Here’s How to Clean the Winter Salt From Your Vehicle

January 18th, 2018 by

With winter in full swing, the salt trucks are on their usual rampage through town. While the magical nectar they drop on the roads keeps them clear of snow and ice, it also does a number on our cars. If your car looks like it belongs in a junkyard thanks to the accumulation of salt and grime, use these tips to help clean off the mess.

Wax Beforehand

OK, it might be a bit too late for this step. However, if you’ve somehow kept your car clean until now, do yourself a favor and apply a coat of wax evenly across its entire surface. This will prevent permanent damage to the vehicle by stopping corrosion and unsightly stains in their tracks.

Clean the Carpet and Mats

Salt doesn’t just strike the exterior of your car. It can easily collect on the inside as well. To clean off your mats, start by removing them and shaking them off. For your carpet, get out the portable vacuum and suck away any lingering debris.

Next, create a mixture of half warm water and white vinegar. Give your carpeting and mats a gentle spray down, and then use a cloth to blot the area clean. If you need to, spray it a few more times until the stain is gone for good. When you’re finished, let them dry by vacuuming them or setting them outside so that they don’t get mildewy or smelly.

Spray Your Undercarriage

Sure, salt looks gross on your car, but it can also cause dangerous rust and corrosion. That’s why you should take special care to clean your undercarriage when it gets salty. Try to perform this task about once every 10 days to prevent stains from building up.

Go to a car wash or use a garden hose you didn’t store away for winter to spray directly underneath the car so you get into all the nooks and crannies. Once it’s clean, treat it with a special oil solution that will prevent salt from sticking to it in the future. This will save you lots of cleaning on cold winter days.

Wash the Paint

After taking care of your interior and undercarriage, it’s time to give the rest of your car a makeover. Grab car soap and begin by spraying fresh water from a pressured nozzle all over your vehicle. If you put the hose away from winter or the hose is frozen, you might have to use a bucket of warm water to get your car wet. Pay special attention to the wheels, spoiler, grille, and other crevices, as this is where salt collects.

Once you complete the initial spray, soap things up and use a sponge to wipe down the paint. After getting rid of all the stains, spray the car off again so it’s clean. Be sure to dry the car thoroughly so that the doors and windows don’t freeze shut.

Hopefully, these salt-cleaning hacks will keep your car’s exterior shiny and bright. Best of all, they might even prevent rust from forming on your undercarriage.