On average, Americans spend at least an hour in their car a day and for many, it’s a lot longer. Our cars transport our friends and family, help bring our belongings to our homes when we shop and allow us to enjoy our morning coffee on our commute. But that kind of wear takes a toll. That’s why using eco-friendly products when cleaning your car is so important. Common store-bought cleaning products regularly contain a bucket-load of harsh chemicals that in the end can damage your vehicle. You breathe in those chemicals every time you sit in your car. Below are some DIY products that you can use to clean the interior of your car that are good for you, your car, your wallet, and for the environment:
Eco-Friendly DIY Cleaning Products
1. DIY Window Cleaner
While Windex and other well-known window cleaning products are the norm, they don’t do the job properly. They leave streaks on your windows that you won’t notice until the sunshine peeks through, leave an unpleasant chemical smell. For a better experience, try out this DIY concoction:
- Combine one-part vinegar and one-part water in a spray bottle
- Add a touch of your favorite essential oil.
The vinegar is a natural cleansing agent that will give you a streak-free window and the corn starch helps lift grime. The essential oils help offset that pungent vinegar smell and makes the whole experience aromatic and fun. If you have any newspapers lying around that you need to recycle, use them to dry your windows instead of paper towels. You’ll be surprised and delighted with how well it cleans your windows!
2. DIY Eco-friendly Odor-Removers
To fix any musky smells, we recommend using the all-purpose, all-natural, magic product known as baking soda. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that can be used on your skin and teeth, on your clothes, and more.
To get rid of any funky smells in your ride, simply sprinkle baking soda over your cloth seats and cloth floorboards. To add more dimension to the fragrance, feel free to crush up a dried flower of your choice – such as dried lavender or dried roses – to amp up the fresh smell.
Allow this sit overnight before vacuuming it up the next day. This will result in a fresh smelling car that will not give away your eating habits! For leather seats, dust some cornstarch or talcum powder and leave overnight.
3. Stain Remover for Leather and Vinyl
To get rid of stains on leather and vinyl car seats, try using toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush. Before getting at your stains; however, be sure to test this method on a small and inconspicuous area to make sure there is no negative reaction. For a sure-fire natural method, you can mix equal parts vinegar and hot water and spray directly on a stain.
This method works best for fabric stains. If the stains are extra stubborn, let either the toothpaste or vinegar mixture to sit on the stain for a few minutes before wiping everything down. These natural methods are not as harsh on your car as chemically riddled products and also your overall health. Win-win!
4. Floor Mat Scrubber
Besides the middle portion of the interior and stains on the car seats, one of the dirtiest aspects of a car are the floor mats. Floor mats take a huge toll throughout all the seasons, especially winter when there is a lot of salt and grime on the bottom of your shoes.
To clean your floor mats naturally, simply sprinkle them with cornstarch. Let everything sit for 30 minutes before vacuuming it up. The cornstarch will absorb most grease stains and will look brand new when you’re finished.
Instead of reaching for the usual car cleaners at the store that are filled with toxic chemicals, you may find that using eco-friendly methods have multiple benefits. When you go eco-friendly, you are taking better care of your car’s interior and your overall health, you are saving money, and you are helping out the environment. You may even be surprised at how hard these natural ingredients work to clean grease stains, get rid of odors, and make your windows shiny and streak-free. If you haven’t tried using DIY eco-friendly cleaning methods for your car yet, today’s the perfect day to start.
Sam Casteris is an avid health and fitness writer who also focuses on personal finance. She knows a healthy planet should be central to all of us, and that means treating our bodies right by staying away from nasty chemicals. You can find more of her work on Contently.