Between running errands and shuffling kids to and from school and practice, moms have very little time to clean out the papers, water bottles, crumbs, fast food wrappers and other items that accumulate in the family car. Surprising mom with the simple gift of a clean car will not only make her smile, but will also lessen her driving distractions, says the Car Care Council.
“Just about every mom knows what it feels like to have a water bottle rolling dangerously close to the brake or gas pedal. Giving her car a thorough cleaning will go a long way toward eliminating hazards that can be a distraction, making for safer driving conditions,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.
To get started, remove any clutter from inside the car, including items that have accumulated in the trunk that can add extra weight and reduce fuel efficiency. The next step is to thoroughly clean and vacuum the interior and wash the windows.
When washing the outside, include the tires, wheels, underside and fenders to eliminate any road salt or grime. Wheels and tires should be cleaned with a mitt other than the one used to wash the body. This will avoid contaminating the vehicle’s paint with debris from the wheels and tires.
The vehicle should be washed in the shade and with a product sold specifically for cars. The council recommends washing one section at a time, thoroughly rinsing away the soap as you go. Work your way down toward the front, sides and rear of the vehicle. Clean the fenders and bumpers last since they will have the most dirt and grime that can contaminate the wash mitt.
The car should get a final rinse by removing the spray nozzle from the hose and letting the water cascade down the surfaces of the vehicle. To avoid water spots, dry the vehicle with a chamois or other product made for drying.
The last step is to wax the car according to the manufacturer’s instructions for application. Waxing should be done out of direct sunlight and every six months. It goes a long way toward protecting the vehicle’s finish and makes subsequent washes easier.
If you identified any stone chips, rust or other problem spots while washing your vehicle, the council suggests having these taken care of immediately to prevent further damage.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For more information, visit www.carcare.org.