Car Cleaning Hacks Experts Don’t Want You To Know

Car cleaning hacks are a dime a dozen on the internet. Which ones actually work and which ones are simply messy? We’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of car cleaning hacks that experts swear by so that you can spend less time scrubbing and more time driving!

First, to get rid of unwanted pet hair, try rubbing a wet rubber glove over upholstery and seats. The hair will cling to the glove, making it easy to remove. For dried mud and dirt, make a paste out of baking soda and water and apply it to the affected area. Let it sit for 15 minutes before wiping it away. Have kids in the car? No problem! In between car washes, clean up big messes with baby wipes. They’re sturdy enough to handle spills and crumbs, and they won’t leave behind any streaks or smears.

For those pesky end-of-day fingerprints on windows and mirrors, use vodka! That’s right, vodka. Pour some onto a soft cloth and wipe away. You’ll be left with streak-free surfaces. And last but not least, keep your car smelling fresh by placing an dryer sheet under each seat. This hack is especially useful during the warmer months when stuffiness tends to build up.

So there you have it: Car cleaning hacks that experts recommend. Give them a try next time you’re in need of a quick cleanup!


Toothbrush can be used for cleaning other things such as your car. All you need is a little soap and water to clean out the grunge from parts of your car that normally don’t get the attention they deserve. As this can be time-consuming, the best time to do it is over the weekend. This will help extend the life of your car and protect its resale value.

In addition, a toothbrush can be used to clean hard-to-reach spots in your home, such as under the refrigerator or in tight corners. By taking a few minutes each week to clean with a toothbrush, you can help keep your home looking its best.

Car cleaning hacks


Our trusty friend in the tube is a lot more useful than for just getting your teeth clean every morning. A common occurrence that drivers often don’t know how to deal with is headlights getting cloudy after months of driving through all sorts of weather. Luckily, toothpaste is here to save the day once again. Just rub a little bit of the stuff onto the lights and scrub for a minute or two, then let it sit for about a minute. Your lights should be as shiny and clean as new.


Olive Oil

Using harsh solutions to clean the interior of your car when you have leather seats is a definite no-no. You need a different approach, which should preferably be not too expensive. As with all things leather, olive oil is the miracle worker. It won’t damage or fade your fabric but is also excellent at picking up and cleaning any signs of stains of debris. Start with a small amount and progress slowly until all the dirt is gone.

Olive Oil

Steel Wool

Most people don’t seem to realize it,  but steel wool works wonders when it comes to cleaning literally anything off glass. Well, almost anything. The biggest culprit with regards to windshields and windows are those stickers that leave adhesive that’s seemingly impossible to remove. Use a wet piece of steel wool to rub on the affected area until all the dirt and debris have fallen off. Give the surface of the glass a quick wipe afterwards just to be sure.

Cotton Swabs

When cleaning those hard-to-reach cracks and crevices in your car’s interior, cotton swabs are the perfect solution. They are made from cotton, which means they are soft enough to not cause any real damage and are also super-cheap. When buying them, get them in packs of hundreds. They can also be used to get rid of annoying pieces of dirt and quickly absorb grease that gets stuck in your car during servicing.


Washing fluid for your windshield is easily one of the most regular and necessary purchases for a car owner. However, you can usually find more than half the ingredients you need right inside your home. Just mix one part liquid soap and eight parts vodka, and mix up the resulting solution thoroughly. Now you have a perfectly good washing solution that will work just as well as store-bought washing fluid.And it comes with the advantage of saving you cash.

Keeping Groceries Safe

Whenever you go shopping, nothing sucks as much as having all your stuff pour in the back because you have no way of restraining the bags. Woe unto those unwise enough to put the carton of milk and eggs in the trunk. An easy way of dealing with this is having a bungee cord. Lace it through the handles of each of your bags and attach one end to the hooks of your trunk. What you effectively have now is a seat belt for all your groceries.


Mayo is a secret sauce in many regards, and this time, the application lies outside the realm of your dinner salad. It’s a really great choice for cleaning tar spots anywhere on the exterior of your car. Rather than spending perfectly good money on solutions meant to get rid of tar, apply some mayo on the affected spot and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Wipe away the grease and watch the tar peel away super easily.


