The spots everyone forgets when washing the car

man spraying car with long water hose

RACV

Posted July 13, 2021


Love cleaning your car, but kick yourself every time for overlooking areas that could've really used your attention? Don’t worry. We investigate the most common car areas you’re forgetting to clean. 

Maintaining the cleanliness of your car isn’t just good for your health and well-being, but a well looked after can increase the perceived value of your vehicle in the long run. Here's our cleaning tips for some of the areas that often get missed when cleaning the car. 


Cleaning tips - places you miss when cleaning your car

Wash your wiper blades

Your wiper blades are responsible for helping with your vision on rainy days, so you should keep them in tip-top condition. Lift the wipers and wash the rubber blades, as well as the glass where they sit. You can even use some of our home cleaning remedies too.

Clean wipers will ensure a more effective wipe action when it rains, and help preserve the life of the wiper blade. Finally, don’t forget to open the bonnet and remove any leaves that have fallen into the base of the windscreen.

Wipe your sun visor

This is one many of us would be guilty of forgetting. Check your sun visor/headliner for dust, spots and stains that you can go over with a microfibre towel. Regular maintenance will add to the cleanliness and long-term care of your car. 

Rinse off your door jambs

Door jambs are the seal between your door and the body of the car, which see everything from muddy feet to spilled food and drink, yet rarely get washed. Cleaning these areas help to increase the overall appearance of your vehicle, make it healthier and cleaner, and decrease the risk of rust around these door jamb areas. 

 

hand with orange cloth wiping car steering wheel

Using a soft microfibre cloth helps remove dust and dirt.


Wash your windows

Dirty windows can instantly ruin the appearance of a freshly cleaned vehicle. Windows require that extra bit of detailing to get rid of pesky fingerprints and debris to get your car looking brand new. Take care when cleaning to roll your windows down slightly to clean the outer edges before continuing with the rest of the window panel. 

Rinse above and under the vehicle

Don’t forget to look above and underneath. Often, when washing a car ourselves, we fail to clean the underside and roof of the vehicle. Dirt and debris can build up in this area, and if not properly cleaned, it could lead to erosion of our mufflers, wiring and bolts. Also, don’t neglect the chrome exhaust tips. Left unchecked, carbon from the exhaust will eat into the chrome, leaving it black and difficult to restore. Ensure you clean above and underneath your car – it’s just as important as having a shiny exterior. 

Wipe down your glove compartment

Many people may see this area as ‘set and forget,’ keeping all sorts of paperwork, tools and items inside. However, the glove compartment can create a build up of dust and contaminants, leading to germs and bacteria. Keep it hygienic and safe with a pack of wet wipes inside ready for a wipe down.

Shine your tyres

If you want your tyres to look brand new, consider using a tyre-shine product for that deep-black look. Many of these are spray-on-and-leave products. Allow tyre shine sufficient time to dry before driving to avoid splatter down the side of the car. Don’t be tempted to use tyre shine on the pedals, as it can make them slippery.

 

rear light of black car covered in soap bubbles

Don't forget to also clean on the roof and under carriage of the car.


Clean the nooks and crannies

It pays to have a vacuum nozzle narrow enough to reach all crevices. A soft-bristle paintbrush is ideal for air vents, cup holders and panel gaps. Ideally, your boot should have a rubber liner, but if not, a vacuum with a powerhead is excellent for extracting sand and pet hair. A rubber window squeegee can be helpful to remove pet hair from fabric seats and under the pedals, seats, carpets, and doors.  

Clear out your boot

This is a task that many people put off, but the boot of our cars can get quite dirty. The carpeting requires ongoing vacuuming, and it is essential to regularly check under the spare tire lid where moisture and dirt can build up. 
 


Expert tips for keeping your car looking like new:

  • Be very careful removing bird droppings to avoid paint damage. Take your time and let the soapy water soak in and remove a little at a time with a soft microfibre cloth – add soapy water, let soak, gently wipe…repeat.  
  • Whether you wash your car at a car wash or home, it’s best to wash often. Contaminants such as tar, bird droppings and sap are much harder to remove once baked into the paintwork. 
  • Don’t leave a car parked under gum trees as the sap falls and dries in hard little lumps.  
  • Don’t sit on leather seats with wet swimmers, as the leather will absorb the moisture and sag.  
  • Ideally, avoid black, and dark-blue paint colours as these require the most attention to keep looking good.  
  • Avoid ammonia-based window-cleaning products on tinted windows. 
  • Avoid washing under the bonnet as there are many sensitive electrical components in modern cars.  

If you'd prefer, you can always leave it to the professionals.  


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