Cars are an important part of American life. We take them to and from work every weekday, bring the kids to school, and take the family out on vacations with them. But all that traveling and fun can leave your hot rod a hot mess!
A trip to the car wash and a thorough vacuuming can alleviate most messes, but cars and trucks are complicated machines with plenty of nooks, crannies, and gaps that can gather debris over time. Sometimes these spots are out-of-sight, out-of-mind until they get a bit too noticeable and become a pain to get clean!
So today we’re going to go over several spots around your car that you may have missed when cleaning!
1 - Center Console
Between the seats!
There are plenty of things that can go into the center console of your car. Spare change, takeout receipts, that chewed piece of gum that you’ve been meaning to throw out as soon as you find a trash bin.
However, your car is not a junk drawer, and since most people only ever think about the things in their car when they’re actually driving it, it is very easy to forget the clutter that’s rapidly building up.
Clean out your car regularly, and organize accordingly. Make sure items like hand sanitizers are well sealed and placed in such a way that they don’t cause a sticky mess. Keep areas around the shifter and handbrake clear, as in an emergency situation you don’t want to fumble through a trash heap to reach the lever you need.
We don’t blame you if you eat in the car. I know I’ve given into the temptation of sneaking a few fresh fries before bringing the meal home. And who hasn’t had to wolf down a bagel in the car because your alarm decided to take Wednesday off? Those crumbs go somewhere, however, and it’s often the center console, especially in tough to reach corners.
To pick up crumbs, wet a paper towel or cloth and wipe across the offending areas. The particles should stick to the damp cloth and lift off the surface. Then just give it one more scrub down to get anything you missed.
The console is the center of the car and it should be the center of attention too!
2 - Cup Holders
A gulp on the go!
Speaking of drive-thrus and eating on the go, cup holders are a common place to accrue a host of different issues on the road as far too often, beverages in cars result in calamity!
A coffee or soda filled to the brim can slosh out of the cup when braking or accelerating, sloshing out into the cup holder. The kids can get a little sloppy with their mid-trip drink and get it all inside the holder (if you’re lucky!) And let’s not forget the perils of trying to perch a mega gulp that’s far too large for the cup holder you’re trying to fit it in. That’s a disaster waiting to happen!
Even when the cup holder is empty, it can still attract messes, especially if it’s holding change or snacks, or any other garbage that’s lying around.
Be sure to get deep down into the cup holders and scrub thoroughly. It may take some elbow grease, especially if you have dried soda or coffee caked onto the inside.
3 - Dashboard
A Dashboard confessional.
Staying inside the car, you look out of the windshield everytime you drive a car (or at least we hope you are!) You also have an eye frequently on the dashboard display, especially your GPS screen, radio, or gauges. But how often do you pay attention to the top of the dashboard in between them? Probably not as often!
The dashboard isn’t a hotbed for messes, as most keep it empty or, at most, keep small trinkets or stuffed animals there. But that lack of activity can cause one to forget about it during their car care routine, resulting in dust building up over time, particularly in the tight, hard-to-reach space between the dash and windshield.
Dusting the dashboard every so often should keep it maintained nicely. A duster with a long handle is optimal, as the added reach will help you get to the area by the windshield without having to awkwardly stretch and strain.
4 - Trunk
Get in the trunk!
Much of the buzz around car care focuses on the exterior, seats, and inside the cabin, but what we don’t see a lot of is trunk-based cleaning tips. As the primary means of storage in a car, your trunk lining is subject to all matters of messes!
For rubber trunk liners, periodically scrub and rinse them out much like you would for car mats. For carpeted trunk lining, break out the shop vac (or the household vacuum with the nozzle attachment) to suck up any deep-laden particles.
For heavier messes, like caked-on dirt or residue from spilled liquids, use a scrub brush to loosen the stain. If all that scrubbing sounds like too much work , we sell a variety of drill-powered Automotive scrub brushes to make it easier on you.
5 - Lug Nuts
We love lugs!
Your average car owner may not need to worry about cleaning lug nuts, but for an auto detailer hellbent on making their vintage car shinier than a Barrett-Jackson lot, you can’t sweat the small details.
Dirt can get caught and build up in and around the lug nut holes.and can gum them up if left for too long, which can make changing tires even more of a hassle.
Make sure when washing your car, you scrub and spray around the wheel thoroughly. Getting inside the complicated geometry of the wheels and rims can ensure they stay showroom perfect!
If you need a little extra help scrubbing around the lug nuts, we at Drillbrush have 1 inch and 2 inch Long lug nut brushes. These drill-powered brushes have long, tendril-like bristles that wrap around the lugs to get a full 360 clean.
A Very Clean Vehicle
Did you hit all of these places the last time you cleaned your vehicle? If so, great! You have a real eye for automotive scrubbing! If not, no worries! Now you know what you need to do next time you get a free Saturday morning!
If you need help getting your car care routine done quickly, Drillbrush makes all sorts of drill-powered cleaning products to speed up the job, including a catalog of brushes built for automotive cleaning tasks.
If you’re looking for more places around the house you may have missed when scrubbing, check out our article on often-forgotten bathroom surfaces.