How to Save Money and Clean Your Car

Why Pay for Something so Easy to Do?

Save Money

Today many people frequently go to a car wash to have their car cleaned, when in-fact you can save money by simply doing it yourself. The price of these services can range from $5 in quarters at a do-it-yourself place where you have just enough time to wash and rinse the exterior to $20 for someone else to wash and possibly wax the exterior or even up to $50 and up to dress the interior as well. The final result depends a lot upon the initial condition of your car and whether or not they call this service detailing.

You can substantially increase your personal savings account if you wash you car yourself. It is not a difficult procedure, and the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. A well-maintained vehicle may only require a quick once over at the end of say, a two-week period. On the other hand, if you habitually eat and spill fast food in your car, allow dirty gym clothes to pile up in the back seat and toss your empty containers on top of the pile, then clean up is obviously a more complicated and time consuming affair.

The tools and equipment needed for regular car clean-up are pretty basic. You usually need something to hold some water; a bucket or pan works great. Then some soap helps cut grease which is kind of a given considering that a car has a motor, which contains oil and is driven on asphalt highways where more oil is a major component. Regular dish washing soap is a grease (or oil) cutting agent, but if you want something stronger, my favorite is Tough-Stuff. Tough-Stuff is an all-purpose cleaner that can be used full-strength to make your actual engine parts sparkle or clean your tires and also used diluted to make your car shine while protecting the paint job. It will even take stains out of the interior upholstery and rugs. I even use it diluted to wash clothes!

save money water butt

A rag or sponge helps spread the soap. If you want to get fancy, you can buy a truck brush which is a brush with a handle so you can do the roof of the car without climbing on anything if you happen to be shorter than your vehicle. This purchase will pay for itself over time as it can be used indefinitely. It’s also nice to have a hose handy to rinse the car, but it’s not totally necessary. You can use the bucket or pan to pour rinse water.

Along with the aforementioned items, a good vacuum makes the job easier and complete. I prefer a wet vacuum with a decently long hose and a few attachments, like something with a needle nose for the crevices. I like the wet-vac because I can drag it across the ground outside the car and not worry about what it sucks up. However, when the wet-vac is not available my upright household vacuum has done a fine job. I am simply careful where I set it outside the car so I don’t inadvertently vacuum dirt or leaves. Many household vacuums have a hose that can snake into your car interior without much problem.

Whatever tools you choose to use, the savings to your wallet can be substantial. Replacing a weekly $5 wash will save you nearly $300 a year considering the gas it takes to get to the facility. If you have your car detailed once a month, doing it at home could save you over $500 a year or more. These financial savings, along with the pleasure of a little fresh air and a job well done will be more than worth the effort.