by Pat Goss
Keeping your car clean is certainly important to maintain its value. But you have to keep it clean and you have to keep it sanitary and safe for you. But first, some things that you shouldn’t do. Number one, you shouldn’tclean your car using paper towels because they can trap dirt and then that dirt scratches soft surfaces. Here’s a big one I don’t know where it came from but a lot of people are doing it, you should never do it. And that is to use any kind of bleach inside the car, takes the color out of things. Instead of the paper towels well for any of the products that you're going to use, microfiber cloths. That is the way you go.
Peroxide is a no no and when it comes to household cleaners, a lot of them are antibacterial but they aren’t anti viral. And in this day and age of the Coronavirus, we need something that addresses both of these issues. So make sure you read the labels and get the right products. Also, never forget to read your owner’s manual. Look for the exclusions and the things that tell you what not to use on certain surfaces because not all cars are the same.
Now one thing that is pretty much the same are the soft plastics that are used in touchscreens, and over the instruments and things like that. There are special cleaners that are designed for those. Don’t use a general purpose cleaner because it can damage that plastic. Then, here we have wipes. Well, we have one that is 70% alcohol and one that’s 5% alcohol. 5% is fine for your hands and things like that. But you want the 70% for the inside of your car so that it kills bacteria and viruses. Oh, and hand cleaner is a no no on the inside of your car. Make sure you use it on your hands of course but not in the car.
When it comes to cleaning leather and vinyl and so on, well you can use alcohol and products like that. It will clean it but it’s probably gonna leave it dull and so on you're going to have to be really careful with it so that it doesn't damage the surface of the leather or vinyl. Best thing to do in that case, is to use a dedicated leather and vinyl cleaner and conditioner. That’ll clean it and condition the material as well. And after that go over it and disinfect it. And if you have a question or comment, drop me a line right here at MotorWeek.