Summer may be around the corner, but all the recent May gray has been reminding us that Spring is still in full bloom. Sure, you got a few free carwashes on those rainy days, but we think it’s time for the real deal. Here are some tips to help you deep clean your car the eco-friendly way.
Use Non-Toxic Cleaners
Many cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that are bad for both you and the environment. It’s easy to replace a lot of these products with less expensive and less damaging items you have around the house. For example, mix one part white vinegar with three parts water in a spray bottle for an eco-friendly window cleaning alternative. You can also add lemon juice or essential oils to mask the smell of the vinegar and use it as an all-purpose cleaner. Next, wipe down your windshield wipers with rubbing alcohol to help prevent streaky windshields and extend the life of your blades. Then, use toothpaste and water to brighten up foggy headlights. Last, check out these instructions for making a quick and easy baking soda air freshener. All of these cleaning supplies are eco-friendly and probably hiding in a cabinet somewhere in your house.
Repurpose Old Items
Instead of throwing away that Las Vegas souvenir tee your mom gave you three years ago, cut it up and use it as a cleaning rag. The same goes for washcloths, old sheets or any other textiles. When cleaning light-colored surfaces, look for fabrics that are white or dye-free to avoid potential staining. If you still use disposable plastic toothbrushes, you can repurpose those as well. The bristles are great for cleaning your car’s leather and vinyl, as well as reaching into narrow areas. Reuse old makeup or art brushes to clear out dirt, dust, and crumbs. Just make sure you vacuum as you brush so the dust doesn’t just migrate into other parts of your car.
The simplest way to make your carwash eco-friendly is to avoid overusing water. Replace your hose with a spray bottle or limit yourself to two small buckets of water. If you used any chemical cleaning supplies, make sure that when you dump that dirty water, you pour it down the sink or toilet instead of into the street. Unlike water that enters the gutter, the water in your home’s drains is cleaned at a treatment plant and reused. This helps prevent chemicals or other harmful products from entering the soil. Another important often overlooked part of cleaning your car is replacing the air filter. In most cars, changing your filter is as easy as watching a three-minute YouTube video. If you’d rather let someone else do it, ask your mechanic if it’s time to switch it out at your next oil change.
For more eco-friendly content, check out our post about Parking Facts and Solutions for the Eco-Conscious Driver.