Everyone knows someone who has trouble keeping their vehicle clean. The problem may be a collection of clutter, too much trash or even smells emanating from parts of the vehicle that cannot quite be pinpointed. While many people believe cars that aren’t well-kept are a reflection on the vehicle’s owner, there is another very important reason for keeping a vehicle clean: resale value.
A vehicle with a clean interior will have a resale value that is higher than that of a car that is not kept clean. Here are ten ways that you can help improve the interior of your car and keep it that way.
1. Take out the trash. Small items in a trash can are one thing, but food wrappers and soda cans or bottles are something else. Everyone who rides in the car should make sure that they take everything out with them when they leave the vehicle. There is no reason for someone to leave trash behind in the car.
2. Keep some wet wipes handy. Drivers never know when they are going to have a sticky-fingered child in the vehicle or even make a mess of something themselves. Wet wipes are generally good at getting just about any mess cleaned up quickly. Since they are non-toxic and have gentle cleansers in them, they can even be used to wipe down the steering wheel and the dashboard while stuck in traffic.
3. Keep fraying edges from expanding. Liquid resin, a substance found at most stores that sell crafts and fabrics, can be brushed on the edges of any carpet that is beginning to fray. The fibers that are loose will be held in place, and other fibers will be prevented from following suit.
4. Vacuum the vehicle’s carpets regularly. The fibers of carpets that are vacuumed regularly stand straight up. Over time, they will be crushed back down. When these fibers are bent and crushed, they are more likely to fray, break, and capture dirt and stains.
5. Remove odors with Borax. Car upholstery that begins to smell should be covered with a generous layer of Borax that can be found in the laundry section of just about any store. Close up the vehicle and leave it alone for at least an hour. When the Borax is vacuumed from the vehicle, the smells and other loose dirt are vacuumed up as well. This is especially useful for those who have pet odors as Borax will also kill any fleas that might have come in on the dog after a trip to the park or a hike in the woods.
6. Add glass cleaner to car cleaning supplies. Of course it is great on the windows, but many people do not realize that glass cleaner works great on most stains in a vehicle. While you will want to test it in an inconspicuous place first to be safe, glass cleaner is not likely to cause any issues with fading fabric colors. The best part of using glass cleaner is the fact that it does not foam the way other cleaners do. The foam of many cleaners will actually put a film over the place that was cleaned and attract more dirt to the wet area.
7. Wax the rubber floor mats. Using clear shoe wax on a clean rubber floor mat gives it a clean and shiny look. Then, when the floor mats begin collecting dirt, they can easily be taken out and hosed down or vacuumed with a vehicle vacuum cleaner at the car wash.
8. Clean vinyl seats with non-oil-based cleaners. Oil-based cleaners can cause vinyl seats to harden and eventually crack. Using warm water and dishwashing detergent is a great way to keep vinyl in good condition.
9. Keep a no food policy in the vehicle. Most of the stains, garbage, and clutter that appears in a car’s interior come from having meals and snacks in the vehicle. Not only do food and drinks spill and cause stains, but unfinished food, dishes, wrappers, and other items can clutter up the floors and cause the vehicle’s interior to smell.
10. Keep a trash can in the vehicle. A small, bathroom-sized can should do the trick. These are especially handy because they can be lined with plastic grocery bags that you get for free as opposed to the liners that you have to pay for at the store. Keeping a trash can handy makes it almost impossible to throw garbage on the floor. In a vehicle, it will be within an arm’s reach of just about everyone.
When vehicles that have been kept clean are presented for sale or trade, the buyer knows that it is likely the rest of the vehicle was taken care of as well. This gives them a sense of comfort with the sale and adds to the overall value in the end.
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