Need a clean but would rather skip the cost of a car wash? How to get your wheels whipped into shape this spring with a few DIY tricks.

Dashboard Cleaner

Whip up a batch of this cleaning solution using ingredients from home! This spray works beautifully to clean vinyl areas like the dashboard, centre console and interior door handles, etc.

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tbsp mineral oil or baby oil
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp dish soap


Squeeze of fresh lemon juice and/or antibacterial essential oil i.e. tea tree, grapefruit, lemon.

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Spritz on interior car surfaces and wipe away with microfibre cloth/t-shirt rags/paper towel. Can be used on car tires too!

A/C Freshener

It's easy to freshen up the air ducts in your car so you can breathe in cleaner air. This DIY solution works well and isn't harsh on the environment or your lungs.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp hydrogen peroxide (3% from drug store works well)

Combine water and peroxide in spray bottle. Open doors and windows of car and turn on fans to full blast. Spray freshener into the car's fresh-air intake. The spray will travel through the air ducts and kill mold and mildew. The peroxide evaporates quickly and its a lighter germ killing alternative to traditional bleach.

Salt Stain Remover

If you need to remove salt stains from your car carpet, this solution is foolproof as long as you bring elbow grease along for the ride!

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar

Combine these ingredients in a spray bottle. Vacuum car interior and salt stain to lift loose debris. Spritz the carpet with vinegar-water and let it soak for a few minutes. Use a car brush or strong cloth to scrub the area and break up salt residue. Pat dry with a clean cloth and let the interior air dry by keeping windows and doors open. The vinegar smell is quick to disappear.

Air Freshener

Dryer sheets under seats, pieces of felt with drops of essential oil...these DIY solutions work temporarily to mask odours in your car. But, the best odour REDUCING solution I've come across is activated charcoal. Activated charcoal has been treated with oxygen. Once treated, millions of pores open up between the carbon atoms which allows a lot more chemicals to be absorbed. And, odours are ultimately chemicals so using activated charcoal is a fantastic way to keep air fresher. You can find activated charcoal at pet supply stores in the aquarium aisle. Find a glass jar that fits snugly into your cup holder. Fill the jar with the charcoal and secure a piece of cheesecloth over the opening, or punch holes into the jar lid. Keep this in your car as a permanent fixture and throw out, then replace, the charcoal every month or so.

Garbage Container

Plastic cereal bin storage containers work great as a garbage container inside the car. They are narrow enough to fit easily on the floor and the opening is large enough for garbage to go in.

Tote Storage

Sling a large tote bag over your back seat headrest so it hangs inside your trunk. This bag is a great place to store first aid kits, bottles of water, grocery bags, kids activities, and anything else that is nice to have in the car, but not used regularly.