Tools, tips for easy spring cleaning – TheChronicleHerald.ca
Winter is an almost distant memory.
Perfect — but now, you’ve got a yard to clean, plants to plant, a lawn to restore, and a car or two in the garage that are plastered with the remains of a salty, sandy, corrosive winter.
If it hasn’t already, your to-do list is about to explode with springtime chores and you know you should give your cherished car, truck or crossover some much-needed loving. But you don’t want to spend a lot of time and money to do it.
Here’s my annual list of tips, tools and tricks for a quick and easy spring cleaning session.
Optimum No Rinse
Chris Minor is a professional auto detailer, and the owner of Refined Shine Detailing in Lively, Ontario. He shares his personal favourite time and money-saving product.
“If I had to recommend one product for your average weekend detailer, it would be Optimum no rinse,” Minor said. “This product can be heavily diluted and used as a car wash, clay-bar lube, instant detailer, glass cleaner, and a light interior cleaner. A 32-ounce bottle is about 25 bucks, and it will last for years. You don’t even need to use two buckets.”
Looking for an all-in-one miracle cleaner solution for your ride’s paint, glass, interior and the like? Give Optimum No Rinse a look.
Available at your favourite automotive centre on the cheap, detailing brushes are a low-cost, high-impact item to add to your cleaning arsenal. Used by professionals to detail hard-to-clean nooks and crannies, detailing brushes are great at removing dust, crumbs and debris from the thinnest gaps and trim sculpts on your dash, console, vents, cluster and more.
Similar detailing brushes can be used to clean more intricate wheel designs of dust and grime. You can find a set of detailing brushes to add to your car care kit for under $10, and they’ll give your car a professionally detailed look, without the time or fuss. I grabbed a two-pack of Simoniz detailing brushes from my local Canadian Tire for under $15.
Orbital Carpet Cleaning
An orbital buffer can help you wax your car faster, but it has another great use in your ride’s cabin, as a powerful carpet cleaner. Look for a carpet cleaning attachment for your buffer for less than $20, and follow the directions, using the proper speed setting and cleaning agents to power-scrub your soda-stained carpeting and mats. You’ll get professional-level, deep-cleaned results with minimal time and effort.
Big-time shine, without the time! That’s the concept behind spray-wax products, also called spray-detailer or waterless wash and wax. Whatever the name, the concept is similar: you spritz the solution over the paint of your freshly-washed and still-wet car, and buff it off with a big fuzzy towel. You’re applying a thin coat of lustrous wax as you dry your car, effectively giving it the appearance and water repellentcy of a wax-job, but in a fraction of the time.
The main reason you want a foam cannon, is because it’s a giant cannon that shoots foam. You fill this gadget with car wash soap, attach it to your hose or pressure washer, and use it to blast fluffy soap suds all over your ride.
Not only does it negate the need to measure and mix your car wash soap, but it lathers your entire ride in seconds, and can even help keep your ride’s paint in tip-top shape, because it ensures the vehicle is totally, evenly and thoroughly lathered before you start to wash.
Minor says “the worst thing you can do to your paint is to touch it, and with a foam cannon, you’re pre-soaking your car with soap suds, which has lots of benefits. It breaks down dirt and grime, but also offers full lubrication for the washing process, which can minimize paint contact and swirls. It also looks cool.”
Don’t Sweat the Soap
Need you spend $45 on a jug of car wash soap? Or will the $7 jug do? According to Minor, the biggest difference between a $45 car wash soap and a $7 car wash soap, is about $38.
“There isn’t a huge difference between your mainstream car wash soap and the pricier boutique soap products,” Minor says. “Different products foam more than others, have wax in them or not, offer stronger dilution ratios, and the like. But they’re all in the same ballpark.”
Most important? Save the dish soap for the dishes (or your ride’s interior). For most folks, a cheap car wash soap is all that’s needed.