WD-40 is like the super-utility tool of the car-cleaning world. From degreasing the windscreen to waxing the exterior, there is nearly an endless number of things you can do with the spray in terms of cleaning your car. WD-40 is an excellent solvent, which means it can easily break apart the adhesives found in stickers too. It also has similar components to kerosene,making it possible to give your car a great shiny finish.


Just like your skin needs something to moisturize it when it goes dry, your dashboard also needs something to prevent it from cracking. This is an especially important tip to remember if you live in drier parts of the world. If you reside in hot climates, you need to make sure your dashboard is moist and clean to keep peeling of the outer layer in check. Good old plain vaseline should be able to do the trick and have your car looking better than ever.


If you love your food and your car, then you will love food while in your car twice as much. All the dirt and residue crumbs aside, a shower caddy is a simple solution to storing your food for eating while your drive. If you have children, you will reap even more benefits out of them. This way, you will eliminate the need to keep passing snacks back and forth to everyone, avoiding the possibility of a big mess.

Arrange the Glove Box

The glove box is without a doubt the most universally loved and detested area of the car. It’s one of those things that makes you go, “I was sure I left that there” when it clearly isn’t there anymore. Nobody knows the voodoo behind it, but it turns out those little curses can be avoided just by being a tad more tidy. Use a small accordion folder to label the categories that are relevant to you and place it in the glove box. Problem solved.

Clay Bar

As kids, we probably all played with modeling clay (often referred to as Play-Doh by newer generations) at some point. Well, that old friend can prove pretty useful even this far into your later years. To give your car a sparkly finish, use a sizable mound of modeling clay to wax your car like you normally would with regular wax. Make sure your car is wet beforehand to avoid making a mess.


If you paid attention in chemistry class, you realize kerosene and the wax used to give the car that extra-shiny finish are made of the same stuff. It should make a lot more sense, then, when we tell you it’s possible to give your car a wax and wash at the same time. Pour some kerosene into a bucketful of water and wash the car just like you normally would. Bonus:Kerosene does a better job of picking up dirt than water alone.

Screwdriver for Cracks

Cars are great big hunks of metal that are given the ability to move. Thanks to the way they are designed, however, there are way too many cracks and crevices in which dirt, debris and bugs can accumulate. All you need to get them out is a clean fabric (or whatever else you have on hand) and a screwdriver. Cover the head of the screwdriver with the fabric and scrape the affected area lightly until all the gunk comes off.

Baking Soda

Once your car is nice and fresh, you will want to retain the fresh smell for as long as possible. Since most parts of the car aren’t very good at absorbing odors, most people end up spending too much cash on brand new air fresheners. All you need to keep the smell in is a jar filled with baking soda. As you may have guessed, baking soda is excellent at absorbing stuff. Make sure to screw a breathable material onto the rim of the jar.

Use Velcro

It really sucks to make a turn and have to ask yourself whether you just made an expensive mistake. To avoid the constant anxiety as things jump around in the trunk, use velcro to hold everything down. Everything that’s fragile and at risk of breaking should be stored in a container and attached with a strip of velcro on the side. The velcro should be able to stick on the walls of your trunk without a problem.

Magic Eraser

Don’t ask how it works because we don’t know. All we do know is that magic erasers are able to get rid of nearly every type of stain on every type of surface. It should be your go-to solution for cleaning stains off your upholstery. If you’re ever in a tight spot where the rest of these solutions can’t help (or you’re just lazy), the magic eraser is there to save the day.

Foam Brush

A foam brush should be a familiar tool for most car owners, but it’s versatile enough that its uses transcend the ordinary ones people are used to. Since it’s made of foam, it can’t leave any marks on your car’s exterior and won’t leave any damage on the interior. Dirt and debris are also easy to trap because they stick on the foam very easily. Lastly, you can even shove a foam brush into your air ducts and let it collect all the dust.

Paint Brush

The air ducts of your car very likely do their job pretty well — they absorb a lot of dust and debris. However, an unintended consequence is that they also collect a lot of dead bugs and mold. As soon as you turn on the AC, these are going to be blown right at your face, whether you realize it or not. A paint brush is an easy way to prevent this since it can easily reach those tough places.

