- Complexity: medium
- These tips will keep the ride pleasant for many years.
Never mind those pine-tree air fresheners you see dangling from rear-view mirrors. Keeping your car smelling fresh is a simple, three-step process:
- 1. Remove and discard refuse from the floor and seats daily. Fast-food drink cups and wrappers are unsightly, those dried-out fries left at the bottom of the bag won’t help matters, and spills from unfinished beverage cups have a nasty habit of becoming permanent stains on seats and carpets.Vacuum floors and seats regularly. Sitting in a vehicle is much more pleasant when you’re not sharing the ride with dust and dirt.
- 2. Don’t allow smoking in the vehicle. As with carpets and upholstery at home, tobacco odor is difficult to remove from cloth seats and floor carpeting. Smoke also forms a tough film on interior glass, which in turn makes window fogging somewhat more likely in cold, humid climates.
- 3. Dust, which has a habit of clinging to vinyl and plastic trim and dashboards, is easily removed from the interior with a damp, soft cloth. Use a mild, all-purpose household cleaner to remove stubborn soil from vinyl and plastic components, followed by a thorough wipe with a water-dampened towel to remove cleaner residues. Avoid using soapy solutions, which will be difficult to wipe away completely. Cleaner residues left behind will only attract more dirt in the future.
Interior glass may be cleaned with the same blue windshield-washing fluid that aids visibility on the road. Fill a spray bottle with the solution, and then label it for safety and ease of identification. Use caution while spraying the solution onto the glass. Immediately wipe away overspray that lands on vinyl or leather trim. The alcohol contained in washing fluid can dry out vinyl, and may stain leather permanently. Use in a well-ventilated area.
Caution: The methyl alcohol found in most windshield fluids is toxic, so fluid containers and spray bottles should be tightly closed and stored safely out of the reach of children.
Vinyl protectants sold by auto-supply stores and many other retailers are useful in combating sun damage to vinyl and plastic components. Follow label directions carefully and apply protectant to a clean dashboard and other hard surfaces at least once a year, more often in very sunny or hot climates.
Caution: Don’t apply slippery protectant to the steering wheel, door grips or other vital vehicle controls. Use a steering-wheel cover instead if you’re concerned about its long-term appearance. Vinyl protectant also isn’t suitable for leather, paint, cloth, woven fabrics, or glass.
Leather seats and trim need regular care to keep them soft and supple. Automotive leather cleaners and conditioners contain preservatives that guard against solar damage as well as dirt. Clean and condition vehicle leather immediately after soiling or spills; otherwise, apply cleaners and conditioners at least two or three times a year. Some manufacturers offer all-in-one cleaner/conditioners in spray, gel, or wipe forms. Follow all label instructions for best results.
Article from www.housekeepingchannel.com