I got really into Eco-Friendly cleaning around our home. Once a month we use an Eco-Friendly cleaning service to get the nooks and crannies we miss when we clean. We find it’s better to have another set of “clean eyes” twelve times a year, especially around the holidays.
My wife and I have 3 kids ranging in age from 3rd through 10th grade. And it was one day while picking the kids up from school I made a remark that I pretty much live in this car. My youngest asked “Do you really live in the car, Dad?” After explaining to him that what I said is just a term adults use when they are constantly driving for work and other responsibilities. And reassured him everything is fine between his mother and me (haha).
When we got home I pointed out the mess that the car is in. The grooves on the mats on the floor alone were filled with spilt soda, dropped candy, and the french frie that was dropped months ago, but still looks exactly the same as when we ordered it (eww, I know).
Anyway, this is where it sunk in. We take the time to clean our home weekly. We even hire the cleaning service. Why am I not giving that same respect to my car? I’m the one who said I live in there. This means this is pretty much my responsibility. Can I clean my car in an Eco-Friendly way? Yes. Yes, I can, and you can too. I researched a few ways of doing this and there is some cool solutions out there.
I’ll start with the EXTERIOR:
The solution is RAINWATER.
1st: If you normally park your car in a garage, all you need to do is park it outside on the days or nights it rains. Obviously, avoid storms. You want a clean car, not a damaged one.
2nd: I take 3 buckets, the same ones used to wash the kitchen floor, and put the on the side of our house. I let them collect rainwater. You’d be surprised how fast those buckets fill up. I use the bucket water with a sponge to wipe down my tires. I pour the leftovers on the car and let it drip dry. If you notice no soap has been used.
3rd: There can be some larger stains just a little water can’t fix. I had the bird dropping problem. I have a lot of trees on my property, and that equals a lot of birds. And with all that space to drop their business, they always choose my car. Funny, my wife’s car not as much. For these stains cut a LEMON in half. Squeeze some of the juice on the stain, and wipe off with a rag. If the stain has hardened, rub the lemon onto to stain and lightly scrub it before wiping. Use thee leftover rainwater to wipe it clean.
Now, the INTERIOR:
This one was a given, but it didn’t seem right if I didn’t include it.
For leather or vinyl seats, you can use toothpaste to get out any mild stains. Make sure you do a small test area first just to make sure the toothpaste won’t affect the dyes used in the material.
If the stain on your leather or vinyl seats won’t come out with toothpaste, then lightly dab it with alcohol. Again, do a test area first to make sure it won’t affect the color. Use a Q-tip and gently apply the alcohol to the stain. Keep in mind that the more alcohol you use, the more likely it is that the dyes in your seat will rub off. So do a test area first and then try to use the least amount of alcohol possible to get the job done.
Distilled White Vinegar
If any of the stains aren’t too bad on your lather. Distilled White Vinegar will do the job. It will also leave a great shine. You can use this on the dashboard and other interior as well. If the vinegar smell bothers you, then mix equal parts vinegar and warm water. Add about 10-20 drops of essential oils (pick your favorite scent) and the vinegar odor will disappear.
Green Clean Your Windows
This is a great solution. It also works on your home windows as well.
- 1 Cup of Water
- ½ Cup Distilled White Vinegar
- ¼ Cup Alcohol
Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and gently shake. Try using microfiber towels when cleaning the windows to leave the best shine, and they can be washed and used more than once.
Baking soda is an amazing deodorizer so if you find your car smelling a bit musty, then sprinkle the baking soda on your cloth seats, and/or on the cloth floorboards. Leave it on there for a few hours, or overnight, and then vacuum it up. Add some of your favorite essential oils to give it a great scent.
Solution For Fabric Interior
Mix equal parts Distilled White Vinegar and Water and spray the stain. Let it soak for a few minutes, and then blot with a wet cloth.
If you have grease stains on your car’s floor mats, sprinkle the stains with Cornstarch. Let it sit for 15-30 minutes, and then vacuum it up.
That’s the solution to clean your car in a eco-friendly manor. It just depends on what you need cleaned. Hopefully this help anyone who had the same questions I did. Take Care.