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5 Tips for Cleaning for Fall

Clean the Car's Interior
Prepare your car for winter by trading in the summer toys for winter tools.
Prepare your car for winter by trading in the summer toys for winter tools.

You may take regular trips through the car wash or spend a warm afternoon in the driveway cleaning your vehicle's exterior, but what about the inside of the car?

Summer fun can make lifelong memories, but it can also make a terrible mess. Before you spend winter locked in a car filled with beach sand, candy wrappers, suntan lotion and an extra pair of flip-flops, take an hour to clean and vacuum your car's interior. It's a great time to stock your ride with some things you might need in the next few months, like an ice scraper, umbrella, blanket and warm gloves.

There are lots of specialty products designed for cleaning the interior of your automobile, including upholstery and dashboard cleaners. If you want an inexpensive solution, you can use a little laundry soap on a cloth to do most car interior cleaning jobs. Be sure to use a vacuum with good suction, and don't be afraid to try some of the special attachments. For detail work, use a clean, 1-inch paintbrush or even an artist's brush to get rid of crumbs and dust that gets into those tight places.

Don't forget to tackle the trunk, too. Carrying extra weight in your vehicle wastes gasoline, so this is the time to pull out that accumulated clutter and replace it with a lightweight emergency road kit.

Keeping your glove compartment organized is a good policy any time of year. Having ready access to your current car registration and proof of insurance will save you from fumbling through old receipts and plastic fast-food forks if you get pulled over, and this is a great time to make sure that all your paperwork is current. After all, getting organized is one of the nice things about cleaning day.

For the next chore, we won't be going far. Just step out of the car into the garage.