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So there you are.  Saturday afternoon and the Mother-in-Law calls to ask you to drive her to her bridge club.  You’re just back from the bush and your car’s wearing six inches of custom mud.

And worst of all, Cleaning Africa’s closed!  

Don’t panic.  Here are some useful car cleaning tips we’ve discovered for these unexpected emergencies – but please, use with caution, and at your own risk!

To clean upholstery – use mild, soapy water (eg Sunlight dishwashing liquid) and a soft brush.  Vacuum up any excess water with a Wet-Vac.

For hard-to-reach corners – use earbuds and toothpicks.

For shiny-clean dashboard & vinyl – wipe over with furniture polish on a soft cloth.

For little paintwork scratches – rub over with a wax crayon in the same colour as your paintwork and buff off any residue with a soft cloth.  Works well with key scratches, too.

Greasy, grimy windscreen?  Pour a bottle of soda water over it and use a squeegee to wipe off excess.

For blunt wiper blades – sharpen both sides with an emery board.

Out of car wax?  Furniture polish should shine it up just as well.

For dirty hubcaps – scrub with soda bicard and a wet brush then hose off with water.

And lastly, use these tips to make the interior of your car smell fresh and clean –

Refresh any existing air freshners with a few drops of your favourite essential oil.

Spray the interior with a quick burst of airfreshner.

Put a sheet or two of tumble dryer softener sheets under the seats.

Cover any bad spills/odours with ground up coffee beans and leave for a few days before vacuuming up.  Smells should be gone, or at least smell a whole lot better.

Sprinkling the carpets with bicarbonate of soda and vacuuming up a few days later also works a treat.