How to Select the Best Car Cover by Region

Looking for a car cover? You’ve probably measured your car, figured out a budget, determined where you plan to keep it and are ready to place your order. But have you taken where you live into account? Day to day factors in your region like climate, UV-exposure, the kinds of trees and flowers and population density in your area can impact your decision.

Not sure where to start? Here’s a helpful guide to knowing what to look for in a cover based on the region where you live.

Region # 1 – Southeast U.S.


The American South offers warm weather year round, a slower pace, theme parks and history. It also offers hot, humid weather, mud and dirt, seasonal hurricanes and plenty of flowers and trees.

In places with high humidity, you need a cover that is fully waterproof and also has excellent UV protection. You’ll also want a cover that allows for air to flow. This keeps condensation from accumulating which helps prevent the growth of mold, mildew and rust. Look for covers with breathable material or with air-vents built-in.

Southest U.S. Region for Car Covers

Recommended Cover: Titan 5L

Region #2 – Southwest U.S.

STATES: Southern CA, TX, UT, AZ

The American southwest offers spectacular vistas and summertime weather all year long. It also offers high temperatures, intense UV-radiation from long periods of sunshine (and lack of shade). It also brings dust storms and the occasional flash flood.

In hot and dry areas, you want a cover that is designed to be UV-resistant and durable to protect against dust, grit and debris. Look for covers that are breathable and lighter in color. This will help keep your car cool when the temperature rises. However, don’t assume that you don’t need a cover that is waterproof or water-resistant, a sudden rainstorm can dump a lot of rain on your car with no warning. If your cover isn’t waterproof, the rain can seep through and stay in place until you remove the cover.

Southwest U.S. Region for Car Covers

Recommended Cover: Titan 4L

Region #3 – Pacific Northwest

STATES: Northern CA, ID, OR

The Pacific Northwest offers lush forests, mountain ranges, hiking trails and ocean vistas. It also offers over 100” of rain every year.

In areas where rain is more of a regular feature and the sun shows itself less frequently, you’ll want a cover that is specially treated to keep water off and has watertight seams to prevent water from pooling or leaking through.

Recommended Cover: Titan 5L

Region #4 – Plains States/Midwest


The plains states are known for wide open spaces, and miles and miles of open roads. They are also susceptible to cold weather and powerful windstorms. Blizzards and frequent snowstorms are also common which means more plowing and road salt, which can quickly eat away at your car, if left unprotected.

In cold and windy states, look for covers that have water and ice protection and are also designed to stay in place.  This may include heavier materials, rip-stop fabrics that can stand up to high winds and straps and buckles that can secure your cover against windy conditions.

Midwest, Plains States Car Covers

Recommended Cover: American Armor

Region #5 – Northeast U.S./New England/ Mid-Atlantic


Generally a more temperate region, the Northeast has a mix of weather. What it also has are trees with leaves and sticky sap, flowers, high pollen counts, bird droppings and other environmental pollutants that can eat at your car’s finish. If you live near the Atlantic Ocean, salty breezes can also accelerate rust. To keep your car clean, look for a cover with a hydrophobic coating make it easy to rinse off your cover and keeps pollutants from sticking.

Recommended Cover: Titan 5L

Other Concerns

Where Do I Store My Car?

All of the suggestions above assume that you’re storing your car outdoors for most of the year. But what if you keep your car indoors? Even when stored indoors, your car can be affected by dust, grit and other liquids. Also, sunlight from a single window can fade your car over time.

If you keep your car indoors and occasionally need to store it inside, the Indoor Basic Cover provides great indoor protection and enough waterproofing and durability to protect your car for short periods of outdoor storage.

For those who truly treasure their car, and would never allow it to site outside, the Indoor Luxury Cover may be a better bet. With soft elastic fabric that contours to your car, it keeps dust spills and sun away without threatening your finish.

How Often Do I Need To Cover My Car?

If you leave your car covered for extended periods of time, a heavier cover will work. However, if you remove your cover on a daily or weekly basis, a lighter cover is probably the best bet. Look for covers that protect, but are made from lightweight materials that can fold up for easy storage.

What Kind Of Finish Do I Have On My Car?

