Car Care On The Cheap

Detailing your vehicle can get expensive, even when you buy the products and do it at home. There are so many products on the market, and they are all promising you different results. The truth of the matter is that most of them give you the same results as the competitors. The only variation, is the price. Why not make your own, and not only save money, but get the same results.

Here are some of my favorite Car cleaning recipes….

Window cleaner:
In a spray bottle, mix together 1 cup of water, with 1 cup of vinegar. With the top on, shake. Now, spray your windows, wipe clean with paper towels or newspaper crumpled up.

To make window wipes:
Using the same window cleaner recipe above, go pick up a cheap package of paper napkins. Stick the napkins in a large gallon sized Ziploc, and pour the vinegar solution over the top. Seal, and allow to sit overnight, for complete absorption.

Cheap substitute for Armor All:
Baby Oil! Yes, I’m serious. I’ve been using this for years, and it works like a charm. It also makes your car smell fresh. Here’s the trick: NEVER apply it directly to the vinyl. Dampen a soft lint free cloth with the oil, and rub it into the vinyl in a circular motion. DO NOT apply to steering wheels. After you have applied to the complete surface, use a clean dry cloth to polish it up, and absorb any extra oils.

Homemade Tire Shine
Plain old Vegetable oil! Pour some vegetable or canola oil into a bowl (about a cup). Drop an old rag in the oil, and then the rag soak it up. Now, go wipe down your tires. This shine will last up to 2 weeks, depending on how much driving you do.

And last but not least, Air Fresheners:
I have a couple of options for you. I know those little trees are fairly cheap, BUT…how long do they actually last? A week? Maybe two?

Here are three options for LONG lasting air fresheners.

A bar of soap. Take a bar of soap and remove the wrapper. Take a thin piece of fabric and wrap the bar. Place it in your console, under your seat, or in the door of your vehicle. This will absorb all of the odors in your car, and put off a fresh scent. It will also last for up to 3 months. Once the scent has gone, you can actually shave down the first layer or two from the bar, and it’s a s good as new. Just rewrap, and toss it in the car.

A piece of felt. Take a piece of felt, and add several drops of essential oils to it. Put it somewhere discreet. This will keep your car fresh for several weeks, and can also be refreshed by simply adding a few more drops of the oils to the felt.

Dryer sheets. This is a car detailing trick. Take a few dryer sheets and stick them under the seats in the vehicle. The dryer sheets will absorb the odor and put off a fresh scent.

There are a lot of items you can actually make at home. With a little preparation, you can be saving your pocketbook, big bucks!