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Clean Your Car After Summer

Oct. 7, 2022

Although spring cleaning has come and gone, there’s still time for fall cleaning!

After summer vacation and weekend road trips, it’s time to freshen up your car and prepare for winter. Even though summer expeditions are fun, they can leave dust, crumbs, waste, dirt and sand behind. Besides, a clean vehicle can boost your mood.

If you’re not enthralled about the cleaning part, remember that cleaning your car can be a fun activity to do with your family. It’s an excellent opportunity for your little ones to learn something new.

Pick up the soap and sponge, and get it done!

Choose the Right Time

Left arm wiping the hood of a car

It’s best to clean your car on a cloudy day or in a shaded area. Avoid washing your car on a bright, sunny day, as this could damage the finish. We understand you want to see the results of your efforts and ensure your floor mats dry fast, but you don’t want the sun drying the soap too quickly and leaving stains.

It’s important to choose the right moment. Make sure you aren’t in a rush, and there isn’t any rain in the forecast.

Go to the Car Wash

Half of a car front with soap and water

If you don’t have a lot of time, Pioneer gas stations offer various car washes that only take a few minutes and leave your car squeaky clean!

Express Wash

Includes a fresh water wash, high-pressure rinse and power dry.

Superior Wash

Includes the same features as the Express Wash, plus an under-vehicle spray.

Ultimate Wash 

Includes the same features as the Express and Superior Washes, plus brilliant shine protection, rust inhibitor and triple foam polish for a long-lasting shine.

Clean the Car’s Interior

Person cleaning the interior of her car with a spray and a cloth

Start by removing all the garbage and emptying the compartments. This will ensure nothing is in your way while you clean. Remove the floor mats and clean them outside. They’ll dry faster in the breeze.

As you put things back in the compartments and glove box, make sure to sort out your papers and belongings and only keep what’s necessary:

  • Car and insurance papers
  • Emergency tools
  • Pocket light
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Etc.

If you took out your winter gear for the summer (snow brush and shovel), don’t forget to put it back in your trunk before the first snowfall.


Person vacuuming the seat of her car

You can either use your home vacuum and an extension cord, or use one of the high-powered models at a gas station, like Pioneer, to ensure nothing gets left behind.

Don’t forget to slide the front seats all the way back to access every nook and cranny. The back seats need some love, too!

If you tracked in dirt and mud from your last nature outing, start by brushing the floor mats and floors with a dry brush to loosen the dirt and make vacuuming easier.

Use a Small Brush

Remove dust from small, narrow corners (like the vent fins) with a small brush (like a makeup or paint brush). Then, use a damp cloth to remove dust.

Clean Fabric Seats

Cleaning your car seats may seem complicated. However, it’s completely doable with the right products. If you have cloth seats, use a cleaning product specially designed for this purpose. You can easily find what you need at a store near you or online.

Clean Leather Seats

If you have leather seats or door panels, use an appropriate product to clean and protect them. These products will give your car a pleasant new leather smell that will last a long time.

Clean the Car’s Exterior

Person spraying a cleaning product on a tire

Cleaning the body, tires and underside of your car isn’t just a spring or summer task. Quite the contrary! It’s important to take care of your vehicle’s exterior, regardless of the season and especially after long road trips.

Clean the Hubcaps

You can use the same car wash soap as before. Rinse the wheels with clean water, then use a brush and scrub them with soapy water.

Your car’s hubcaps can become dark and yellowed over time. These stains and brake dust residue can be difficult to remove. If soap doesn’t suffice, use a wheel cleaner to get rid of the stains and restore the look of your hubcaps.

Make Your Tires Shine

If you want to go the extra mile and make your car look new, pick up some tire shine to restore your tire’s lustre.

Last but not least, your car’s liquids! Don’t forget to verify your car’s oil and water levels and tire pressure. Missing something? Find everything you need at your nearest Pioneer gas station!