Forget Shopping for Expensive Car Detailing Products!
106 St Tire & Wheel always prides itself in being able to save our customers money. That's one reason why we stress maintaining your vehicle with our bevy of free inspections.
We're taking this a step further and giving you the scoop on expive car care products that can be replaced with what you have at home or can easily be obtained in any dollar store anywhere.
1. Dawn Dish Soap
Ever see what happens to the bird life when there's an oil spill in our precious waterways? Animal rescuers clean the delicate feathers and fur of oil soaked critters with Dawn dish soap. Dawn is so proud of it, the company sponsors ads displaying greasy, oily bird and animal life saturated with nasty oil based gunk. Commercials show a variety of bird life and sea others being cleansed while not being hurt by Dawn...we do our dishes in it so we know its safe for skin, feathers, fur and now for the news....YOUR CAR.
When you mix Dawn in a bucket of water it becomes an inexpensive car soap that cuts grease.
Need to increase the strength for those tough, grimy places? Add WHITE vinegar into your bucket with the Dawn for those really tough stains on your floor and seats.
CAUTION: do NOT the above use on leather seats. Leather requires moisture and this mix may prove too abrasive.
One of the great cleaning agents is simple household white vinegar and it has so many uses. First, vinegar can kill Athletes foot. How? It changes the pH of tiny micro-organisms like fungus and yeast. All living things require a pH that is suitable to maintain their life. Change the pH on simple cell organisms and bye-bye.
Also, this approach uses non-toxic cleaning agents that are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and deodorizing. You can replace toxic cleaning chemicals inside your home, too, as some times their residue can be harmful to small children, pets and even we adults!
For cleaning your car, use, in general, 3 parts water to one part white vinegar (please white vinegar only, red wine vinegar will stain from the bio-chemicals in red grape) as a cleaning solution in a cheap Home Depot spray bottle. You can use the same solution to help keep a frost free windshield outdoors. Who knew?
3. Essential oils
Have you ever used lavender oil to help you sleep? You rub a little on the sides of your pillow and it can really help you relax and sleep better. Thing is, don't put it where your face will lay as there could be some irritation to your skin. If you have used it, have essential oils at home, you know that these are delightful additions to a home called aromatherapy. And aromatherapy works to really chill us out.
While you don't want to fall asleep behind the wheel, you can certainly benefit from using your favorite essential oil, (you can get them in a health food store...experiment with them) and then you use your favorite scent to help you avoid the crazed pace of driving in the Big Apple by helping you chill out. Rub a little under your seats where the stain from the oil will not be seen but the fragrance will linger. Never buy one of those silly tree shaped air fresheners again and one bottle of essential oil will last years!
4. Rubbing Alcohol
Alcohol is a great stain remover, get a bottle in the dollar store and don't use a an expensive commercial product for cars and pay way less for doing the same thing!
Very important? Use a die free rag like an old white t-shirt because colored fabrics could leave behind the color on your seats!
IMPORTANT: Just dab the stain with alcohol. Do not rub, just dab.Want cheap windshield wiper fluid? Make your own by using a solution of ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol to 1 liter of water to prevent frost from accumulating on your windshield in winter. Already got a frosted over windshield? Want to see magic without your ice scraper? Spray undiluted rubbing alcohol directly on the outside of your car's windshield. Watch the ice melt away!
Woolite makes a great leather cleaner and conditioner! Use a mixture of 1 part Woolite to 10 parts water to clean and condition your leather seats. Go for the real Woolite with all the money you've saved above, here's where to trust the real deal.
Yet another great household product you can always thicken a gravy or make home-made Chinese food with the leftovers.
Car windows? Use a solution of ½ cup cornstarch to 4 cups of water, spray on to your glass, wipe with a clean with a die-free rag (such as an old white t-shirt) and your car windows will sparkle like Mr. Clean is your detail man.
Cornstarch can also be used as a natural deodorizer on your upholstery, too. Sprinkle it on your floors and upholstery and let sit for 30 min before you vacuum.
You can still use a little essential oil to add a therapeutic touch to help over come road rage by taking the edges off your rough day on the world's largest parking lot.............the Long Island Expressway.
Grease or oil on your upholstery, floorboards or mats? Cover it with cornstarch and let it set for 12 hours. Cornstarch will absorb the grease then you can vacuum and clean.
This is a wild one! Time and the elements make your car headlights foggy looking, right? You can use toothpaste to brighten them up...get that at the dollar store too. Just apply toothpaste to the clear plastic casing. Scrub with a tooth brush (please do not use your toothbrush unless you are ready to dispose of it and, to be healthier, toss your tooth brush every 3 months and keep the old ones to re-purpose for your car and other interesting things like cleaning jewelry; toothpaste works well there too but don't scrub jewelry or the stones can be loosened!). Wipe a corner of your headlight to see if its clean or leave on a few more minutes then wipe away the excess.
10. Non-stick Cooking Spray
Want to keep dirt and brake-dust off of your tires and wheels when cleaning your car? EASY! Just clean the area first and then spray on the non-stick cooking oil. This will make cleaning your tires easier in the future. You can also use it to remove bugs stuck to the front of your car, just spray and wipe.
11. Baking Soda
This handy item can keep your refrigerator smelling sweet and it deodorizes your car without running the risk that someone can be allergic to a commercial product. Sprinkle it on your floor mats and vacuum away and viola` your car will smell as clean as your refrigerator!
Seat belt cleaner?Use a non-abrasive, low cost paste of baking soda and water to clean dirty seat belts. Apply the paste to the nylon, gently scrub (yes, you can use a recycled toothpaste or some other kind of brush), rinse, and air dry. It is important to use non-abrasive cleaners on seatbelt material so that you do not weaken the strength of the fabric. (Please note: when using repurposed toothbrushes just leave them soak in 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water for a couple of hours, and you can use them again or even recycle your old toothbrush for household cleaning purposes)
12. Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets
Commercial cleaning products for our cars can be pricy. What's more, they can cause damage. Dryer sheets can be used to wipe dust off of your car's dashboard. Tucking a sheet in the glove box or between the seats can keep your car smelling fresh and clean.
Moral to our story? Now go and take the money you saved and come get a wheel alignment, most cars, $45 at 106 St Tire & Wheel. As you know, car cleaning products are pricy especially when you want to do that spring time detailing for a nice clean ride and a summer of fun. However, if you usually buy your cleaning products at an automotive supply store, 106 St Tire just saved you about the cost of a wheel alignment which will save you even more cash when you maintain your vehicle properly.
Before you go get the supplies for the upcoming gorgeous weekend to detail your car, look around your house and find what you need as many of the products we just wrote about are there and most of the others can be purchased at your local dollar store.