Car cleaning and homemade recipes: cutting costs throughout the year

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A quick browse of the shelves at Halfords or even Asda points to a pretty annoying issue for car owners: that cleaners for different aspects of a vehicle are not only different, but expensive in nearly every case. It doesn’t have to be that way; in fact, it’s pretty easy to keep your car looking nice without having to invest in a range of cleaning products for £3 or £4 a bottle.

Here, we break down an average car into four key areas, and you can make all of them with just a handful of shared ingredients.

Windscreen and window cleaner

As arguably the most important thing to keep clean, your windscreen (and windows) should always be first on any list when you’re looking to get rid of dirt and grime off your motor. What’s better, you only need two things:

  • White vinegar
  • A spray bottle

It’s simple – put the first inside the second (at full strength) and spray it on your windows. Let it sit on there for a few minutes before getting your preferred cleaning implement – a cloth, rag or even newspaper – and give it a wipe. Done.

Tyre cleaner

Tyres may not be the top priority for many people, but they get filthy pretty quickly, and they can coat a car in gunk if it’s a bit wet on the roads. Again, it’s only a two-ingredient mix for this:

  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Water

Mix the water with the baking soda until it creates a paste. Rub it into the tyres then let it settle, before washing it off. You’ll be amazed how well this works.

Carpet cleaner

Let’s combine the previous two main ingredients and get to work here:

  • White vinegar
  • Bicarbonate of soda

Mix the two together and make a paste. Work it into the affected areas of the carpet or upholstery (seats, etc.), using a toothbrush or washing-up brush if you want to make the job easier. Walk away for a while to let it dry, then vacuum up the residue. The stains should be long gone.

Interior cleaner

Finally, for plastic, vinyl and wood finishes, you’ve once again got to rely on white vinegar – though this time, you water it down. Mix equal parts of the two and put it in a spray bottle, before letting it settle into the areas. All you need after that is a cleaning sponge or cloth; it should have that shine back in no time.