Auto Tek |4313 Gillis StAustinTX78745 | (512) 326-3881
Auto Tek
4313 Gillis St
AustinTX 78745
 (512) 326-3881
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How to Keep Your Car Clean on a Budget

How to Keep Your Car Clean on a Budget

Having your vehicle professionally detailed gets pricey, but you could get the same effect with spending much less by detailing it yourself. Many of the cleaners and other items in your house do an excellent job of cleaning your vehicle. If you find something that needs repair while you are detailing the vehicle, give us a call at Auto Tek.


Rinse the vehicle off thoroughly to break up the dirt. Pour some Dawn® dishwashing liquid on the bristles — you don't need much, just a few drops. Start scrubbing the vehicle, working from the top down. Add water and a few more drops of Dawn® as needed. Do not use any other dish soap, as it is not gentle enough for the vehicle, and may not remove the grease, dirt, and grime as well as Dawn® does. After you clean the entire vehicle, including the tires, rinse it well.


Mix one cup of water, ½ cup of vinegar and ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol together and put it in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the vehicle windows and dry them with newspaper. Once you've cleaned the outside of your vehicle, you can clean the outside windows, but leave the inside until last in the event you get other cleaners on them. For particularly stubborn bug splatter, use straight vinegar.

Vacuum the upholstery to get the dirt out of it. If it is stained, sprinkle cornstarch on it. Let it sit for a half hour, then vacuum it up.


The interior has several different materials that need to be treated. Wipe down hard surfaces with a damp cloth. This should get most grime out of the vehicle. However, you do need to protect leather and vinyl seats, and if you have some stubborn stains, water isn't going to cut it. Always test cleaning agents on an inconspicuous area first, to ensure that they do not damage the color or material. These tips can make your interior shine:

  • Clean leather and vinyl seats with toothpaste or rubbing alcohol.

  • Use 50 percent water and 50 percent rubbing alcohol to clean hard surfaces.

  • To clean leather seats, use 50 percent linseed oil and 50 percent vinegar.

  • Sprinkle baking soda in the ashtray and let it sit for a half hour before vacuuming it out. Wipe it with a damp rag.

  • Use disinfectant wipes to wipe down hard surfaces. This will often get rid of nasty odors.

  • Mix one part lemon juice and two parts olive oil to clean vinyl and hard surfaces.

For stains that just will not come out, you might try these household items:

  • Cut grease and grime with baby shampoo or Dawn® dish soap.

  • Remove tar and tree sap with peanut butter.

  • Use rubbing alcohol to get the grime off windshield wipers.


Vacuum the upholstery to get the dirt out of it. If it is stained, sprinkle cornstarch on it. Let it sit for a half hour, then vacuum it up. If the stain remains, mix the cornstarch with just enough water to make a thick paste. Spread the paste over the stain and let it dry before vacuuming it up. For heavy duty stains, make a mixture of one cup Dawn® dish soap, one cup club soda, and one cup vinegar. Spray and work at the stain with a brush.

Put your favorite scented dryer sheets under seats, in your door pockets, and under floor mats to give your vehicle a fresh smell.

Contact Auto Tek

When it's time for vehicle maintenance, or you need repairs, contact us at Auto Tek for an appointment.