Spruce Up That Used Car: How to Save Money by Detailing All by Yourself

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Used cars are the way to go, but their exteriors pose a financial threat. Here's how to tidy up a used car's interior without spending a lot of money.

Used cars seem to come in two varieties: those with serious interior issues and those loaded with dents and scratches.

You might be tempted to bring your ride to a professional detailer, but you can get a professional looking car without paying hundreds. Use these simple methods — with products you likely already have — to fix these common interior problems that call for more than a good wash and vacuum.

Problem: Stains on Upholstery

Solution : There are a couple of tactics to remove stains; your Grandmother used them before the days of Lestoil. Take regular white vinegar and mix it with an equal amount of water. Put it in a spray bottle and soak the stain, letting it sit for a few minutes. Try blotting with a dry cloth. If this doesn’t work, take some laundry detergent and try the same. With a little effort, you should at least see an improvement.

Problem: Greasy Grimy Floor Mats

Solution: You could buy cheap floor mats, but why spend the money? If the car came with some high quality mats that are just a little worse for wear, remove grease and other grime by sprinkling a little cornstarch on the stains and let this all-natural treatment soak up the problem for you. Let it sit for a good 15 to 30 minutes then just vacuum or wash it up.

Problem: Holes in the Carpet

Solution: This is a great idea for really making a worn interior look better. If there are cigarette burns or other holes, cut a piece of carpet from an inconspicuous spot, like under the seat, and patch up the hole. Be sure to cut with a razor blade or sharp scissors for a neat look. Secure your patch in place with some adhesive and you'll find it looks brand new.

Problem: Damage to Vinyl or Leather Seats

Solution:  You can opt for kits that repair damaged leather and vinyl or you can use dye or shoe polish to recolor worn areas. If there are stains, toothpaste can be a great way to remove them. Test first on an inconspicuous area by brushing on the paste lightly, letting it sit and wiping it clean.

Problem: Dirty Windows

Solution: Go green! Use vinegar and water and some crumpled newspaper or reusable microfiber cloths to clean your screen.

Problem: The Details of Detailing

Solution : Professional detailing may seem daunting, but going through the small nooks and crannies of your new car simply requires patience. With a little effort, a worn interior look can look new again with using special cleaning tools: cotton swabs for vents and knobs or compressed air for hard to reach places.
With these tactics in your pocket, go ahead and spring for that mint exterior in confidence, knowing you can spruce up the interior yourself for short money.

To Read More About Cars, See Below

4 Winter-Proof Mid-Sized Cars Which Auto Manufactures Get the Fewest Recalls? 4 Bleeding Edge Features You’ll Want in Your Next Car


Wendy B.

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