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Five surprising car cleaning hacks

Vodka, WD-40 and toothpaste - car cleaning hacks

Many drivers put off cleaning their cars due to lack of time or patience, but keeping on top of this can ensure your vehicle looks good and stays fresher for longer.

A lot of off-the-shelf products are expensive to buy, so leading car supermarket, The Car People, has pulled together some top tips on how to keep your car looking its best using a number of simple everyday products.

“Many people struggle to find time to clean their cars, often leaving it until it becomes a big job or the car is in disrepair, which is why maintaining a good level of cleanliness is much easier,” said Jonathan Allbones of The Car People.

“By following these simple tips, keeping your vehicle clean should require much less time and leave you with far better results.”

1) Vodka screen wash

There’s nothing worse than setting off to work on a cold day, only to find that your screen wash has frozen, but this can be easily fixed by making your own solution. All it takes is three cups of vodka, four cups of water and two teaspoons of washing up liquid, shake well then pour into the reservoir. Don’t worry about expensive vodka either, the cheaper the better! This will easily remove all dirt collected on the windscreen, and ensure it doesn’t freeze if it gets colder.

2) The wonder of WD-40

WD-40 can be effective at removing difficult stains from both your car’s interior and exterior. The miracle spray is even effective at removing bumper stickers and chewing gum, all without damaging your paintwork. It’s also great at creating the perfect base for a good claying, polishing and waxing.

3) Cleaning your headlights with toothpaste

This unusual cleaning hack works wonders on your headlight casings, which pick up lots of dirt up and can affect your visibility at night. Simply apply some toothpaste to a cloth and scrub, then rinse and wipe to see instant results.

4) Hair conditioner sparkle

Surprisingly, hair conditioner works wonders on car exteriors too. Rinse first with water and soap, then once the car is completely clean, empty the buckets of any dirt. Then, fill the bucket with 500ml of water and mix with 125ml of hair conditioner, (supermarket value is fine), using a clean cloth to smooth over your car and then rinse off. You’ll be left with sparkling bodywork, looking as good as new.

5) Avoid the sun

If you’re planning to clean your car on a hot day, try to do it in the shade, as direct sunlight can affect the strength of the chemicals in your cleaning products. It can also result in shampoo residue drying onto the surface of the paintwork, causing streaking and drip marks.

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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