The birds are chirping, the sun is coming out and a fresh spring breeze is blowing through your hair – finally, spring is here! 

It is often forgotten – not only your four walls are happy about the spring cleaning, no, also your car. Whether it’s crumbs from the morning bread roll or dirt stains from the dirty hands of children – with the following tips, cleaning up will be child’s play and your car will be ready to show off again.

The rule is; from the inside out.

Step 1: Clear out 

Clear everything out of your car that is not nailed down. 

Step 2: Cleaning 

Floor mats out, vacuum cleaner in. Use the vacuum cleaner and clean the interior of your car from loose traces of use. Move the seats from the very front to the very back so that nothing is forgotten. Don’t forget the hard-to-reach places, such as small crevices between the seats, as well as the individual compartments. 

Next, thoroughly vacuum the floor mats. If they are very dirty, washing them won’t hurt either. After that, air them properly and let them dry so that even the last of the winter grime disappears.

Step 3: Wipe down surfaces 

After the general dirt has been vacuumed off, the next step is to clean your cockpit. This is usually made of plastic and can therefore be wiped down easily. If you can’t get anywhere with a soft cloth and water, we recommend using a cockpit cleaner. Just make sure that it does not attack the plastic. It’s better to keep your hands off harsh cleaning products!  

Step 4: Care for textiles 

Your seat fabrics are constantly used and should be cleaned and cared for accordingly. If your seats have fabric covers, then use an upholstery cleaner. You can also use this for other textiles such as the headliner or floor mats. Make sure that you use as little water as possible and let the seats dry well afterwards to avoid possible mold growth. 

Leather seats are much more sensitive than textiles and appreciate good care. There are extra leather cleaners and care products for this purpose.

Step 5: Put away properly 

Now that your interior is shiny, you can move the necessary things back in. But before you put everything away again, it’s time to: Clean out!Clean out!  Superfluous material stays outside. Not only does useless stuff take up space and fly around, every kilo costs you additional fuel. 

Just like at home, every item has its place.

Step 6: Clean the outside 

If it’s shiny on the inside, it should be nice on the outside, too. 

But before you go to the car wash, you have to clean the rims. Use a rim cleaner to get rid of brake dust and other dirt. Then you should seal the rims to protect the new dirt from building up. If you have black matte rims, check with your dealer beforehand so that the paint is not damaged.

Step 7: Clean properly 

Off to the car wash. 

If it must go fast: It’s easiest to get rid of the worst dirt and grime in the car wash. Especially the salt from the winter should be washed off thoroughly. A wash program with a pre- and underbody wash is recommended. After the roughest dirt is off, you can go into detail by hand. 

If you decide to use the car wash or hand wash, make sure that the necessary equipment is clean beforehand. Dust and dirt can leave scratches on the paint. 

With plenty of water, clean and soft sponges and the right car shampoo, your car will be sparkling clean by hand. Be careful not to apply too much pressure and use a compatible cleaner. Also, think about hard-to-reach places like door frames, outside mirrors and interior flanks.

If a pressure washer is used for cleaning, make sure you have enough distance between the beginning of the water stream and the surface. At least 50cm is recommended. 

If your front bumper is an insect graveyard, then an insect remover is recommended. 

To avoid unsightly water spots, dry your car with a clean microfiber cloth.

Step 8: Clean windshields 

Clean windows are essential for a clear view. Get rid of fingerprints and unnecessary buildup – use a window cleaner and a window cloth (streak-free) to get a clear view. However, make sure that the cleaner does not attack the rubber seals. It is also recommended that heated windows be cleaned horizontally. 

Step 9: Care for rubber seals

Door rubbers seal the gaps between car doors/trunk and body, and keep out moisture, dirt and wind. To avoid brittle rubber seals, it is recommended to grease them regularly when they are completely dry. You can find special door rubber care products for this purpose. Vaseline or chapstick (lip care) with the help of a cotton cloth also serve as an alternative. 

Make sure that you do not use any water-based care products in winter. These products can be counterproductive in winter, as they can freeze and damage the rubber.

Step 10: Have you thought of everything?

You’re almost done – now comes a general check. 

– Are all the lights working? 

– Do I still have windshield wiper water (in the winter necessarily with antifreeze)? – Are the windshield wiper blades still working? 

– Is the windshield damaged (have stone chips repaired immediately)? 

– Check oil 

– Check coolant 

– Still enough tire tread? 

– Check tire pressure (different for winter and summer tires)

– Are there scratches in the paintwork? If so, repair immediately to avoid damaging rust.

Additional tips: 

If the trunk is in heavy use – strollers, winter gear, bicycles, etc., a plastic dirt mat is recommended. This is waterproof and very easy to clean. 

Refrain from eating in the car, it causes the most dirt. If there is no other way, make sure that you have a bag with you in which you can put the waste and dispose of it directly at the next stop. 

It’s also a good idea to have a pack of wet wipes with you so that dirty fingers don’t have to be cleaned on either the seat cushion or the good pants. 

Always have a bag with you: for spontaneous purchases, against sports stuff flying around and for transporting things that have no business being in the car.