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Car Wash FAQs

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By Ryan Ellis on April 8, 2021 in Life Hacks

Car cleaning can be tiresome work. Still, you spend thousands of dollars on your sweet ride, so you want it to give it the full treatment. We’re here to encourage you to throw in that extra wax or finally clean up that battery corrosion you’ve been wondering about, because the famous “look good, feel good” motto isn’t just for people!

How often should you wax your car?

Waxing your car might not be high on your car care priority list. However, it’s one element that can help prevent rust and chipped paint from ruining on your ride, and it gives you that shiny new car look. Who doesn’t want that combo?

Car wax is “a natural or synthetic product that is designed to provide a thin layer of protection on the body of a vehicle” according to Avalon King. The different types, natural and synthetic, serve different purposes and have varying durations. Natural wax is more often used for the new car shine and synthetic wax is used because of its durability and convenient application.

In terms of waxing frequency, Gold Eagle says, “Experts commonly recommend that you should apply a car wax to your vehicle once every three months at least.” While some people prefer to wax every month or every couple of days, that’s not always necessary.

How to clean leather car seats?

Maybe one of your kiddos spilled the chocolate shake they insisted on enjoying in the car? Or perhaps your dog had a wave of motion sickness come over him on the way to the park? Either way – let’s get those seats cleaned up!

DIY Network, you’re saving lives out here with your how-to’s. There are a couple of suggested materials – toothpaste, lemon juice and cream of tartar, nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol, or baking soda. Start by vacuuming your seats to be sure all the crumbs and dirt are clear! Then, based on what you have around the house, grab your materials and start scrubbing or dabbing to clean the spots. Finally, it’s important to apply a leather conditioner to prevent cracking, drying or peeling to both your seats and any other leather in your vehicle, including your steering wheel.

True Car took control of searching for the best leather conditioners, check out their research and findings!

How to get rid of smoke smell in your car?

Whether the previous owners of your car were smokers, or you recently quit and are ready to be done with the lingering smell – we can lead you through some steps to get your ride smelling fresh and clean.

Turtle Wax not only has the products to help but also presents a step-by-step guide!

1. Vacuum and wipe down all surfaces and carpet to ensure there’s no hidden ash or particles.

2. Check your ashtray. If it has anything in it, wash it thoroughly and air it out for about a day before returning it to the car.

3. Use a little Turtle Wax Power Out (or another multi-surface cleaner) on allllll the surfaces, wiping down with a cloth in between.

4. Finally, invest in an air freshener designed for smokers and their vehicles to bring a fresh scent. Again, Turtle Wax has a good option but there are many other options made just for smokers!

It’s important to remember this process might take a while, but if you use suitable products and are very thorough, you can hit the road with a fresh smell!

How to clean car battery corrosion?

While battery corrosion might not seem like an urgent problem, it can cause slow starts or even cause your battery to not start at all.

If you have a quick 25 minutes and are more interested in watching a video instead of reading, check out 1A Auto’s helpful YouTube video that answers questions about battery corrosion and walks you through how to clean it.

However, if you prefer to read the steps – we totally understand. Here is the scoop from Firestone. Shoutout for the helpful guide!

1. Make your very own battery cleaner -- all you need is baking soda, one cup of water, and something to stir the ingredients together.

2. After you turn your engine off, detach your cables from the battery. (This step is very important--don’t skip it!)

3. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the terminals clean with your homemade cleaner. Be sure to rinse in between scrubs to make sure the toothbrush is working effectively.

4. Wipe any remaining residue off with a wet rag and dry completely with a dry one.

5. Finally, grab some petroleum jelly and put a little on each terminal before reconnecting your cables.

Then, you should be all clean and ready to hit the road!

How to remove water spots from your car?

Believe it or not, those pesky water spots you see after an at-home car wash or a big rainstorm aren’t actually too difficult to get rid of.

What’s the one thing you’ll need? Guide to Detailing says all you need is “a gallon jug of distilled white vinegar.” Once you’ve got your material, start with a quick rinse, wash with your preferred car soap, rinse again, use a clean cloth to rub in the distilled white vinegar, wash with soap, and rinse one final time. Guide to Detailing suggests that you “do only one section at a time. Let it sit 30 to 60 seconds. Then rinse.”

Fair warning - this will remove your wax, so you’ll likely want to apply a fresh coat right after!

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Ryan Ellis is Say's Front End Product Owner. He graduated from William Woods University with his bachelor’s in Graphic Design and Master of Business Administration, with an emphasis in Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations. Prior to joining Say, Ryan worked directly with customers as an Automation Specialist at a commercial insurance carrier in Columbia, MO. He has a passion for servant leadership and creating easy to use applications for our customers.