He rubs toothpaste on his car’s headlights. Afterwards? Magic!

We all know that once-a-year deep spring cleaning: wipe the windows, clean the upholstery and curtains, vacuum under the bookcases. But the place some of us tend to forget is the car. It can be tricky with all of those nooks and crannies that nothing seems to reach. Here are some clever tricks to get it all done:

Windshield Wipers


Nothing is more annoying than wiper blades that make your window dirtier. Dust and dirt on the blades can be cleaned off with rubbing alcohol. Just soak a towel and wipe them off with it.



To get your windshield squeaky clean, you can gently clean it with steel wool. If that's too extreme for you, the prickly side of a sponge will also do the job. Once the most caked on dirt is gone, you can use glass cleaner and finish off with a layer of rain-x.



Don't neglect your rims. Get rid of the worst dirt with a spray of the hose and then go in with warm, soapy water for the finer cleaning. If there's a really stubborn path, try using oven cleaner, but don't let it sit for more than 5 minutes or you may damage the metal!



Overtime your headlight glass can turn dull. To brighten them up again, you can polish them with toothpaste.



Stubborn oily smudges on your paint can be taken off with the wonder-cleaner Goo Gone.


Flickr/Mark Ordonez

A grill is usually a treasure chest of dead bugs. Dryer sheets work wonders for clearing the insect graveyard and leaving nothing but a fresh scent behind.

Floor mats


Treat dirty floor mats with a round of stain remover and then toss them into the washing machine. You should probably do this more than just once a year considering they are constantly trampled on with wet, dirty shoes.



Anyone with a dog knows the blanket of hair that can take over car seats. Drag a moistened squeegee across the seats and then vacuum up any residual hair balls. The same trick works on carpet and upholstered furniture.

Google Plus/MaidPro Newark

Your seat seams can be brushed with an old toothbrush. Lord knows what's collected in there over time.

A/C Vents

Google Plus/Central Auto

You can dust out your vents with a sponge brush. They're also useful to clean other small, hard-to-reach places.


For the deep dust you can always try a compressed gas duster. Who knows the size of the dust bunnies you'll meet, but at least you'll know your clean was worthwhile.

Cup holders

Google Plus/Kyle Chapman Motors-Austin

I don't know about you, but my drink holders tend to turn into the Bermuda triangle: Once I set something down, I'll never see it again. If you put a silicon muffin cup in the bottom, it's easier to clean and less seems to disappear into the abyss.

Dash and Arm Rests


If you have a lot of dirt in small cracks and between buttons, you can wrap the head of a screwdriver in a towel and use that to fight the grime. Q-tips also do a fine job of this if the dust is loose enough.


Now that your entire car is spick and span, it'd be a pity to forget the ceiling. Use a microfiber pad to get rid of any lingering dust. Make sure it's microfiber though, other materials don't work as well.



Once all the surfaces are dust-free, it's time to polish. A little bit of olive oil works great and won't leave a strong chemical smell.

Whoa, that's a lot of work, but the deeper the clean, the longer you are allowed to put your feet up. After this clean even a 30-year-old Dodge will look brand new.


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