If your car is a collector’s item, or you’re simply concerned about protecting your paint and finish, look for a cover with a softer fleece-like lining. This will help prevent scratching.

Is Theft Protection A Concern?

If you live in a city, chances are that you park your car in a public garage or in a high-traffic area. If yes, you’re at an increased risk for theft or vandalism. The good news? Your cover can serve as an additional theft-deterrent. Car thieves are often on the lookout for specific car makes and models, they also want to be able to get in and out quickly. Putting a cover on your car will make prospective thieves think twice before breaking into your car.

Using a cover that doesn’t tear easily, but also has built-in, re-enforced grommets. This provides an excellent anchor point that can accommodate a cable and lock.

Knowing how your region can affect your car cover buying needs will help you to select a cover that will protect and also last, regardless of where you live.

How to Stop Rust on a Car or Truck

The iron worm, the red menace, metal corrosion, whatever you call it, rust is one of the inevitable problems that can affect your vehicle.

While rust (like death and taxes) is inescapable. There are steps you can take to extend the life of your vehicle.

There are three key steps required to stop rust on a vehicle:

  1. Understanding Rust
  2. Preventing Rust
  3. Treating Rust


What Is Rust?

Rust is the layperson’s text for the chemical process called oxidation. In this process, iron molecules react with oxygen in the air to create iron oxide. This process is accelerated by the presence of salt, especially when it’s dissolved in water.

Because of this, water that gets trapped in unseen pockets of your vehicle will dissolve, leave behind contaminants and speed up the oxidation process.

This is why vehicles in the Northeast and mid-west that get exposed to more snow and use road salt are more rust-prone than vehicles in drier areas.

Types of Rust
Surface Rust

protect against surface rust

Your vehicle’s paint doesn’t just make your vehicle look good. It’s also your first line of defense against rust. When your vehicle is exposed to UV-radiation, rain, snow ice and regular wear and tear, the finish starts to crack. Over time, moisture can seep into these cracks are create rust that develops on the surface of your vehicle, just under the paint.

Scale Rust 

Left untreated, rust will continue to penetrate into the metal surface of your vehicle. Because rust molecules are bigger than the iron or steel in your vehicle, the rust expands and continues to expose more of the base metal below. This can cause a rough, pitted type of damage called scaling that further damages the metal surfaces of your vehicle.

Penetrating Rust

After prolonged exposure, steel is converted to brittle iron oxide and holes form. As the rust creates these holes, they continue to expose more of your vehicle’s metal to rust and can affect the structural and craft integrity of your vehicle’s panels and frame.


As the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense. The best way to keep rust from damaging your vehicle is to not let it get a foothold in the first place.

Keep it Clean

Rust can only affect your vehicle when you allow corrosive materials to stay in place for extended periods of time. Cleaning your vehicle on a regular basis is the first line of defense. This is especially true during the winter when your vehicle can get exposed to road salt and get damaged by snow, ice and winter UV radiation. If you don’t want to take your vehicle to the vehicle wash, you can also clean it at home. Even spraying your vehicle with a mixture of baking soda and automotive soap can neutralize the acidic effect of salt and other chemicals. Use sparingly one tbsp. of baking soda should be sufficient for the undercarriage of your vehicle.

Keep it Covered

If you leave your vehicle parked outside, you run the risk of water and other elements damaging your finish or pooling on the surfaces of your vehicle. Putting a cover on can help keep rust at bay. Look for covers that keep rain and moisture from penetration and cover as much of your vehicle as possible. Also, make sure your cover provides adequate ventilation so that condensation can’t accumulate and continue to contribute to rust.

Treat and Coat

While there is no such thing as a guaranteed rust prevention treatment, adding a water-resistant coating to the surface of your vehicle can help keep water from penetrating your finish.

Another option is to apply an undercoating to protect your undercarriage from corrosion. Using a rubberized undercoating rather than a “clear coat”. The rubberized coating is more durable and creates a stronger water-resistant seal.

Ideally, an undercoat should be applied when the vehicle is new, however, if you want to add this layer of protection after it’s left the dealership, clean the undercarriage thoroughly. If rust has already begun to accumulate you’ll need sand or grind it off and then paint and prime the undercarriage.

