Owning a car isn’t cheap – as a car owner, you need to be ready for the costs of maintenance and repair. To save time and money, it’s a must to be smart and knowledgeable with fixing little problems, from removing scratches from your car exterior to getting rid of stains from your car seat covers using kitchen products.
To begin with, here are 14 cheap and easy car hacks that will surely save the day.
Use toothpaste to clean headlights
Toothpaste works wonders, not only for keeping your pearly whites healthy but also for making your car headlights squeaky clean. This effective for removing the hazy glaze that covers your headlights.
Using a damp cloth, apply some toothpaste and rub it all over your car headlights. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse with clean water and dry.
Remove scratches and scuff marks with a toothpaste
Getting rid of those unsightly scuffs and scratches from your car’s bodywork is yet another good use of toothpaste.
Grab a damp, soft cloth, and a smear of toothpaste (preferably a classic whitening toothpaste), and start rubbing onto the area using small circular motions. You’ll notice it gradually regaining its spotless, glossy sheen. This trick works best if the scratches and scuff marks haven’t fully penetrated the clear coat of your car’s bodywork.
Hot water and plunger for fixing minor dents
Recently had a minor accident that led to small dents in your car? Worry not! Instead of paying a mechanic to get the job done, you can save money by fixing the dents yourself.
You only need two things: A pot of boiling water and a plunger. Pour some hot water onto the damaged surface to give the plunger proper suction. Then, quickly get a plunger, place it in the middle of the dent, and pump a few times until the dent pops out.
Note: This might not work for heavy damages.
The best way to remove pet hair? Rubber gloves
Let’s be honest: We love taking our pets to our road trips but we hate the fur they leave behind. While the idea of using a vacuum and tape roller makes sense, they just won’t cut it.
One of the most unbelievable tricks for cleaning pet fur is using rubber gloves. Just take a rubber glove and run it all over the affected area until the fibers collect in clumps, making it easy to pick up. Vacuum afterward for a speedy removal.
Razor blade and vinegar for getting rid of stickers
Use a razor blade to peel off stickers from windshield and glass surfaces
Do you have old registration stickers in the windshield? How about those outdated decals you want to get rid of? Grab a plastic razor blade and a spray bottle with white vinegar to peel them off without making a mess.
Spray a bit of vinegar onto the sticker to weaken the adhesive. Start scraping away with the edge of the razor. Carefully peel the rest of the sticker away, and clean the surface with a glass cleaner, vinegar, or rubbing alcohol to remove the sticky spots.
Windshield rain repellents (a.k.a anti-rain sprays) for clear visibility
Driving while raining, especially when you’re listening to a chill mix playlist, may sound like a great idea – unless you’re in the middle of a rainstorm which diminishes your driving visibility.
Good thing windshield rain repellents exist. Just apply the treatment to your exterior glass and see the heavy raindrops fly off your windshield while driving. You can even make your own solution with Paraffin and white spirit.
Silica gels and cat litter crystals for foggy windshields
Foggy windshields, especially in colder seasons, may result in poor visibility and may lead to driving problems. The only way to get rid of moisture is to dehydrate your car with a good car dehumidifier. If you still don’t have one, you can use those silica gels you collected from your shoes, and place a couple of them on your dashboard.
Cat litter crystals, which are designed to absorb moisture, work too! Just fill up a sock with a couple of cat litter crystals, and tie a knot to create your very own dehumidifier bag. Place them on your dashboard or underneath the car seats to remove moisture and any damp odors.
Make it a habit to place rag mat
It’s used for easy and quick cleaning, especially if you have kids, pets, and messy passengers (like your food-loving friends). A rag mat on the floor helps catch food crumbs and dirt under the shoes so you can easily take them out and clean them the end of the trip.
Use a clear nail polish for a temporary glass cracks fix
Do you have a small crack on your windshield? To prevent it from spreading, use clear nail polish. Dab an appropriate amount on the crack to lengthen the life of your windshield.
Winterproof your car
During winter, it’s not impossible for your car to freeze, making it harder to open and use. The good thing is there are a lot of ways to winter-proof your car during extreme weather.
Park your car facing east to let the daylight help melt the ice that has formed on it. If your keyholes get frozen, spray a hand sanitizer directly into the keyhole for the lock. The alcohol content will melt the ice very well.
A basket + muffin tray for large group of drinks
If you love food trips on road trips but hate the juice spills on your car seat covers, this is a must-have. Pack a muffin tray and a laundry basket of the same size to keep your drinks stable.
Use a roll of duct tape as a cup holder
Yes, duct tape can fix everything – including your lack of decent cup holders. Just put your drink into the tape roll and you’ll be surprised by how stable it is when you knock over it or go over a bump.
Use everyday products to remove stains from car seat covers
Instead of taking your car in to a cleaning service or purchasing a specific upholstery cleaner, consider the following quick fixes first:
For cloth car seat covers, try using club soda, baking soda solution, vinegar mixture, or laundry detergent for scrubbing the stain away. For minor stains on leather car seat covers, you may use a non-gel toothpaste. For tougher stains, like ink, use isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. Make sure to test it first on a small area, to see how it reacts with the leather. Just make sure not to use excess water when cleaning.
Hook some storage solutions
Storage solutions make your life a little easier, even while on the road. Attach a remote control caddy or a shoe organizer to store knickknacks, like phones, pens, and even a can of chips. You can also put a carabiner to create headrest hooks for your bags, umbrella, and groceries.