubborn stains, check your car manual for cleaning recommendations.

Step 4 – Vacuum the carpets

Remove the floor mats.  I shake them out first and then vacuum them well.  Vacuum in one direction first and then vacuum in the other direction to remove all the debris.  I often find it helpful to just use the vacuum nozzle without any attachments.

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I then vacuum the carpet inside the car. I like to use the crevice tool to get into hard to reach spots. Here again, I find it most effective to use the vacuum nozzle without any attachments on the carpet.

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I take everything out of the trunk and vacuum it well. I know the trunk is clean when I can see vacuum lines in the carpet (and it makes me very happy). I then return only the necessary items to my trunk (how did all those extra things sneak into the trunk?!)

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After I’ve vacuumed all the carpet, I use my bowl of all purpose cleaner and wipe down the door wells where grease and dirt collect.  I rinse these surfaces well with water and then dry them with a paper towel.  Taking the extra few minutes to clean this area seems pointless until your daughter’s beautiful prom dress is marred by brushing against her friend’s car door (ask how I know!).

Step 5 – Clean the windows and mirrors

I’m always surprised at how much dirt and yuck I wipe off of the inside of the windows and the interior mirrors.  I’m ecstatic at how much clearer my windows and visibility are.

Step 6 – Add your own car freshener that costs pennies

Instead of purchasing a car freshener, I just make my own.  Start with a repurposed plastic berry container.  The smaller berry containers are the perfect size.  I use a couple of paper towels and all purpose cleaner. I choose a cleaner with a fresh scent, like the soothing lavender Fabuloso® all purpose cleaner I used to clean my car.

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I simply add a few drops of cleaner to the paper towels, fold them up and place them inside the cleaned berry container. I put the container under the front seat of my car. Voila! My nice clean car will continue to smell clean and fresh for days.  When I find that the scent is lessening, I just add a few more drops of fresh smelling cleaner.

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Every time I’ve jumped into my car this week to rush off to another activity, I’ve actually paused for a moment to enjoy my fresh smelling and beautifully clean car. Really.

More spring cleaning ideas:

  • My favorite Tips for a Clean Car Interior in No Time by taking advantage of time spent waiting at kids’ sports practices and activities.
  • April To Do Checklist – Get your free printable checklist.
  • Spring Organizing Tea with Repurposed Items – You can organize your kitchen for free by using repurposed items. 
  • Age-Appropriate Chores for Kids – Have your children help you clean windows and teach responsibility and have family fun together.

Do you have any favorite tips on how to spring clean your car?

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