Essential Oils

Again, buying air fresheners gets pretty old pretty fast. Add that to the fact that the same old smell gets tiring after a while, and it’s a double whammy of tough luck. Why not just make your own custom fragrance then? No prior knowledge of chemistry required — just a can-do attitude, a piece of wood and some essential oils. Wood does a good job of absorbing and slowly distributing the odor and essential oils are good at being absorbed.


Having a balloon in your car can be a pretty nifty trick, even if you have no birthdays anywhere around the corner. You know how back in third grade, you were taught about static charge and it was probably demonstrated using a balloon and/or cat? You can use the same tools here to pick up stubborn pieces of dirt off your car’s interior. Just rub an inflated balloon gently against your cat (or blouse) to create static charge and use it to collect fur and dirt.


All good diapers are made with the intention of absorbing all kinds of spills. You probably already know where this is going. It may sound silly at first, but having diapers in your car —especially during your morning commutes — can be a lifesaver. It’s time to finally get rid of that icky feeling you get when coffee or tea spills all over the steering wheel and you let it dry up on its own. Big plus if you already have a toddler at home.

Club Soda

This fizzy drink is a great tool to use when you want to remove stains from any part of your car. If you’ve got any kind of upholstery in your car, you’ve probably had the unfortunate experience of dealing with stains. It could be from coffee, mud, blood, grass or even food. It doesn’t matter in any case since they can all be taken care of with club soda. Just dip an absorbent cloth in club soda and gently rub it on the stain.

Razor Blade

Razor blades are a sort of utility tool that can get you out of all kinds of tight knots, pun intended. If you love chewing gum or have any kind of sticker or adhesives on your car, they can be difficult to remove. You can always use the great traditional method of steel wool and some soap, but you likely won’t have them lying around in your car at all times. Instead, just carefully stick your razor underneath the sticker and pry it off.


Having an air vent freshener in your car is almost a necessity at this point. They are great while they last, and only as long as they last. Over time, the fragrance can only propagate so far.The backseat may be stuck in a perpetual state of stinky sweat from your last passenger. Instead, use the Downy Unstoppable beads in tiny mesh bags and place them at convenient points within your car. Preferably, this should be somewhere near the doors.

Lint Roller

Lint rollers are another great tool to have around in the car, especially if you shed a lot of hair or frequently transport a pet in your car. If you like eating inside the car, you also fall in the same category of people who could benefit greatly from having one. They are fantastic for collecting hair, crumbs and all kinds of dirt from your car’s interior. They can also be used in air ducts and the dashboard to get rid of debris.

Window Storage

Storage space inside the car is one of those things vehicle engineers keep forgetting to include in their latest models. There’s almost nothing as annoying as staring at your rear-view mirror only to realize it’s been obfuscated by some sort of toy or cloth. Instead, get a bunch of sponge holders with suction pads in a range of sizes. Stick the holders to your window and hang whatever needs remembering there.

Dryer Sheets

Cleaning dry dead bugs and bird poop off your car gets old pretty fast. It’s a gross experience, and having to go in without any prior knowledge of how to take care of the problem is pretty disgusting. Keeping bugs away is nearly impossible, especially in the countryside, but at least cleaning them off is about to get easier. All you need is a damp dryer sheet. Rub this onto the area where the swarm of bugs crashed into and they should come off with ease.

Hair Conditioner

Once again, what works for your body isn’t very different from what’s going to work for your car. Just like with Play-Doh, regular hair conditioner is an excellent tool to give your car that coveted sparkling, waxy finish. Depending on the kind of conditioner you have, pour a good amount onto a towel and apply it to your car in circular motions. Repeat the process until you have a nice glossy look.

Powder Cleaners

Powder cleaners are an easy, portable way to clean your car when you’re on the move. Since they are so easy to find in most retail stores, they are far more convenient than a full-fledged washing solution. Open up a packet,pour some of the solution onto a car-safe sponge and add some water (or cleaning fluid if you prefer). Scrub down the exterior and interior for a few minutes and you should be good to go.

Plastic Bins

Speaking of being the clean guy, how about just avoiding all that dirt altogether? Those plastic bags that are all over the place in the kitchen could be put to good use here. Rather than dumping cans of beer, soda and water on the floor of your car, which you will still have to clean later on anyway, have some reusable plastic bags in your car for, well, reuse.

