Fixing Common Car Mistakes

Nothing is as aggravating as making a mistake that causes permanent damage to your car. We understand that minor misfortunes are inevitable, whether due to kid carpoolers, loose drink lids, or careless passengers there are many ways your car can get damaged. We love our cars, but many of us are guilty of living out of them, making them susceptible to all of life’s messes.

Auto Transport knows just how annoying it can be to fix a foolish car mistake. Don’t worry, these tips will help you fix your mistakes, and save your cars appearance. Please keep in mind, these tips are DIY, if you have a serious stain or repair that needs professional attention, don’t try to fix it yourself, you may end up making it worse!

Start Clean

Before taking action, you must prepare! First, wash the outside and inside of your car. This includes vacuuming the interior, under the floor mats and all crevices. Pay extra attention to the areas you’ll be treating.

Gather Your Supplies

For DIY stain-slaying, homemade mixes offer the most success. Plus, you can mix up as little or as much as you need. You’ll also need at least two spray bottles, one to fill with your solution, and one full of plain cold water.

  • Vinegar mixed 50/50 with water
  • Ammonia mixed 35/65 or 25/75 with water (note: never use heat with ammonia)
  • Dish-washing detergent (plain) mixed 35/65 with hydrogen peroxide

Lifting Liquids

From seats to ceiling, the absorbent parts of your car suffer the most from life’s leaks. Commuting with coffee, carpooling kids, and split grocery bags, to name just a few. It’s enough to make your head spin, if you let any of these substances soak in. Keep in mind rising temperatures can turn an unsightly stain into a chronic stink.

When you spill, your best bet to skip the stain is to blot, not scrub.

  • Immediately place a clean towel on top of the spill and press down to soak up as much as possible.
  • Dampen–don’t soak–the stain, with your cleaning spray.
  • Place a new clean towel on the stain and allow it to soak up the solution, anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, replacing the towel as it becomes saturated.
  • Once you have soaked up as much liquid as possible, use a clean rag and a small amount of your cleaner to gently wipe at the remaining stain, moving in from the outside of the stain.
    If the stain remains, repeat starting with Step #2, or try the next tip; it works on stubborn stains as well.

Banish Bad Odors

Fighting milk or sugary-drink spills require battling bacteria as well as the stain itself.

  • Immediately place a clean towel on top of the spill and press down to soak up as much as possible.
  • Spray with your cleaner.
  • Liberally sprinkle the stain with baking soda, and allow to dry, overnight if possible.
  • Vacuum the baking soda.
  • Lightly spray with cleaner and use a clean rag to gently wipe the remaining stain, moving outside inwards.
    If a smell remains, repeat from Step #2.

Sticky Stains

To get sticky substances like jelly or grease out of the carpet, lather it up. Apply shaving cream directly to the stain and let sit for half an hour. Blot it away with a clean cloth. If some of the stain still remains, try cleaning it with the vinegar mixture described previously. Only use plain shaving cream, not gel, without moisturizers or additives

Burning Love

Cigarette burns are both unsightly and embarrassing. Here are some methods that can help hide tell-tale black mars in your seat or headliner.

  • Remove the black, hardened edge, using a cloth soaked in water. You can also gently scrape it off with a razor blade.
  • Find an inconspicuous place in your car to remove a piece of material that matches the damaged spot.
    Headliner: Gently scrape fibers until you have enough to cover the hole.
    Seat: Cut a piece of material the size of the hole and shape to fit.
  • Apply a thin layer of fabric glue inside and to the edges of the hole.
  • Press the fibers or material over the hole and gentle press and smooth the edges until it is flush with the hole.
  • Allow to dry overnight.

Foggy Headlights

If your car’s headlights look scuffed, try cleaning them with toothpaste. Oxidation and micro-scarring, which cause the “foggy” look, builds up much like plaque on your teeth. Try scrubbing (gently) with baking soda and vinegar cleaner.

Planning for Prevention

Preventing mistakes that spell disaster for your car starts with planning and organization. After all your hard work, try these tricks to avoid having to take care of those messes twice.

  • Get a small trash bin for your car. These can be purchased online, at your local auto store, Target and Bed Bath and Beyond. There’s no better way to prevent stains than having a place to put the mess before it gets on your car.
  • To keep drinks from leaking and catch spills, create your own coasters for cup holders.
  • Most shower caddies can fit between the seats of your car. Use them to hold toys, books, and crayons, or as food holders to keep kids neat when eating on the go.
  • Pencil cases and other zippered pouches, such as reusable snack bags, make great places to store art supplies, such as crayons that love to roll under seats and melt in the summer. Attach a carabineer to clip them together and hook onto a convenient  spot.
  • Hang a small shoe organizers from the backs of seats to create places to store all of your kids stuff. From sunscreen to crayons, having somewhere to stick things will keep them from cluttering up the backseat of your car.

We hope you’ve found these tips helpful when fixing your common car mistakes. Remember, if a stain seems to be too tough for you to get out on your own, take it to a professional who can detail the inside of your car.

If you’re looking to transport your vehicle contact us at Auto Transport 123!

Ready to transport your car with Ultimate Transport 123