Spring Cleaning for Your Car: 10 Tips for Rejuvenating Your Ride

Did you know men are twice as likely as women to leave dirty diapers or doggie-doo bags in the car overnight? If you answered yes … well, it’s weird you knew that. But in the proverbial battle of the sexes, according to a recent Jiffy Lube study, where car cleanliness is concerned, both men and women can be pretty disgusting.

Related: Keep Your Car (and Kids) Clean, Clutter Free With These Hacks

But with this season of renewal upon us, it’s time to put aside such meaningless differentiators and come together to wipe the slate — and our cars — clean. It’s a chore that 90 percent of respondents to a survey said they’d be doing themselves.

We have suggestions to help you prioritize tasks – so take a deep breath, hold your nose and spring to action on spring car cleaning …

Start with the outside:

  • Scrub your tires first using a tire-cleaning spray and firm brush.
  • Wash the body top to bottom with a carwash product and using the two-bucket method, one bucket containing clean soapy water and the other dirty rinse water.
  • Hose off the underbody.
  • Dry with a clean microfiber towel.

Now you’re ready to move on to the interior:

  • Remove clutter accumulated over the winter months: all those gas-pump receipts, Starbucks cups and Larabar wrappers that never made their way to trashcan.
  • Use a mild cleaning spray and microfiber cloth on the dash, console and other surfaces.
  • Vacuum the seats, floormats, rugs and trunk.
  • Use an approved cleaner for leather upholstery.
  • Spray glass cleaner directly onto a cloth to clean windows.
  • Clean floormats, scrubbing rubber ones with soapy water and carpeted ones with carpet cleaner.

Or you can spring for a professional detailing if you feel like dropping a couple of C-notes — but, dudes, even if you leave it to the pros, at least take those dirty diapers out first.’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt Schmitz

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