Also remember, no treatment or coating will last forever, remember to reapply at regular intervals to maintain.

Inspect Regularly

Checking your vehicle over on a regular basis can allow you to catch rust accumulation and prevent it from spreading. When inspecting, check the:


Give your vehicle’s paint a regular once over. If you see dark spots in the paint, scratches or dings that show signs of rust, or paint that is blistering from below, these may be signs of rust build up.

Wheel Wells

These are frequent problem areas for rust build up because they aren’t in place sight. Most tire manufacturers recommend that you rotate your tires every 6,000 miles (10,000 km), so when you perform this maintenance, use the opportunity to check for rust as well. If there is too much mud to see clearly, spray with a hose to clean out the well before inspecting.


If your vehicle has a metal bumper, inspect these as well, checking the outside and inside surfaces and the mountings. This is especially important for older vehicles where metal bumpers can rust faster than the body of the vehicle.

Joints and Panels

Another place where rust can accumulate is in the joints and spaces between panels where sections of your vehicle meet. Even if your vehicle is made with non-rusting materials, the mounting brackets that hold panels in place can still be at risk.


The underside of your vehicle will usually take the most punishment during the winter because it is unpainted and directly exposed to snow, ice and road salt.

Checking beneath your vehicle during routine oil changes or tire rotation is a good way to nip any problems in the bud.


Scrape and Sand

If you find rust building up in paint cracks or crevices, gently scrape away using a single-edged razor blade or fine-grain sandpaper. For larger painted areas, a brush with stiff (not-metal) bristles can also help to remove rust. You can also use coarse sandpaper to grind the rust off large areas that are out of sight and not surrounded by paint.
Rust remover can help, but should only be applied after you get the loose rust off the surface, the rust remover can then help to get into the areas where the rust is in contact with your vehicle’s metal and loosen its grip on your vehicle.

Remember, to work inward from the edges. Otherwise, you risk additional damage to the rest of your vehicle’s finish.

Apply Rust Arrestor

After you’ve removed all the rust, apply a rust arrestor. This will help to keep the rust from spreading further and provide an extra layer of protection.

Prime and Paint

Once your rust arrestor has fully dried, you can prime and paint the affected area to restore your vehicle’s finish.

Consult a Professional

If your rust damage is extensive, and there are visible holes in the body of your vehicle, it may be time to take it to a body shop.

Get a few estimates first and then compare the cost against the blue book value of the vehicle. If the cost to repair outstrips the vehicle’s value, it may be time to move on to another vehicle.

Protect against rust damage


While rust is unavoidable, taking the right steps to understand, prevent, maintain and repair your vehicle will allow you to extend its life, and get the greatest value for every mile that you drive. No matter how bad the weather.

Rust-Oleum NeverWet - The Most Innovative Car Cover

Our American Armor Plus Car Cover with Rust-Oleum® NeverWet® Technology is our most advanced cover yet! This unparalleled cover repels water, mud, ice, and other liquids. A soft inner lining protects your vehicle's paint from scratches.

Car Paint Protection Tips For New & Old Cars

One of the best things about getting a new car is the paint. Your car arrives with pristine paintwork, free of scratches, dings, stains, chips and discoloration. Once you drive it off the lot, it’s up to you to protect that paint to maintain that new car look.

Protecting your paint is about more than aesthetics, your car's cosmetics are 30% of its value, and so protecting your paint is also about protecting your investment in your car.

If you’re looking for the best way to protect your car’s paint, consider the following options:

  • Waxes
  • Sealants
  • Covers
  • Coatings
  • Clear Film
  • Keep it Clean
  • All of the Above

All of them have pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses. To understand how to best protect your car’s paint, here’s a breakdown for you to consider.

1. Waxes

Traditional car waxes, often referred to as Brazil wax or palm wax, are made from Brazilian carnauba. Other wax products can include other ingredients such as beeswax, petroleum distillates or linseed oil.

Car wax has traditionally been used to provide a car with a warm glossy finish and gives a car’s surface a natural glow. When properly applied, it also provides excellent protection for a car’s paint.


