Guest Blogger: Lex Valishvili
Spring is ﬁnally here! Don't know how about you, but I sure look forward to park visits, beach and other road trips. If you are like me, after the excitement of these experiences, comes an aftertaste of a dirty and sandy car Don't worry, I will try to make the process of cleaning it a little easier with a few tips and ideas in this blog.
1. Mark Your Territory
No, I am not talking about the kind of marking dogs do during the walk. I am referring to the place where you are sitting in the car. If your kids are 3 or older, it's a great opportunity to a) teach them responsibility, b) spend quality time together, c) develop a work ethic through modeling it. My older kids are 6, 5 and 3 so, at a minimum, they are responsible for cleaning their cars seats and things around it. Then, if there are any toys somewhere else, they would conquer it together. Lastly, they might participate in vacuuming. While I don't require it yet, in the past they loved to take a small portable vacuum and join me while I am vacuuming with a big one.
2. Make It Shine
To take the cleanest car to the next level, I follow up with wiping the dashboard, windows and other interior parts. Any regular glass cleaner will work just ﬁne with the windows (just be careful with tinted windows, so it won't damage it). However, for the dashboard, I’d suggest some products designed for car interiors that can be found at an auto specialty store. Leather also would require a speciﬁc product for better results.
3. Inside-Out Beauty
Last, but not least, is the exterior of the vehicle. There are two directions you can go with: basic car wash or a full detailed cleaning. In the last few years, I mostly stuck with the ﬁrst option and used drive-thru car washes. It's fast, relatively cheap and the result is ok. However, this year I am thinking about practicing the second option with my kids for the same reasons as mentioned above: spend quality time together (which can be pretty fun, too) and start developing a work ethic in them. For the full cleaning, my plan is to start with a car wash, then focus on all the windows (after the winter it could be a good idea to replace windshield wipers as those tents to be worn out) and wrap it up with polishing the tires! This last step is often overlooked, but as auto enthusiasts know, polished tires add a ﬁnal touch to the complete look Quick tip: use furniture polish then clean up with a brush and a towel.
4. Under the Hood
This step probably shouldn’t be done by you, but by a professional instead. Keeping your vehicle healthy is important for safety reasons as well as to keep it running newer and longer. I highly encourage you to schedule an appointment at your Firestone Complete Auto Care local store for the spring season.
Most importantly, don't have high expectations for this process as kids might not always cooperate as we want. Not having high expectations will save you from getting frustrated or irritated. If they haven't done it before, just start with one task for them. Something I learn more and more is, when we are happy, kids are happier. And even when they are not happy but we keep a good attitude, they subconsciously learn by observing us.
Go have fun and explore places around you! If you want to have a peace of mind, I recommend visiting my friends over at Firestone Complete Auto Care for a full car check-up.