With winter storms winding down, it's time to think about getting your car cleaned up for the summer months. In some cases, a commercial car wash can be even harder on your car than winter weather and not remove all that nasty road salt and grime. Additionally, commercial car cleaning products can be expensive and equally harsh. Nor are they all that great for the environment.
In the best interest of your pocket book, the ground-water system and your vehicle's paint job, here are seven home recipes for healthier car cleaning products.
1. Car Soap
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil-based liquid soap, such as Murphy's Oil Soap
* 2 gallons warm water
Use sparingly and rinse thoroughly,
2. Super Clean Car Soap
The borax powder will remove grime and grease while the soap will make your car super shiny.
* 1/2 cup borax (sodium borate)
* 1-1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil-based liquid soap, such as Murphy's Oil Soap
* 1/2 pail hot water
3. Car Wax
* 1 cup linseed oil
* 4 tbsp. carnuba wax.
* 2 tbsp. beeswax
* 1/2 cup vinegar
Place all the ingredients in the top half of a double boiler or saucepan and heat slowly until the wax has completely melted. Stir and pour into a metal container. Once wax has solidified you can apply it to the car with a lint-free cloth followed by a good rubdown with a cotton rag saturated in vinegar.
4. Tire Cleaner
Not everyone cares about clean tires but off-road drivers and car lovers may want to try this process.
* 1/4 cup bleach
* 3/4 cup warm water
* powdered cleanser
Place the bleach and water mixture in a spray bottle. Rinse the first two tires with water then spritz with the bleach mixture. Dampen a tire brush in a bucket of soapy water and sprinkle powdered cleanser on the brush. Scrub the tires and rinse. Repeat on the second pair of tires.
5. Carpet Stain Removers
* Mild stains: Soak the spot immediately with club soda and blot until the stain is gone.
* Recently dried stains: Sprinkle corn starch onto carpet and vacuum.
* Grease spots: Absorb excess grease with a sponge. Rub a liberal amount of corn starch into the spot. Let sit overnight and vacuum.
* Deep stains: Mix 3 quarts very hot water, 1 cup vinegar and 2 teaspoons Castile soap. Dab onto stain and gently massage with your fingers. Rinse with water, blot with a clean cloth and allow to dry. Vacuum the entire area. Repeat if stain still shows.
6. Carpet and Upholstery Odor Control
* 1 cup borax
* 1 cup baking soda
* 1/2 cup cornmeal
* 5 drops cypress essential oil (or essential oil of your preference)
Combine dry ingredients in a plastic bowl. Add essential oil and mix well. Sprinkle mixture over carpet and wait several hours, preferably overnight. Vacuum remaining powder.
7. Windshield Wiper Fluid (Anti-freeze)
* 6 cups vinegar
* 2 cups water
* Blue dye, if you want the full Walmart experience