When you first drive your New Kia off the lot, it is gleaming, both inside and out. It is perfectly clean. The first time you drive through a puddle, you can feel the dirt splattering on your beautiful exterior! And then your friend gets into the car and put his muddy shoes on your pristine floor! How annoying! Just driving around town means picking up a lot of dirt and dust—and if you’ve taken your Kia on a road trip, you know how dirty it can get.
Luckily, cleaning a used Kia does not have to be a chore. Like cleaning anything that you love, it can be fun to restore the interior and exterior to their former glory. We’ve got fifteen tips and tricks to make cleaning your car easier than ever.
1. Use scrub brushes for your floor pads. Unlike your house, it’s easy to take your car’s carpet out and scrub it clean. The best way to get any ground in dirt out of the low-pile carpet is to take a stiff scrub brush to it, with a little bit of carpet cleaner. Add some elbow grease into the equation and you’ll have a perfectly clean carpet in no time.
2. Combat musty air systems with bursts of compressed air. If you have had your Kia for a while and your air conditioning or heating smells musty when you turn it on, it’s likely full of dirt and dust. The best way to clean it out is to spray some compressed air into the intake, blowing the debris clear.
3. Don’t use acid on your tires. There are lots of cleaners formulated for tires that contain different kinds of acid. Acid that can eat away at your tires and shorten their lifespan. Just steer clear.
4. Hand washing is better than an automatic wash. You want to take care of your Kia. That means giving it the best possible baths. Most people will opt for the automatic wash—but you’re not most people. To make sure that your car’s exterior is meticulously clean, it’s best to wash by hand.
5. Wax on and off. Waxing your car isn’t just for special occasions. It’s to protect your car’s paint job. Regularly waxing your car is the best way to prevent rust spots and damage to your paint, even over years and years of driving.
6. Use a glass cleaner for glass. When it comes to really detailing your Kia, don’t opt for all-purpose cleaners. Pick a glass cleaner that is specifically designed for cleaning glass in cars. This means it will have fewer streaks and reduce any film that may build up.
7. Use a car interior cleaner for the interior. The same goes for cleaning the seats, console, and storage of your Kia—pick a cleaner that is made specifically for the interior of cars. You’ll get a better clean and you won’t have to worry about nasty fumes building up in your car once you’re done cleaning.
8. Don’t miss the details. For example, the tops of windows, that are hidden when the window is rolled all the way up, or the carpet underneath your seats, or vacuuming out the places that only you see, like the trunk.
9. Use a soap made especially for cars. It’s a big mistake to use soap that is formulated for dishes on your car’s paint. Sure, this soap is great for cutting road grime, but it’s also great at stripping away any wax that’s left on your car and eating away at your paint. Repeated use of this kind of soap means a serious deterioration in your car’s paint job. Stick to soap that is made for use on cars.
10. Start at the top and work down. When cleaning the interior of you cars, don’t start by vacuuming and soaping the carpets. Start by dusting off your dashboard and steering wheel. When you do start vacuuming, start at the top, so don’t have to back track as you dislodge dust and dirt from the upper parts of the car.
11. Scrape off stickers with a razor blade or putty knife. If you have old parking or advertisement stickers on the windshield of your car, use a razor blade or putty knife to scrape them up. If they leave sticky residue behind, you can go back in with that razor blade or use a cleaning product specifically designed to get rid of goop.
12. Use a paintbrush to clean air vents and other small spots. There are lots of small places in your car that collect dust, starting with your radio, to the vents, to the arm rests. Use a paintbrush to sweep this dust off.
13. Use a screwdriver or pen wrapped in a cloth to clean narrow places and in grooves. There are also lots of nooks and crannies that hold crumbs and dirt and dust pretty well, even with a thorough vacuuming of your car. The best way to clean these spots is to wrap a flathead screwdriver or a pointy pen in a rag and run it along the crannies to pull out the gunk.
14. Clean off windshield wipers. Don’t neglect your windshield wipers. If they are covered in dirt, be sure to give them a thorough, but gentle washing so they are ready to go the next time you are caught in a rain or snow storm.
15. Pick a washing routine and stick to it. The best way to make sure that your car does not need extreme deep cleanings is to give it regular, spot cleanings. Pick a cleaning routine, whether it is every other week, once a month, or every two months, to give it a vacuuming, wash, and wax.