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I am still pinching myself over the fact our eldest son begins college this week. As he is attending the university in our area, he is going to be a commuter student to start. As vehicles can be rather expensive to purchase up here in Alaska, he will be using the family minivan which has given us 12 years of excellent service. I thought it would be good to have a massive clean out and spruce up the old gal so he won’t be nearly as embarrassed driving on campus or around town. After all, first impressions count!
Teaching How to Clean a Car
This minivan was bought back when I was pregnant with my third son, back in spring of 2003. It was not new when we bought it and 12 years of wear and tear from several boys has taken its toll.
As doing a more detailed cleaning of a vehicle is not something that the boys just know how to do, I made them a Car Detail Checklist so nothing was forgotten.
Teaching them how to clean a car beyond spraying it down and pulling out the garbage is one of those life skills they just need to have. After all, your vehicle is an investment as well as a reflection of you and keeping it looking spiffy is the way to go.
Step 1 in How to Clean a Car: Gather Your Supplies
While we had plenty of car wash solution at the house, we were lacking items to really help restore the life into the van. So, we headed to our local Walmart to pick up Armor All® Outlast Trim & Plastic Restorer, Armor All® Outlast Tire Glaze, Armor All® Outlast Leather Restorer.
Step 2 in How to Clean a Car: Empty the Vehicle
Emptying the vehicle for an occasional cleaning might be just removing anything that doesn’t belong whether garbage or items from your home. But, for a more thorough cleaning, you may need to pull out seats if your vehicle has that option and take out the floor protectors.
Step 3 in How to Clean a Car: Wipe Everything Down
This could be spraying the outside to get any built up dirt and grime off or dusting the dashboard inside. For the interior surfaces like the dashboard, I tend to use a dry microfiber cloth. Should you find something more stuck on or sticky substances, then a damp cloth is needed.
Step 4 in How to Clean a Car: Vacuum
Whether it is a shop vac or your vacuum cleaner with attachments, you need to get all the debris off the carpeted surfaces and seats. Don’t forget to vacuum the floor protectors, too.
Step 5 in How to Clean a Car: Clean and Protect Surfaces
For the exterior, we use a cleaning solution that is combination wash and wax. Either a gentle cloth or a brush made for cleaning your vehicle should be used on those surfaces. Every once in a while, consider using a product like Armor All® Outlast Tire Glaze to keep your tires looking great. Apply it after you’ve finished washing the rest of your vehicle as it needs to dry for at least 30 minutes (at temperatures at or above 70 degrees Fahrenheit) to work as intended.
The difference is amazing.
As showing how to do something is part of teaching, I got my hands plenty dirty with the more detail oriented work like cleaning the dashboard and interiors of the doors. I used Armor All® Outlast Trim & Plastic Restorer on most of the interior surfaces like the dashboard with Armor All® Outlast Leather Restorer being used on the leather portions of the door handle.
Sadly, some damage done over the years won’t be undone (e.g. the sharpie writing certain children did as an expression of their new found skill for writing.) In the end, though, my eldest son now has a working vehicle that should no longer prevent him from making a great first impression at college.
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Do you have an older vehicle that needs some ‘new life’ to it? Armor All® Outlast Trim & Plastic Restorer, Armor All® Outlast Tire Glaze, Armor All® Outlast Leather Restorer, and/or Armor All® Outlast Protectant can help you with that.