  • Gives your car a warm glow and even softens the feeling of the paint
  • Protects against rust, dirt, salt and other pollutants
  • Repels water
  • Fills in and covers light scratches


  • Waxes only last for 1-3 months on average
  • Application is a time-consuming process
  • Dark colored cars in hot climates are susceptible to hazing and streaking

2. Sealants

Sealants are liquid compounds that are designed to bond to the finish of your car and protect it from sun, dirt, weather and other pollutants.

Like waxes, sealants are applied to the surface in layers to bond with a car’s paint. Unlike waxes, sealants are made from synthetic polymers. In fact, most over the counter 'waxes' are actually sealants.


  • Sealants are more durable than waxes and can last from 1 month to a year
  • More affordable and readily available
  • Easier to apply than waxes


  • Doesn’t always provide the warm glossy finish of a wax. This is especially true for darker cars
  • Sealants don’t usually provide effective UV protection, however they will protect your car’s clear coat, which does

3. Covers

A car cover is one of the easiest low-maintenance ways to protect your car’s paint. Whether you store your car in a private garage, a parking lot, the street or a driveway, a quality cover can protect your car from anything mother-nature or human nature can throw at it.

Car Cover Protection


  • Affordable over the long term, a quality cover can last up to 7 years.
  • A well-designed car cover should be waterproof, UV-resistant, stain-resistant and be breathable to prevent mold.
  • Covers can serve as a theft deterrent


  • You can’t drive your car with your cover on

4. Coatings

Coatings are relatively new compared to waxes and sealants, but work in the same way. Made from resin or quartz-based ceramics, coatings are applied to the surface of your car and bond with the finish.

Normally, coatings are thicker and give a candy-coated look to the vehicle. Pricing on coatings can vary from several hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on your installer.

Coatings essentially create a tough shell over your car’s painted surfaces.


  • Coatings can last over 5 years
  • Hydrophobic
  • Resistant to UV
  • Durable and able to protect against scratching, etching from water, bug impacts and bird droppings


  • More expensive than waxes or sealants
  • Require a thorough cleansing of the surface
  • You need to have surface defects removed prior to coating

5. Clear Films

Clear films are like plastic wrap for your car. A thin protective film is custom cut and applied to specific car panels that are most likely to suffer damage from scrapes, rock chips and airborne particles.



  • Long lasting and require minimal maintenance
  • Have self-healing properties which can allow some light scratches to be 'healed' with time or heat exposure.
  • UV resistant


  • Can cost as much as $900-2500 per panel
  • Only protects specific panels
  • Sap and other environmental pollutants can eat through the film if left on over time
  • Require a thorough cleansing of the surface
  • You may also need to have surface defects removed prior to coating

6. Keeping it Clean

One of the simplest ways to protect your paint is to keep your car clean. Whether you take it to the car wash, or detail it yourself, regularly cleaning your car can remove salt, tree sap, bird droppings, dust, dirt and more. Many car washes will also apply a wax or sealant to help your car maintain its shine.

If you decide to clean your car at home, stay away from dish detergent, it will hurt your car’s paint. Instead, use a high-quality car wash chemical and apply it with a foam pad applicator. Then, rub the body with a fine-grade car wash mitt or microfiber cloth and rinse thoroughly with clean water.

If regular washing is not possible, at least wipe down the car every day with a duster to prevent unexpected sanding of the paint.

Even something as simple as having a rule to not run fingers along the surface of the car can make a difference. Fingernails can leave deep scratch marks on the body and your finger will act like a sandpaper, grinding the dirt into the paintwork.

Love Your Car's Finish

7. All of the Above

The best thing about these solutions is that many of them can work together to protect your paint. A clear film can be covered with a sealant or coating to add an extra layer of protection.

Consider how you use your car when making a decision.

  • If you commute on a highway where there is a significant danger of rock chip damage, using a clear film and a coating may be the best option.
  • If you park your car under a tree where sap or bird droppings may be an issue? Using a wax or sealant and an outdoor cover may fit your needs.
  • If your car is a “show car” that stays indoors except when taken out for auto shows, a wax combined with an indoor cover may be sufficient.

Finding the Best Method to Protect Your Car’s Paint

Whatever method you choose, one of the most important things to remember is that protecting your car’s paint isn’t a one-and-done situation. It requires regular maintenance and care. However, when you see your car, gleaming in the sunlight, looking like it rolled off the factory floor, it should all be worth it!

