Clean Your Car With Inexpensive Household Cleaners

Tips and tricks using popular household items to keep your vehicle looking new.

There are a lot of auto cleaning brands for sale and through trial and error, you can usually find a brand of products you become loyal too…well what about using the items you’re already buying for your house?

At Prevent A Lemon (PAL®), we’ve found some great alternatives for cleaning the outside of your car, using common household items and staying away from the overly-priced popular auto cleaning products. 

Safely remove bird droppings with Club Soda

Outside of the frustration we usually feel when finding a bird dropping, we could seriously harm our car’s paint if we don’t clean it immediately. Bird poo is highly acidic and will begin to erode your car’s paint layers if not cleaned ASAP. Grab a bottle of Club Soda, shake it, and spray it on the droppings. It should lift most of the poo off on its own, then go in for the finish with a cloth and clean water.

Hair conditioner shines more than just your hair

Wash your car with a little bit of hair conditioner containing lanolin and you’ll be amazed at the results. Conditioner is a healthy alternative to give a freshly waxed look to your car, while the lanolin will also create a coating that repels rain.

WD40 is a great bug cleaner for those hard to remove stains

If you have a can of WD40 handy, it’s a great alternative to clean away those nasty bug stains. Spray the stained spots and let them soak for roughly 30 seconds. Wipe the solution off and most of the leftovers can be removed easily with a clean cloth and water.

Microfiber cloths are a must

If you’re not already using microfiber cloths to clean your car, switch now. Better dirt/dust pickup, lower friction and scratching, and easier cleaning are the major benefits to using microfiber cloths over a normal cleaning cloth. You don’t need to get fancy ones either; you can find a 12 pack for less than $10 on Amazon. Try and find a pack with different colors so you know which ones are to be used where—inside, outside, windows, etc. Once they’re dirty, throw in your washer/dryer and reuse.

Clean your headlights using toothpaste

Using a sponge, toothpaste and a little bit of muscle, you can deep clean your headlights. Apply the toothpaste and rub in circular motions until the dirt comes off. Wipe away with a light cloth to reveal crystal clear highlights. 

Bumper stickers meet the heat

Have a bumper sticker you regret putting on? Try a hair dryer to help remove it. The hot air will help loosen the adhesive, so you can use a plastic card, ruler or something thin and firm to get under the sticker to peel. Using hot air will also come in handy for removing other stickers on your car, not just ones on your bumper.

Use two buckets

When washing the outside of our car specifically, it is important to use two buckets—one for dipping your dirty sponge in, the other for absorbing clean water and soap to apply to your car. When cleaning our car, the sponge naturally picks up a lot of dirt and debris. If you’re using one bucket only, you’ll end up putting this dirt back into the bucket, which can then end up getting reapplied to your car. Try using a second bucket to ensure the soap and water you’re applying to your paint is as clean as possible.

 

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash