16 Genius Car Cleaning Hacks That Will Make Your Car Look New

Detailing your own car in real life isn’t like what you see on YouTube. You might not have a ton of time or a fully stocked garage with all the detailing supplies you see in those videos. Sometimes you’re missing key products like baking soda, rubbing alcohol, or a magic eraser. It’s not always easy to run out and buy what you need, especially if you’re on the go and need to clean your car without hitting the car wash.

Here are some simple car cleaning tricks that will help you tidy up your car quickly using common items you likely already have in your kitchen:

1. Use a makeup brush for dusty air vents:

Air vents tend to collect dust over time. Before turning on the air conditioning or heating, grab a clean, fluffy makeup brush. Sweep it gently over the vents to remove the dust. You can use an old or new brush for this, just make sure to wash off any makeup residue if it’s previously used. The goal is to eliminate dust, not add more!

2. Remove pet hair with a squeegee:

Taking your furry friends for a ride can be enjoyable, but it often leads to a hairy situation in your car. Instead of leaving your pets behind, try this easy cleaning hack. Fill a spray bottle with plain water and lightly mist the areas with pet hair on your car seats.

Be careful not to drench the seats; a little water is enough. Then, use a squeegee to glide over the upholstery. The squeegee will effectively gather and remove the pet hair, leaving your seats clean.

3. Deep clean your upholstery with a vinegar and baking soda paste

For a thorough upholstery clean, mix vinegar and baking soda into a paste. Scrub it into your seats’ upholstery and then rinse it out. This method effectively removes hidden dirt and eliminates any lingering odors.

4. Use olive oil to maintain your dashboard

Keep your dashboard looking shiny and prevent cracking by applying a small amount of olive oil. Rub it onto your dashboard to maintain its appearance and preserve moisture in the material over time.

5. Prevent cupholder mess with silicone cupcake liners

Keep your cupholders clean by placing silicone cupcake liners in them. These liners will collect spills and debris. When it’s time to clean, simply remove the liners, shake them out, rinse, dry, and put them back in place.

6. Create a DIY air freshener with laundry scent balls

Repurpose laundry scent balls by placing ¼ cup of them into a mason jar. Use a lid with small holes to contain the balls while allowing their scent to permeate the car. This homemade air freshener will keep your vehicle smelling delightful.

7. Save your used dryer sheets

If bugs love sticking to your car, using used dryer sheets can make cleaning them off much easier. Simply rub a used dryer sheet over your car to help remove bugs more effectively. Then, you can wash your car without worrying about stubborn bug remnants.

8. Use conditioner with lanolin for a shiny finish

After giving your car a good wash, consider using a conditioner containing lanolin to give it a brilliant shine. This unexpected product, likely found in your bathroom, can work wonders on making your vehicle look its best.

9. Utilize toothbrush and toothpaste for cleaning

Grab your toothbrush and toothpaste from the bathroom for these handy hacks. Use toothpaste on a rag to clean your headlights, leaving them crystal clear. For the interior, use a toothbrush to reach into the nooks and crannies for a thorough cleaning.

10. Prevent wiper smudges

After cleaning your windshield wipers, wipe them down with rubbing alcohol. This simple step can help prevent your wipers from leaving streaks on your windshield the next time you use them.

If you found these car cleaning tips helpful, check out other ideas like how to clean your windshield on snowy days and more fun car cleaning tips!

Do you ever wake up to find your car’s windshield covered in ice? Try my 2 Ingredient Homemade Car De-Icer Spray. It cleans your windshield in seconds without needing to warm up your car.

11. Use a Lint Roller for Pet Hair

A lint roller is a quick and effective way to remove pet hair and other debris from your car’s upholstery. Just roll it over the affected areas to pick up the hair and dirt.


Use a Toothbrush for Hard-to-Reach Areas

Grab a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean those tricky crevices and air vents in your car. It’s a straightforward method for getting rid of dirt and grime buildup in those tight spots.

14. Portable Vacuum Cleaner

Invest in a portable vacuum cleaner for thorough cleaning of your car’s carpets, seats, and floor mats. Pay attention to areas where crumbs and dirt tend to gather for a spotless interior.

15. Clean Headlights with Toothpaste

Restore the brightness of your car’s headlights by using toothpaste. Apply a bit to a cloth and rub it onto the headlights, then rinse and dry for clearer lights.

16. Black Tea for Odor Absorption

Keep a small container of black tea in your car to absorb any unpleasant odors. The tea leaves will naturally soak up the smells, leaving your car smelling fresh.

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