Thursday, July 1, 2010

Homemade Earth-friendly Car Cleaning Recipes

Washing your vehicle with eco-friendly products will help prevent pollutants from entering local waterways.

What you’ll need:

-2 large plastic buckets
-2-3 cellulose sponges and several microfiber towels
-pure castile soap
-spray bottle containing 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar
-old hair brush or scrub brush
-spray bottle containing mixture of 1 tsp. jojoba oil & 1/4 cup white vinegar (interior polish)
-all purpose car wax (if needed)
-washing soda & salt
-hand-held vacuum or Shop-Vac

Clean the outside

Wash your vehicle on days when it is cooler or in the shade so it doesn’t dry quickly leaving spots. Rinse the car to remove debris and dirt. You don’t want to scrub your car with dirt on it because it will scratch the paint.

Prepare 2 buckets:
1-hot soapy water using a couple squirts of pure castile soap + sponge/microfiber towel
2-clean rinse water + sponge/microfiber towel

Wash and rinse the vehicle in small sections and change the water out as needed. Dry quickly with a soft clean rag. Apply wax if needed.

Cleaning the interior:
-Vacuum out the inside using your hand-held vacuum or Shop-Vac. To remove odors place an open box of baking soda under the seats when you are done vacuuming.

-To remove tough spots on mats, remove them from the vehicle, lay them on the sidewalk or driveway and saturate with a mixture of 1 cup washing soda, water and salt to form a paste. Scrub the mats with plenty of water, old hair brush or scrub brush. Rinse clean and let them completely dry before returning to vehicle.

-Use a 50/50 mixture of water & vinegar to clean plastic, wood, chrome, vinyl and leather interior. Spray onto a microfiber cloth and wipe gently in a circular motion. Avoid waxed surfaces because the vinegar will begin to strip any wax previously applied....use hot water instead to clean.

-Shake well the bottle containing the mixture of vinegar & jojoba oil. Spray on a microfiber towel and gently apply in long strokes which will help condition the vinyl, leather and wood interior. Buff to a shine with a clean rag. Test on inconspicuous spot first.

Cleaning headlights, windows, mirrors and wheels:

-Prepare a 50/50 solution of washing soda and salt using enough water so it has the consistency of frosting. Rub on rims and tires and let sit for 10 minutes. Then scrubbing and rinse off. This helps to remove rust and grease. Use a separate towel or sponge for this job because you don’t want the grime on painted surfaces.

-50/50 water & vinegar solution will make chrome shine. Vinegar can tarnish some aluminum alloy so avoid using if you are unsure.

-Windows and mirrors should be cleaned last with a spray bottle containing full strength white vinegar and newspaper. Spray can be let to sit on spots where there is dirt or greasy fingerprints.

-Fill windshield washer fluid reservoir tank with a 50/50 mixture of water & vinegar this will clean the windshield and prevent frost.

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