10 Genius DIY Car Cleaning Hacks That Really Work

Car cleaning tricks

You don’t always need to fork out a ton of money for expensive car detailing and cleaning products in 0rder to get a shiny ride!

With the car cleaning hacks below, we’ll show you how to deep clean your car with homemade recipes and supplies you probably already have at home.

Now that spring is here and summer is around the corner, it’s time to get your car sparkling!

10 Super Clever Car Cleaning Hacks

We’re all about working smart, not hard. These are called car cleaning HACKS for a reason – they’re little ingenious tips you may not think of right away, and they make the job so much easier.

They also allow you to clean areas that you may have never been able to reach in the past. Don’t be surprised if you find some nasty stuff the first time around!

1. Get Those Windows and Mirrors Clean

Car window and side mirror

Get your car windows and mirrors clean without streaks with our homemade glass cleaner recipe. All you need to do is mix together some vinegar, rubbing alcohol, cornstarch, and warm water. Add it all to a spray bottle, and put it to work!

This is super simple and cheap to make and seriously, it works wonders on any glass surfaces.

2. Stop Smudgy Wipers

Dirty car windshield

Windshield wipers that leave streaks and smudges are unsafe and quite annoying too! If it’s really bad the only solution may be to replace the wipers completely, but before doing that, try these hacks first:

  • Wipe the blades clean with a clean rag – Sometimes dirt and dust are to blame for streaky wipers. A simple wipe down may be all you need! Some warm water and soap can help here too.
  • Use rubbing alcohol – After wiping down the blades, some say wiping some rubbing alcohol on the clean blade afterward helps reduce streaking too. You don’t need a lot though!

3. Use a Makeup Brush

Cleaning car dash with a makeup brush

Makeup brushes might not be the first thing you think of using while cleaning your car, but think about it…the brushes are super soft, won’t cause scratches, and can easily reach into those little crevices between buttons, in air vents, etc.

This video shows you how this car cleaning hack is done and the creator recommends using one makeup brush for dusting, and another wet makeup brush for removing grime.

Note that you won’t want to use makeup brushes that already have makeup on them. That will just cause more of a mess! Clean them off first with our DIY makeup brush cleaner.

4. Make Some Slime!

Using slime to clean car

This sounds like a quick way to make your car dirtier, but hear me out! There’s a little thing called “cleaning slime” that people use to clean keyboards, electronics, and you guessed it…cars.

The idea is that you let the slime get into those tiny, unreachable crevices, and then you quickly pull it out – pulling the dust and dirt out with it. This could be used in air vents and buttons, or you can even use it right on the dashboard to pick up dust, just like in this video.

If you want to know how to make some cleaning goo of your own, check out our DIY glitter slime tutorial (just omit the glitter part).

5. Stock up on Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets in car

Dryer sheets are cheap and useful to have in your car. First, you can use them to freshen things up quickly: just grab one when things start to get smelly and rub it along the car and seats. Some people even stick them in the air vents as a DIY air freshener!

Next, and this is a weird one, you can use dryer sheets to remove dead bugs from the exterior of your car! Just soak one in water and wipe those bugs away.

6. Detail Upholstery DIY Style

Before and after shot of clean car upholstery

If you have kids or dogs regularly in your car, there’s a good chance your car seats could use some love! Paying someone to detail your upholstery can be expensive, but luckily there’s an easy DIY solution.

Here’s what you’ll need before getting started:

Once you have those things, head over to our DIY car upholstery detailing tutorial.

7. Put Cupcake Molds in Your Cup Holders
Silicone cupcake mold catching crumbs

I saw this car cleaning hack on Buzzfeed, and it’s pretty ingenious!

Crumbs and liquids can easily get stuck in your cup holder, but this simple (albeit strange) trick solves that problem. Just stick a silicone cupcake mold into each of your cup holders and it will catch all the fuzz, dirt, and grime.

Then, next time you’re cleaning your car just take the molds out, clean them, and replace! Easy and effective.

8. Clean Grime in Unreachable Areas

Cleaning car crevices with screwdriver and cloth

The makeup brush hack above is good for cleaning hard to reach areas, but it can’t always get everything. Some grime is just too stuck on.

That’s when this hack comes in handy. Family Handyman recommends getting a worn down flathead screwdriver, covering it in a cloth with a bit of all-purpose cleaner, and then using it to scrape and wipe up any hard grime.

9. Put Car Mats in the Dishwasher

Cleaning car mats in a dishwasher

Yep, you read that right. This hack from Making Mid Life Matter is absolutely genius!

First, take your car mats out and slap them to get the loose rocks and dirt out. Then, put them in the dishwasher with a cleaning pod, turn on the shortest cycle, and finish cleaning your car.

By the end of the cycle, your car mats will look brand new. And, you barely had to put any effort into it!

10. Make Your Own Air Freshener

Clothespin air freshener

This clever hack is from The Krazy Coupon Lady. With a clothespin and some essential oils (we recommend doTERRA), you can make a custom air freshener super easily.

Just apply 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil onto a clothespin and then attach it to one of your air vents. Enjoy the fresh smell!

Bonus Tips

If you have kids, get them to help out with cleaning your car! If you offer them a bit of allowance as a reward they should be pretty excited to lend a helping hand 🙂

Other helpful tools:

  • Compressed air – Use compressed air to blow dust and other small things from button crevices and such.
  • Car trash can – One of these handy things makes cleaning wrappers, receipts, and other trash out of the car a whole lot easier each month.
  • Car squeegee – If you ever get in your car and your windshield is covered with condensation on the inside, having a squeegee on hand is really useful! Some even have microfibre cloths attached for which help remove dirt and grime.

Car cleaning hacks

Final Thoughts

Combine the car cleaning hacks above with your regular car cleaning routine and you’ll not only make the job easier on yourself, but you’ll also have a much cleaner car at the end of it all! Hope you found these helpful!

Have any car cleaning tricks of your own to share? Leave a comment below!

More Cleaning Tips:

Car deep cleaning tips

Types: Cleaning, Adult
Categories: Auto, #StayHome


  • Great car cleaning tips! Here’s a few additional tips that I find helpful:
    1.) Use an old toothbrush with diluted carpet cleaning solution to get carpet crevices clean before using the regular hand/furniture attachment on your carpet cleaner.
    2.) Keep a small spray bottle of Armor-All interior car shine in your glove box(inside a ziplock bag ) along with some cleaning rags or paper towels. I found mine at the Dollar Tree store.
    3.) make or buy a seat cover for the front seats or at least the driver’s side.

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