As more COVID restrictions hinder our ability to step out of the house to visit friends/family, go shopping, or grabbing a nice dinner, we’re once again subjected to staying at home trying to figure out how to stay busy! Fear not, my friend, DriveU is here to.. Uh…erm… keep you busy (?) and your car shining like new!

Do you ever wonder how the car detailers keep your car sparkling inside and out? Well here are some trade secrets that they don’t want you to know! 😉

Below are 5 SUPER EASY car detailing life-hacks that will have you eagerly waiting until the next time you can take your beloved ride out on the tarmac (or pothole-ridden roads)!

1. Make Carpet Stains Disappear with Hydrogen Peroxide

Yup, that’s right. The same stuff your doctor uses to clean your cuts and scratches works brilliantly to remove deep carpet stains! All you need to do is mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 3 parts water (ex 250ml hydrogen peroxide: 750ml water), generously cover the stained area, let it sit for a few minutes, and scrub away! The guy in the video pours undiluted hydrogen peroxide onto the stain, but don’t do that, we highly recommend you dilute it with water first.

Note: For dark carpets, test a small amount on a corner of the carpet to ensure it doesn’t lead to discolouration. This rarely happens, but our Legal team says we need to put this disclaimer.

Fun Fact: Hydrogen peroxide doesn’t actually remove the stain, but actually just makes them invisible! It breaks up strong chemical bonds in stains including ink, and in doing so it makes the stains colourless — but they’re still there!

2. Shine that dashboard like never before!

Vaseline… the stuff of greasy nightmare of parents with meddling children… Well, it actually turns out vaseline is a terrific dashboard (and other rubbery/plastic stuff) revitalizer and protector– some people even compare it to professional-grade polish! To make your interiors shine like never before, clean the surface like usual, then apply a small amount to a clean cloth (or microfiber if you’re fancy), and finally thoroughly work in this magic remedy to make the surface sparkle for weeks!

Note: There are mixed reviews for this method all over the internet, but from what we can tell, this works brilliantly.

3. Super Easy Crystal Clear Headlights

Yellow, cloudy headlights are a telltale sign of an ageing car, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Don’t let anyone tell you that they need to be replaced, because, in reality, you can make them as bright as the day you drove off the lot within just a few minutes! First, go to your bathroom, grab your toothpaste and an old clean cloth. Then, liberally apply the toothpaste to one headlight at a time. Let it sit for a few minutes before using circular motions to scrub the lamp. Wipe off the excess and be amazed!

Fun Fact: Just as toothpaste polishes your teeth, it polishes your headlights with a mild abrasive that removes stains and essentially resurfaces the plastic they’re made of!

4. Like-new Car Seats without Special Equipment

Okay, so your kid (or dog in my case), has somehow managed to stain your perfectly clean fabric car seats. Initially, I thought this was going to cost a bomb to get cleaned because I don’t have the proper equipment or cleaning product. After doing some digging online, I found a solution that’s not only easy to make with what I already had at home, but requires little to no equipment. Because the process would require me to write more content than my Marketing Manager will allow, I’m going to give you the link below to the detailed process.

Fun Fact: Vinegar is great for cleaning because its acidic nature is so powerful it can dissolve mineral deposits, dirt, grease, and grime. It’s also strong enough to kill bacteria!

5. The Cursed Shedding Season is Upon Us!

This one is for the pet parents! Ever feel like no matter how hard you try, you can never ever get rid of pet hair from your car seats and carpet? Me too, until I realized the easiest trick to rid my car of hairy seats and carpets! All you need for this one is a squeegee (swiper) and a spray bottle of water. Lightly spray whatever fabric you’re cleaning with the water, and start using the squeegee (pulling towards you) to scrape up the hair. The hair will clump up together and become easy to remove!

Fun Fact: Dogs have 15x the amount of hair per square inch than humans. Each square inch on a dog has around 15,000 hairs, whereas, humans only have around 1,000 (unless you’re me… I’m pretty sure I can count mine).


Bonus Hack: The Finishing Touch!

Now that we’ve cleaned the surfaces, carpets, headlamps and seats, it’s time to really make you say “Wow!” the next time you take the car out for a spin. Getting in those tiny cracks on the centre counsel, narrow air vents, and cup holders can be quite tricky, so here are a few simple tools to help give those final touches!

Tiny Cracks: Use a Q-tip. Dampen one side, slide it through the cracks to loosen the grime, and use the other side to dry and remove the rest.

Narrow Air Vents: Grab a small paintbrush if you have one, or simply use a sponge from the kitchen. In the case of a kitchen sponge, cut it long-ways to make it narrow enough to fit. If the vents aren’t too dirty, then you can do this dry, but if it’s been a while since they were last cleaned, dampen the sponge a bit.

Cup Holder: Or should I say the holder of dust and crumbs! When I saw this method, I couldn’t believe I never thought of it! Take a bottle, cup, or anything cylindrical that’ll fit snug into the cup holder in question. Place the cylindrical thing you found at the centre of a clean cloth, and pull the sides of the cloth around the bottle. Now, just insert the homemade cup-holder-cleaning device into the slot and rotate while slowly pulling up!

Voila! Your car is now as clean as the day you brought it home! Now you can feel accomplished while you sit back with that bowl of snacks and binge-watch your favourite series. I hope you enjoyed these car care life-hacks, let us know in the comments below!

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5 Cleaning Hacks Giving Car Detailers Run for Money was originally published in DriveU Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.