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Tis The Season: Giving Your Car A Much Need Cleaning

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

While I couldn’t wait for the warm weather to make its appearance, the cold, blustery and even stormy days of winter served me well, at least as offering me and excuse for my failure to keep up with cleaning my car. Typically a neat freak, the salt and rain took its toll, and so did my life on the dash leading to displays of the latest best sellers, magazines and my gym bag that somehow made their home in my back seat.

Still, with the hotter days and warmer night, haute hot rods are once again “touring” down our local suburban streets, and I know that its time to preen and polish mine.

Personally, I love do “spit-shine” my own, but lately find I simply lack the time. Still, according to experts, this labor of love can be simple as driving down to your local car wash.

· A professional wash for your “wheels”: Scout out or ask around about a local car cleaning service you can truest. In addition to a wash and wax, today’s car “salons” usually offer a thorough exterior and interior shampoo and steam cleaning of your seats and upholstery to get of any lingering and unsightly smudges, germs and stains. Leather is also usually cleaned and reconditions and the vents are blown out ridding them of collected dust and debris. Last but not least, vehicles are waxed, buffed and polished typically using products that protect and replenish the paint.

· Hands-on cleaning for your car: Investing time, energy and effort into personally cleaning your car can give you a sense of accomplishment, save you some bucks, and even get you some exercise and a bit of a tan. Experts suggest scrubbing down your ride with ½ cup vinegar with a pale-full of hot water and 3 capfulls of liquid soap. They suggest using a medium sized bristle brush to wash off mats and using a pressure washer or high-pressure garden hose to rinse them off. Repeat 3 times to ensure that you’ve gotten rid of all salt stains, then hang mats out to dry. For cleaning upholstery look into a wet/dry vac (they can be rented at most Home Depot locations and other such stores), and make sure to tidy up the interior while you’re at it too.

Experts advise however NOT shampooing the engine on your own, since you can cause serious damage. And, they also suggest avoiding common household cleaners in your car, noting that fumes can harbour in the upholstery, the same way that smoke does and that could trigger your allergies or cause irritation.

Experts also suggest filling up on windshield fluid and always keeping an extra container in your car in case you run out. Another rule of thumb is servicing your car each time the clocks change, including oil change, bread check, etc.

Take stock of your stock. Make sure you have working jumper cables, a spare tire, extra windshield wiper fluid, etc. Remember, you don’t want to get caught in a road emergency without a functional “emergency kit”.

Don’t forget to change your windshield wipers, especially after a harsh winter season, especially since the ice and snow has probably worn them down and out.

Last but not least, “glam up” your glove compartment getting rid of any old and un-necessary stock and making sure you have your ownership, registration insurance and vehicle manual on hand. You’ll also want to make sure your glove compartment contains a first aid kit with a bottle of water and some non-perishable food stuffs.

Long Island Home & Lifestyle Articles > Tis The Season: Giving Your Car A Much Need Cleaning

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