9 Winter Car Care Tips To Protect Your Ride Through Cold Weather

It happens every winter.

It’s freezing outside and you rush to your car to get warm. You can’t get your door unlocked, or you have trouble starting your car because of the cold weather…

Or maybe you’re running late for work, find your car has been covered in snow and need to use a shovel and scraper to rescue your car. Or maybe you’re on the road and you run low on wiper fluid, which makes it even harder to see because your headlights are dim.

The simple truth is that winter is a terrible season for your car. In some areas AAA has seen a 200% increase in help requests during the winter. If you don't take preventative measures to take care of your car, you may be waiting in the cold for a while.

If you want to protect your car and yourself, it’s a good idea to perform a round of winter car maintenance before the season begins and to exercise care when maintaining your car throughout the colder months.

To get you started, here are 9 winter car care maintenance tips that can not only protect your car from Mother Nature, but can also save you time, frustration and money throughout the colder months.

These are the top winter car care tips:

  • Fight for your finish
  • Check your car’s battery
  • Keep your car covered
  • Get new wiper blades
  • Evaluate your headlight brightness
  • Replenish the fluids
  • Don’t tread lightly
  • Maintain control
  • Be prepared for emergencies


Next, we’ll get into specific details about each of these topics, and offer specific recommendations to help you through the winter.

1. Fight for your finish

During the winter, your car’s finish is at greater risk than any other time of the year. Cold can make your paint brittle, rock salt can stick to your car and corrode your finish. Even the simple act of removing ice and snow in the morning can leave scratches.

Investing in a thorough waxing or paint sealant can make a big difference. Also, while it may seem counter-intuitive, it’s a good idea to get your car cleaned during the winter months in order to remove rock salt and other corrosives. This may be the time to splurge on the occasional trip to the car wash.

Also, be careful when cleaning your car. While a scraper may be necessary to remove ice from windows, your paint can be scratched by nylon snow brushes. Instead, invest in a foam brush. It can quickly remove snow and won’t damage your car’s exterior.

Of course, if your car is covered, you won’t need to scrape at all. Just remove the cover and go.

2. Check your car’s battery

When the temperature drops, your battery is more likely to fail. In fact, a battery that's merely weak during the summer could die in the winter.

This is because the chemical processes that make your battery work are weakened by the cold. In the winter, a car battery can lose between 35% to 60% of its strength. If your battery is reaching the end of its life (3-5 years) it’s more likely that your battery will fail.

To prevent getting stuck with a dead battery, it’s a good idea to perform a volt test to ensure your battery is in good working order. You can do this yourself or have it tested at a service station, auto parts store or repair shop.

If the charge on your car battery is weak, buy a new battery as soon as possible. That way, you won’t have to worry about being stuck at home, in a cold parking lot or worse with a car that won't start.

3. Keep your car covered



There’s another way to keep your car protected year-round. Use high-quality car covers  or truck covers. The right cover can keep ice and snow from accumulating on your vehicle, protect your finish and make it easier to get your car started in the morning.

For all-weather protection, look for a cover with:

  • Hydrophobic coating that repels water including ice and snow
  • Straps, buckles or elastic hems to secure your cover in place and ensures that your cover won’t get blown away by the wind
  • Durable construction and sealed seams to keep moisture from coming through
  • UV resistant coating to protect your car from fading in bright winter sunlight

4. Get new wiper blades

In snowy conditions, you need your windshield wipers to keep your vision clear. Having the right wiper blades can make all the difference. 

Testing by Consumer Reports has demonstrated that even the best-performing wiper blades can lose their effectiveness in as little as six months. Streaks or missed sections of glass are sure signs that the blades are ready for retirement.

We recommend replacing wiper blades as often as twice per year. Most wiper blades are easy to install, and some stores will perform the replacement work free of charge.

Also, don't try to use the wipers to remove ice from the windshield. Instead, use an ice scraper and/or a de-icing solution on frosty mornings. If you park your car outside, place the wipers in the raised position. That will keep them from freezing to the windshield.

