Parked@home, everything you didn't know about cleaning your car

Dirt piles up on your car when it is left standing still for a long time either in the street or in the garage. Here are some tips to clean it up saving you from nasty surprises

Home road cars tips Parked@home, everything you didn't know about cleaning your car

You can use household products to make your car shine again. The interiors and also bodywork and chrome details can be spruced up using everyday bathroom and kitchen cleaning products. After having cleaned the interiors of your car very carefully, it is time to move on to the exteriors that are probably the most satisfying part. You can achieve surprising results but the key is to choose liquids and creams prudently, avoiding the more aggressive compounds that could cause damage.

Watch out for excessively harsh liquids

Absolutely avoid detergents in powder form and drain cleaners. The former are effective on scaling but are very abrasive and the latter must not be used to remove build-ups from the cooling system. That said, you can use limescale remover on the headlight washer and window washer nozzles with extreme care. Just a few drops are enough. Apply near the tiny holes with a cotton swab. Avoid getting drops of product on the paint to avoid ruining it.

Rust-busting beverages

Hydrogen peroxide and Coca Cola are two of the most useful products and we have already suggested them for cleaning inside the passenger compartment. The disinfectant is suitable for cleaning all exterior glass surfaces and can also come in handy to make dull headlights shiny again. In addition to removing stains, on the other hand, Coca Cola can eliminate corrosion, particularly small traces of rust on chrome details.

Mediterranean diet for weatherstrips

An almost magical product is olive oil. The emollient properties are useful to soften and remove tar and resin residues on the bodywork. Pour a little onto the concerned area and leave it to work for a few minutes before wiping it off with a soft cloth. It is also useful to maintain the natural elasticity of rubber weatherstrips on doors and tailgates all year round.

Wipe scratches off with toothpaste

Then there's toothpaste, that can be used as a mild, risk-free bodywork abrasive paste by anyone. Wiped on the bodywork, it helps to remove small scratches on the paint. It can also help to bring the shine back to the reflective dishes of headlights dulled by time. 

The kitchen leans a helpful hand

The kitchen is a real source of very effective products, such as dishwasher rinse aid, for instance. It can be used to polish the dashboard and enhance the colour of rough plastic bumpers and side panels, but it must not be used on the steering wheel and gear lever to prevent making them too slippery. Stove cleaner is also valuable, especially for removing the black powder residues released by brake pads on steel rims and for reviving tailpipes.

Rims and cookers

The stove cleaner is a proper jack of all trades, effective for cleaning steel or alloy wheel rims. If it doesn't do the trick alone, you can use more powerful oven spray for the tougher dirt. It must be handled with care, possibly with rubber gloves, and it is advisable to rinse the concerned parts with plenty of water afterwards.

All-purpose tabs

For washing the bodywork, rather than conventional shampoos or bubble baths, it can be a good idea to use dishwasher tabs, which in most cases also incorporate rinse aid. One tab diluted in a bucket of water is more than enough for excellent results. But beware, it will make a remarkable amount of foam.