Smelly Vents

Summer is one of those times of the year when the AC is used so much that a certain smell may start to permeate into the seats of your car. Most people just learn to ignore the smell and wait for autumn and spring to roll around, but the smell will likely just come back if you don’t take care of it. The simplest way of getting rid of the smell is getting a new cheap filter at Walmart.

Vacuum Brush

This one is more along the lines of common sense than anything, but you’d be surprised how many people’s heads it goes over. Vacuum brushes aren’t just for use on your clothes and sofa. The interior of your car could use some of the love you show your carpet once in a while —especially for those hard-to-reach places in between your seats and floor mats.

Stain Remover

Commercial stain removers weren’t magically made to only work on your clothes and leather. If you have cloth upholstery on your car seats or steering wheel, use a stain remover to get rid of stains the same way you would on clothes. Just spray the stained spot and use a scrub to get the stain off. Just watch out for the amount of force you use so you don’t damage the fabric.


Windex has long been known as the glass cleaner of choice in most households. However, it’s also excellent for removing any signs of leftover lubricant or grease from the exterior of your car. A major component of Windex is ammonia, which is good at dissolving and breaking up the components that make up grease. What makes it an even more excellent choice is that it doesn’t interfere with your car’s paint.


Using an air freshener to mask bad smells in your car will only serve its purpose for so long. It won’t do you any good if you’re trying to get the smell to go away. What you need is something that’s great at absorbing smells. Charcoal does just that. All you need is a handful of charcoal in a bag made of breathable fabric. Have this under your car and the smell could disappear overnight.

Shoe Cup Holder

This isn’t a trick that will exactly appeal to everyone’s tastes, but it works for people not too squeamish to try. If your car doesn’t come with a cup holder, the cup holder is broken or you’re just a few cup holders short, a nice clean sneaker is going to work as a great replacement. Since shoes are built disproportionally, they won’t slip and the standard-size cup of coffee is going to fit perfectly in there.

Sticky Mats

During accidents, aside from not wearing seat belts, the leading cause of death is anything that’s not been strapped down. In other words, that phone carelessly thrown in the passenger seat can easily turn into a projectile. Instead, grab a few sticky mats on Amazon and place them on the dashboard or wherever you prefer. It’s convenient — you won’t ever lose your keys in the car again and increase your chances of surviving a car accident.

Shoe in Some Order

You’ve likely had an experience where you were driving and realized you needed something from the back seat. Despite all your efforts, you just couldn’t quite get to it.The traffic lights turned amber and the guy behind you started honking obnoxiously. You could prevent this issue and add a hint of organization to your car by using one of those nifty little shoe hangers as your new car organizer. Hang it by the headrest and you won’t have to worry about it again.

Car Trash Cans

The average commuter spends a staggering amount of time inside their car. Inevitably, there’s going to be a great big pileup of dirt if you’re not the kind to watch where you throw your rubbish. If you don’t have a whole lot of rubbish bins lying around in the house, you can always rely on a cereal box to make one yourself. Put a plastic bag inside the box and cover it up. From then on, change the plastic bag inside as often as you feel necessary.


Coke is the world’s leading soft drink and has been for some time now. What some people don’t know is just how good this fizzy beverage is at removing rust from nearly any metal surface. If your car hasn’t seen a mechanic in while, rust will likely accumulate near the windshield or on the car’s exterior. To get rid of the unpleasantness, dip a clot inside a bowl of Coke, dip some on the rusted area, let it sit for a while and wipe away the rust with a cloth or aluminum foil.

Getting Those Floor Mats Clean

Depending on what kind of mats you have on the floor of your car, they can be pretty difficult to clean. People with fabric floor mats know the story of the impossible stain all too well. If you have an ugly stain on the mat, a stain remover is the simplest solution. Load the mat into a washing machine with some detergent and set it on ‘gentle.’ If you want to avoid the hassle of getting them clean, you can also get rubber mats.

Wet Newspaper

You know how you’re required by law to renew your insurance every year and your proof of insurance has to be on the windshield of your car? It’s understandable. What’s not, however, is how hard every one of those stickers is to remove. Well, yet another trick to get those annoying things off your windshield is to soak a few pages of newspaper in some warm water, hold them over the other side of the sticker for a while and watch it peel off.