5. Evaluate your headlight brightness

As the temperatures get colder, the days also get shorter. You need to make sure your headlight bulbs aren’t dimming with age.

Headlights should be changed every 2000 miles, and you might want to consider upgrading to brighter, more eco-friendly bulbs. You’ll see better and these bulbs can last even longer.

6. Replenish the fluids

During the winter, it’s always a good idea to make sure that all of your car's fluid levels are full.

This may include:

Gasoline: You should try to keep your gas tank full for several reasons, like the fact that a full tank may prevent accumulated water from freezing inside your fuel pump. This can help you stay warm in other ways, like by keeping the engine running when you get stuck in a snowstorm.

Washer Fluid: Need to keep your windshields free of ice, dirt, mud and debris? A full windshield-washer reservoir is tremendously important, as messy road debris from a snowstorm can necessitate constant window washing to see where you're going.

Antifreeze: This keeps the engine from freezing in cold temperatures, so make sure your car isn't low on coolant and that there aren't any leaks that could cause coolant to drain out. Want to get the most from your antifreeze? Mechanics recommend drivers use a 50/50-mix of coolant and water in their radiators, which usually results in a lower engine freezing point than just coolant.

Before the season starts, check your fluid levels. Many garages or oil change locations will do it as an added service.

7. Don’t Tread Lightly

Investing in winter tires or snow tires is a good idea if you live in an area where the temperature regularly drops below 45 degrees. These tires are better at staying flexible in low temperature. This provides improved traction and control.

It's incredibly important to keep track of your tire pressure as temperatures get colder. Driving around with low tire pressure could mean premature tire wear or potential tread separation, which could lead to a major accident. Also, your car handles less predictably with underinflated tires.

It's also good to make sure your spare tire is in good condition and that you have your change kit available.

8. Maintain Control

It’s already hard to keep your car warm in the winter, if you can’t control the temperature inside your car it’s even harder. Another good winter car care maintenance tip is to check your car's window defroster, your climate control system and if applicable, your car’s built-in window defrosters.

Make sure these items are still in operational condition and that your dashboard controls are working properly.

If your dashboard warning lights are blinking, it’s also a good idea to get them checked before a simple warning becomes a big problem.

9. Be prepared for emergencies

When Murphy’s Law rears its ugly head, it never hurts to plan for the worst. Have an emergency kit in your car. This may include:

  • Lock de-icer
  • Hand warmers
  • Extra blanket and/or extra clothes
  • Rock salt, kitty litter or gravel for traction
  • Jumper cables or a battery charger
  • Cell phone charger
  • Fix-a-flat

Hopefully, you won’t need to use any of these items, but it’s still always better to be safe than sorry.

Protect Your Car with These Winter Maintenance Tips

The winter can be tough on any vehicle, but by taking the appropriate preventative measures, you can ensure you and your car are safe even through the worst conditions. Follow these tips, be safe and enjoy the ride all the way through the spring.

8 Do It Yourself Car Cleaning Tricks To Keep Your Exterior Pristine

Cars and trucks get dirty. No matter how much we try to keep our cars clean, they’re never as clean as we’d like them to be, both inside and out.


That’s a shame because you spend a lot of time in your car and when you have a clean car, you feel better about yourself. In fact, studies have shown that living in a clean environment can improve your mood by 50%.


More than that, keeping your car clean can increase the resale value of your car by several hundred dollars.


Also, not keeping your car clean can have a cumulative effect:


  • Tree sap, pollen, bird droppings, and other environmental pollutants can damage your paint
  • Dust can clog vents and air filters
  • Dirt and grit can wear down your upholstery
  • Sunlight can fade your finish


The good news is that a little care and a few car washing hacks can help you keep your car looking like new for years to come.


Detailing Works, But May Not Be Right For You


While an exterior car wash can help, a simple pass through the self-serve car-wash can’t deal with everything that is affecting your car, and high-powered brushes that aren’t replaced or maintained can actually scratch your finish.


Unless you can afford professional detailing on a regular basis you’re not just dealing with a dirtier car, you’re also decreasing the value of your car. At the same time, professional detailing can cost between $50 and $150.


