A car doesn’t need to be brand new to look sleek and modern. You might have got a great deal on a second-hand car, or maybe you’re just not ready to part ways with your beloved vehicle and trade it in for a new model. Whatever your reasoning, driving an old car doesn’t have to feel outdated — there are many ways that you can make an old car look brand new. Here’s just some of them…
Replace some old parts
Your car may not be brand new, but that’s no reason not to give it some shiny new touches. Some parts could use replacing, and it will help the overall appearance of your vehicle. These don’t need to be expensive replacements!
- Seat covers — seat covers are a great way to spruce up your car interior without splashing out on expensive re-upholstering. Plus, you can add a little character with many different designs and patterns to choose from.
- Use a private number plate — there are a great variety of private number plates for sale. This is a great way to make an older model of car look newer!
- New speakers — if you’re a music lover, upgrading the car speakers will improve your experience without breaking the bank.
- New wheels — if your wheels are looking worse for wear even after cleaning, it might be time to replace them.
- A fresh coat of paint — if your budget allows, a new paint job can work wonders for an old car.
Get it clean and sparkling
The most recent Instagram craze has become huge. It’s known as hinching. Hinching is mainly focused on getting the house spick-and-span, but you can get your hinch on with your car! Giving your car a thorough detailed clean inside and out can make the world of difference.
Interior cleaning guide
Removing all the rubbish from inside your car is the essential first step. Drinks bottles, McDonalds wrappers, papers, whatever you’ve shoved in the glove box and forgotten about, the air freshener that lost its scent several years ago. Check the chair pockets, and the door storage, and the boot.
Boot, carpets, and floor mats
Next, get hoovering! If the floor mats look worse for wear, throw them out and get them replaced — a rubber floor mat is a good way to ensure no mould develops from wet shoes going in and out of your car.
If your carpets aren’t yet sparkling, brush them carpets with a nylon brush before you start vacuuming. This will bring up any deep-set dirt buried in your car’s carpets.
Windows and mirrors
Time to get the squeegee into use on the windows. Spray some window or glass cleaner onto your car windows and mirrors and wipe away with a squeegee or cloth. Wind your windows down a little to get the grime away from the top of the window and achieve a streak-free finish.
Vacuum over the door panels and any nooks and crannies in your door. Then, using a leather cleaner where needed and a vinyl cleaner for the rest, wipe down the whole interior door panel. Be sure to check on a small area that the cleaner you are using is safe to use on your door’s interior material.
Boot, carpets, and floor mats
Thoroughly hoover the carpets and floor mat in the boot. If the floor mats look worse for wear, throw them out and get them replaced — a rubber floor mat is a good way to ensure no mould develops from wet shoes going in and out of your car.
Headlining and sun visors
Headliners and sun visors can easily be overlooked in the cleaning process. If you’ve never cleaned your car’s headliner and sun visors, you might be surprised just how much difference it can make. The fabric covering the interior ceiling can become discoloured and cling on to odours, so it is worth taking the time to give it a good clean.
Upholstery cleaner is great for addressing these areas. Foam-type upholstery cleaners are recommended. Follow the instruction on the product, then use a soft-bristled brush to gently brush the headliner. Then, let it dry for a few hours.
If you still feel like there’s a lot of room for improvement, deep clean your headliners and sun visors with a steam cleaner. For seriously unclean headliners and sun visors, you can deep clean it with a steam cleaner, but this can damage the glue holding the layers of your headliner together.
Seat belts and seats
You can repurpose the same upholstery cleaner for the seatbelts. To clean your seatbelts, pull them out as far as they will go, then attach a clip at the top to stop them pulling back. Using the upholstery cleaner, clean down the belt with a cloth. Leave the belt clipped to dry for a few hours before letting them roll back in.
For car seats, if you have cloth car seats, vacuum them then grab either a window squeegee or put on a damp rubber glove. Run the squeegee or damp glove over the seats to pull up deep-set fluff, dust, and pet hair. Then, go at it with the upholstery cleaner too.
Air vents and drinks holders
Time to change up your removable air vent filters. Give them a clean down, as well as any drinks holders or trays your car may have.
Exterior cleaning guide
Once that’s all sorted, it’s time to tackle the exterior of your car. You can head to the car wash if you like, but if you have the time to spare, giving it a clean yourself usually produces better results. This is because you can spend more time on the areas that really need some attention.
The best way to clean your car is the the three-bucket system:
- Clean, soapy water bucket. This bucket is just for soapy water. No dipping your dirty cloth in here!
- Water bucket. Use this bucket to rinse off your dirty cloth before dipping it back into the soapy water bucket.
- Wheels and tyres bucket. As the wheels are particularly dirty, have one bucket of soapy water just for this.
Firstly, use a hose or a microfibre cloth wet with just water and rinse down your car. The idea behind this is that you want to wash away any large amounts of dirt before you get the soapy water involved.
Bugs and insects can be a pain to get rid of, especially if they’re dried in the sun. Soap will have a hard time peeling these critters off your car, but there’s an easy trick to remove them. Get a few tumble dryer sheets and a bucket of warm water. Wet the dryer sheet in the warm water, then wipe down the bugs. They will come away much easier this way.
Next, it’s time for the soapy water. Remember to rinse your cloth in the water bucket as you go along. For tougher spots, try using a clay bar instead.
A top tip for cleaning headlights normal, white-paste toothpaste (not the gel kind). With a soft cloth, apply the toothpaste to your headlights. Then, rinse away the toothpaste with water.
Give your car a like-new shine by polishing it thoroughly. Then, apply a final coat of wax to protect the paintwork and that hard-earned shine. Use a power buffer to apply the wax, but then remove it with a soft cloth to ensure an even finish.
When it comes to the tyres though, water is preferable to any cleaning product. It’s time to tackle the wheels. Make sure to use your designated wheels bucket, as brake fluid smeared across your windows next time is not preferable. Don’t use product on the tyres though; simple water will be enough
Dashboard and steering wheel
Warm water and a mild soap will do the job for your dashboard and steering wheel. Be sure to go lightly with the water though, as you don’t want to risk water running down into the electrics. To get rid of grime and grease, a glass cleaner will do the trick. Also, wash your dashboard in the shade to avoid the sun from drying the product too quickly.
You might not know it, but your indicator stick and steering wheel are some of the dirtiest parts of a car interior! So, give these a thorough wipe down and you’ll have your interior sparkling!