Rubbing Alcohol

Grease is one of the most annoying things to deal with in a car. Since it’s literally waterproof, you can’t use regular old water to just wash it off. In fact, even some of the most advertised cleaning fluids out there are going to take an arm and leg to fully wash off. Rubbing alcohol does a much better job of cleaning off grease than nearly 90 percent of the detergents out there. Rub the alcohol up and down the wipers and let it dry the grease off.


If you have long hair or own a shedding pet (like a husky), you know how annoying it is to sit on the passenger side and have hair all over your suit. Worse still, cleaning that fur or hair is really difficult and annoying if you don’t have the right tools. In this case, the only tools you need are a spray bottle filled with water and a squeegee. Spray the hairy area with an adequate amount water and wipe it off using the squeegee.


Having a child in the car is almost always a guarantee of a huge mess being made — the most common case being crayons that ruin perfectly good upholstery. It’s not so bad over the short term, but on a hot day, the wax will melt and get stuck in the upholstery fibers. To remedy this situation, you will need a brown paper bag and a clothing iron. Position the bag on top of the wax and iron the spot for 10 seconds or so. The wax should move onto the bag.

Motor Oil

Aside from the more obvious uses you could have for motor oil, it’s actually pretty good at removing grease from various parts of your car. Believe it or not, rubbing some motor oil on the spot where grease or tar got stuck — more likely on the exterior of your car — will get it unstuck pretty fast. Motor oil isn’t exactly the same as grease.It’s a good solvent that can easily break up the stuff that makes up grease and aid in cleaning your car.

Top-Window Dirt

When washing the car, make sure you roll your windows down before cleaning them. It’s an important step that’s usually missed by most, but it’s also the reason why so many cars have that unpleasant window dirt at the top. This dirt usually creeps down slowly to the rest of the window and gets it as filthy as it was before. In the end, you will have cleaned your windows for nothing.


Vinegar is great for several purposes aside from food. The core of these is cleaning all kinds of surfaces and stains that most people usually give up on after the first try. For instance, getting blood or literally any kind of stain on leather. Scrubbing it off with a strong soapy solution normally won’t do because genuine leather can be quite fragile. Vinegar is great at dissolving stuff, especially organic materials like blood.

Mr. Clean

At one point or another, you will inevitably spill something in the car. To be on the safe side, you should always have some sort of supplies to clean up your little accidents. Be the guy who’s ready to take care of anything life throws at him. You only need two or three supplies that go on the driver’s side pocket: wipes, napkins and antibacterial gel.

Bubble Gum

When a leak appears in your fuel tank, it’s going to cost you a whole lot of cash in wasted gas through the petrol that seeps through the crack — especially when a mechanic isn’t anywhere in sight. Even when you do get to the mechanic, though, having them fix it is a very costly affair. At least for the short term while you look for a more permanent solution, some chewed-up gum should be able to prevent further trouble.

Mushy Cleaning Gunk

Speaking of gunk, whenever dirt gathers together with grease or some sort of oil in any part of your car, you will end up with a mixture that’s going to be tough to get rid of. However, there’s another easy solution for getting rid of all kinds of dirt that hide in hard-to-reach parts of your car. Mix half a cup of liquid starch with some Elmer’s glue and water. It’s both sticky enough to pick up the dirt and won’t break apart in the process.

Shaving cream

During wintertime, it can be very annoying to clean the fog from the windows and the windshield. Seemingly, the only solutions are either to risk crashing or to buy an expensive cleaning product. However, there is a solution that can both save your money and your life. An average shaving cream contains many of the same ingredients as many defogging agents. Just cover the inside of your windows and wipe it off after 10 minutes. Not only will the fog be gone in an instant, but the cream will also leave a layer to prevent it from reforming.

Socks in the glove box

When it’s winter, you have to be prepared for everything. To make sure that you can accomplish everything, you have to fight the weather. A good trick to use is to have socks at your disposal at all times. But why? Sometimes, when it’s wet, and there is ice everywhere, you can put them over your shoes for better traction. Also, woolen socks can be a good way to walk through snow more easily. Also, socks can be a good makeshift cloth to wipe your windows or any other part of the car.

Using socks to cover windshield wipers

One other annoying thing is waking up in the morning and realizing your wiper blades are covered by multiple layers of ice and snow. This can be very annoying as you may have to clean them and, therefore, be late to work. Hold that thought. In order to avoid this, you only have to use your spare socks and cover the wipers before going to bed. The wool will cover the wipers from the cold and allow you to de-ice them in just a few seconds. This can aid you greatly, and it’s easy to accomplish.