If you’re planning to use a do it yourself car wash to save money on detailing, or simply looking for tips on how to clean your car exterior, here are a few sensible and unexpected car detailing hacks for you.


DIY Car Cleaning Tips


We’ll go into each of these in more detail, if you’re considering going do-it-yourself with you car wash regimen, the following things can go a long way.


  • Choose your cleaners wisely
  • Use microfiber cloths
  • Put a cover on it
  • Don’t spin your wheels
  • Prevent bugs from sticking around
  • Use a makeup brush
  • Consider using toothpaste
  • Use the right window cleaner


That’s the shortlist, but read on to find out the secret behind each of these tips and tricks.


1. Be careful with cleaners


You wouldn’t use laundry detergent in the shower. Why? Because it would likely irritate your skin. All too often, car owners don’t apply the same wisdom to their car care. In fact, using liquid detergent or dish cleaner can damage the paint and strip away wax.


Instead, use a car washing soap, and read the label to make sure you’re properly applying the cleaner to the surface of your car. Otherwise, you may find that your car cleaner will simply add another unwanted layer of contamination to your car.


2. Use microfiber cloths


When cleaning your car, invest in microfiber rags. Microfiber cloths are made from a synthetic material made from tiny strands that are 1% the diameter of a human hair. These strands are made from extremely strong fibers like nylon, Kevlar or polyester. This makes them durable.


Because the fibers are so fine, more dust and dirt get pulled away from the surface of the car. When you use other types of cloth, you run the risk of dirt not being absorbed, but simply re-distributed across the surface of your car. When you’ve washed your car, use microfiber cloths to dry as well.


Remember to rinse and wring out the cloths regularly. They’re tough, they can take it.


3. Put a cover on It


There’s another way to keep your car protected year-round. Use a car cover or truck cover.


Whether you store your car in a private garage, a parking lot, the street or a driveway your car is at risk from exposure to the elements. Putting the right cover on your car can keep it safe from:


  • Rain
  • Snow
  • Ice
  • Dirt
  • Tree sap
  • Pollen


4. Don’t spin your wheels


Another important DIY car hack is to make sure you’re using the right cleaner for your wheels. The same cleaner that works on your aluminum or chrome wheels can eat away at your coated, painted or anodized wheels.


If you don't know what type of wheels you have, then go with an acid-free cleaner. If you find it’s still not working, you can always upgrade to something stronger.


Keep in mind that tires get dirty, and not just from road dust. If you haven’t cleaned your car in a while, you may also want to look for a cleaner that can remove dust from your brakes.


5. Prevent bugs from sticking around


This car life hack may seem a little strange, but if your car is covered with bugs, use dryer sheets to wipe them away and the bugs come right off. Not only that, dryer sheets are a natural bug repellent.


Some suspect it may be because of the linalool and beta-citronellol that are found in these sheets, ingredients that seem to repel insects.


6. Apply your makeup (brush)


Looking for a way to get dust out of cracks and air filters? Use a makeup brush and vacuum. The makeup brush can reach into the smallest cracks and loosen the dust and finer particles. Then the vacuum can suction them up before they have a chance to resettle.


7. Consider using toothpaste


Over time, your headlights can get cloudy as dirt and grime build-up on polycarbonate or plastic lenses.


To buff these contaminants from your headlights:


  1. Wash your headlights with soap and water
  2. Put masking tape around the areas surrounding your headlight
  3. Put a generous amount of toothpaste on a soft cloth and rub in small circles.
  4. Rinse with water and let air dry


The mild abrasive in the toothpaste will buff the surface and remove the dirt and grime.


Don’t forget your toothbrush, when you’re cleaning the interior, it’s great for getting into all kinds of cracks and crevices without scratching the upholstery.


8. Windows on the world


When cleaning your car windows, stay away from Windex and other glass cleaners that contain ammonia, it can damage your window tint. Instead look for a cleaner that is designed specifically for car windows.


When cleaning your windshield wipers, rub them down with rubbing alcohol, this will prevent the wipers from leaving smears on your windshield.


DIY Your Way to a Cleaner Car


Keeping your car clean without paying for professional detailing can take a little bit of work and a little bit of planning, but the results will be a safer car that you’ll be happier to spend time in and boost in your resale value down the road.