What vacation is to summer or leaves are to autumn, there are seasonal terms that don’t seem complete without the other. For spring, “cleaning” is what typically comes to mind – and for good reason.
Spring cleaning is more than just a cliché or passing fad. In fact, according to a recent survey by the American Cleaning Institute, nearly three-quarters of American households will participate in some level of the annual tidying ritual between April and mid-June. It’s a good thing, too, because over the course of a long winter, clutter can really add up, not to mention the sand, salt, and dirt on floors after walking outside in the elements day after day.
Of course, a thorough vacuuming can take care of this pretty quickly, but the same can’t be said for your car. Due to the cold temperatures, it can be difficult to do an exhaustive cleaning of your vehicle’s interior. Plus, once you do clean it, it doesn’t take too long for dirt and debris to collect again.
In light of spring cleaning and with April being National Car Care Month, it’s a good idea to give your vehicle the rigorous cleaning it’s due to receive after a messy winter. The Wall Street Journal recently compiled a list of reliable tools that can get the job done right.
Black & Decker 20V Max Lithium Flex
Though there are portable vacuums that can pick up small spills, they often lack the versatility needed for big jobs, like what’s left after a precipitation-filled winter. The Black & Decker 20 V Max Lithium Flex offers the best of both worlds, the WSJ noted, because it’s small enough to stay in the car, but has a number of different functions to tackle hard-to-reach places and interior fabric that can be hard to lift dust and hairs from.
Invisible Glass Reach & Clean Tool
Instead of using a glass cleaner with paper towel – a tactic commonly used, but with less-than-perfect results – there’s a tool that comes with microcleaning cloths than can be reused again and again. Made by Invisible Glass, the WSJ noted that the tool has a curvature to it that matches the windshield, making it highly user-friendly.
Air Cleaning Systems
There’s nothing quite like that new-car smell. The aroma eventually fades, though, often replaced by dull air that can leave unpleasant odors. WSJ says that the Phillips GoPure Compact 200 Air Purifier works well, capable of capturing dust and bacteria that helps make the air much more breathable. Another reliable tool that can get into the air vents is made by Hurricane, called the O2 Canless Air System. The battery-powered device is capable of expelling air at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour.
Meguiar’s DA Power System
Of course, there’s also the exterior to clean, which arguably may need more elbow grease because of the salt and sand that gets trapped in crevices, increasing the chances of premature rusting. After soap, rinsing and drying, WSJ says that a buffing and polishing tool, made by Meguiar’s, helps to reinforce and protect the car’s paint job. It conveniently attaches to a standard cordless drill.
According to the National Car Care Council, more than 80 percent of vehicles need services or parts at any given time. You can increase your vehicle’s performance and protection by making vehicle maintenance part of your spring cleaning routine. Learn helpful vehicle and preventative maintenance tips in our collection of guides and articles.