Heating up the key

During those cold months, ice and snow can literally get everywhere. Never underestimate the power of winter. Perhaps the most annoying thing to find ice is your car lock. There are times when the key simply won’t fit, and you won’t be able to unlock your car. Thankfully, there is a viable solution to this problem. Simply take a lighter and heat your car key for a few seconds. The metal will absorb the heat, and the moment you insert it into the lock, it will eradicate all the ice. It’s free and easy

Making use of a drinking straw to unlock your car

Don’t have a lighter? Fear not, because you can manipulate heat in ways you couldn’t imagine. In your purse or backpack, always keep a drinking straw. If you don’t have a lighter, it can be the best possible thing to solve the problem of having ice within the lock. Since it’s flexible and small, you can insert it. The only thing you have to do is blow hot air through the straw. Such a sudden and large influx of heat will cause the ice to melt rapidly and to cover the walls of the lock, preventing new ice from forming any time soon.

Hand sanitizer can help you as well

Ice can get anywhere, not just in the lock of your door. The handles, the window mechanism, the trunk – it can get in place you wouldn’t even believe. If this wasn’t enough of a problem, many agents that can help you with this are expensive. To solve this, you just need to go to your local appliance store and buy the cheapest hand sanitizer. It’s basic chemistry – the alcohol in the sanitizer is the most efficient eradicator of ice. Before trying to open the door, spray it over everything. That way, you won’t have problems.

Defrosting frosty side mirrors

Side mirrors getting frosty can be one of the most complicated car-related problems. Why? Well, windows are exposed to the hot air within the car, so they can get defrosted much sooner. Since side mirrors are exposed to the cold 24/7, they can’t be saved, right? Wrong. You only have to cover them, and the absolute best solution are Ziploc bags. They are designed especially for the isolation of the things within. Cover your side mirrors with one or two bags, and you’ll see them ice-free the next morning. Works 100%.

Protecting your headlights with wax

Even if you don’t realize it, ice and snow can really reduce the effectiveness of your headlights. That small difference in illumination strength is sometimes the difference between accident and salvation. To prevent such a situation from even happening, take some toothpaste, squirt it on a tissue or rag and scrub your headlights. Take off the covers and rinse the bulbs as well. The only thing you have to do is to wash everything with warm water and apply wax. Wax will ensure that no water or ice sticks to them for weeks.

Don’t disregard the hard-to-reach parts

Most times, you aren’t even aware of what’s going on underneath your car. It may seem like you’re driving over a tidy road, but the underthings of your car will be covered in mud, ice, snow and everything else. Having this part unkempt can pose major problems for your engine and other devices. Therefore, you have to clean the undertow regularly. If you have a lawn sprinkler, just run it under the car for a few minutes. If you don’t, don’t be lazy to slide underneath and wash the dirt and debris off. It will drastically increase the life expectancy of your vehicle.

Banishing back-road dirt with tartar cream

Chances are you will surely be heading to part of town that is not that tidy. Dirty roads, unpaved roads, puddles – all these things can cause a severe case of back road dirt. Even by simply driving on these roads, you will spray your car windshield with dirty oily grime. To take care of it, use – tartar cream and then rinse it off with soapy water and let it dry. It has shown to be the most effective way of going through the muck.

Using baking soda

Baking soda is much more than a box in your cupboard. You can use it to make a car-cleaning cocktail that is deadly to all kinds of dirt, ice or snow. Take a gallon-sized jug, pour some dishwasher liquid, baking soda and alcohol. This mixture is much cheaper and much more effective than any car-cleaning agent you can buy. The only thing you have to do before cleaning is to shake the jug viciously so that the ingredients are evenly allocated. Also, this concentrate can stay usable for years, so there is no need to worry.

Female hygiene pads for windshield cleaning?

There is one thing you’ll need – female hygiene pads. The science behind this is in the fact that female pads are literally made to absorb as much as possible. Therefore, if your windshield is muddy or dirty, all you have to do is use the pads with some water and scrub vigorously. There will be no dirt left because the water-mixture will get easily absorbed and you will have a clean windshield. Always keep a pack of female hygiene pads on you – you never know when you might need it.