Friday, August 20, 2010

Fifteen Minutes to a Cleaner Car

My car gets messy. Papers. Take-out breakfast wrappers. Change. You name it. These hints from Real Simple helped me clean things up in 15 minutes. I'm glad to share...

You'll need a small plastic bin, garbage bags, paper grocery bag, glass cleaner, cleaning wipes, a flat-head screwdriver, paper towels, and a hand vacuum.

Minute 1: Toss items that shouldn’t be in the car into a small bin. Throw trash into a garbage bag and recyclables into the paper bag. Spritz the cup holders with glass cleaner and let sit.

Minutes 2 and 3: Using the wipes, clean the dashboard, center console, inside door pockets, steering wheel, and gearshift.

Minutes 4 and 5: Clean leather seats with a few wipes. (Seats that are upholstered will get vacuumed later.)

Minutes 6 and 7: Wrap a wipe around the end of a flat-head screwdriver, and run it along the buttons and switches on the dashboard. Wipe out the cup holders with paper towels.

Minutes 8 through 10: Spray glass cleaner on paper towels and wipe all the windows, including the windshield, sunroof, and rear window.

Minute 11: Remove the floor mats and whack them against each other to dislodge any dirt.

Minutes 12 through 14: On the driveway, vacuum the floor mats with the bare hose of a hand vac for maximum power (do not attach a tool). Vacuum the seat upholstery and foot wells, shifting the front seats fully forward, then back, to hit every spot.

Minute 15: Replace the mats and return the seats to their original positions. Open all the doors and let fresh air blow through.

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