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Keeping Your Car Clean

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Keeping your car in tip top condition adds to its value in the long run. Here are some simple tips for keeping your car in tip top shape.

Litter Bags

Have litter bags available in front and back, empty whenever you get gas.

If you are hauling anything dirty in your car like potting soil or bark, make sure you put down a tarp or newspapers. This will keep the soil from getting into your carpets. Even potting soil in bags tends to leak.

Vacuum and Wash Frequently

A shop vac works well for the vacuuming. They are powerful and you can easily check the dirt if something gets vacuumed up that you want. Vacuum the carpets and seats thoroughly. Be sure to clean spills as soon as possible. Soda spills can work their way down and rust the floor below carpeting. Milk spills can make your car smell. Use floor mats in the car. They will protect the carpeting and be much easier to hose off.

Frequent car washing keeps your finish nice. Dirt works it's way into the finish. Wash with a very mild detergent and make sure you rinse well.

Wax and Detail at Least Once a Year

You can get books on detailing. Basically detailing is cleaning all the little spots that accumulate dust and gunk. Clean everything, shampoo rugs and upholstery, treat all vinyl. Look for any little rust spots you see forming and treat with a rust preventative like Naval Jelly or a rust converter. If you have touch up paint, make sure to touch up little nicks in the finish to prevent them from rusting. Oil the door hinges if they are squeaky. Clean the windows inside and out. Make the car look as new as possible.

Wash Salt Off the Undercarriage

Road salts accumulate under the car, make sure to rinse the underside of the car frequently, especially if you live in areas where they salt the roads.

About The Author: Susan Sanders-Kinzel is the Editor of the ThriftyFun News a twice weekly newsletter about frugal living.

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By Ellen from VA. (Guest Post)01/11/2006

Put baking soda in the ashtray, this will help keep down the odor of cigarettes and also extinguishes the butts quickly.

By Susan Sanders-Kinzel [9]02/16/2005

Little Bags for the Van

I like to save the paper bags with handles that you get from Bath and Body Works, and Victoria's Secret. Well, I have too many now, so I am using them in my van for trash cans (I use the small ones). I have 2 year old twins, so we have sucker sticks, wrappers etc. Then when that bag is filled I can just throw it away, now my van isn't as trashy! YEAH!

By Darcy from Indiana

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