How To Remove Salt From Your Car’s Interior And Exterior

 In Car Care Experts, Car Care Tips

Anyone who owns a car in Southern Ontario knows about the dreaded effects of salt on your car. As soon as the cold weather hits, salt seems to cover every inch of both the interior and exterior of your vehicle and it’s seemingly inescapable. Salt can cause rust damage to your car’s exterior and damage to the mats and seats in the interior. Prevent salt damage with some tips that will help you clean the salt from your vehicle.

Interior Salt Removal Tips

There’s nothing more unsightly on the carpet and seats of your car than salt stains. Here are step-by-step instructions to help you with your cleaning:

1. Vacuum

To begin cleaning, it’s important to vacuum up as much of the salt residue as possible. Mix a small amount of carpet shampoo with warm water in a bucket and apply the mixture to the carpet or seats with a soft cloth.

2. Sit & Soak

Don’t wipe it up right away! Allow the mixture to sit and soak for a minute or two so it can dissolve the stains.

3. Blot the area

Next, use a clean cloth to blot the area and pick up the moisture in the carpet or seats. Then, rinse the area with clean, cool water and blot immediately to remove the excess water.

4. Repeat as necessary

Salt stains can be pretty stubborn, so you may have to repeat this process a couple of times to get all of the salt out. It may also be necessary to use a carpet deep cleaner if you tried these salt removal steps a number of times without any improvement.

Consider purchasing some rubber floor mats to decrease the amount of salt stains you get on the floor of your car.

Exterior Salt Removal

The words "Wash me" written on a car covered in salt that needs a clean

If you leave salt on your car’s exterior for an extended period of time, it can gradually damage the paintwork and lead to rusting.

While it may seem silly to clean your car in the winter — as it’s only going to get dirty and salty again — it’s actually a good idea to regularly clean your car’s exterior to prevent damage from salt. If you don’t want to go through a car wash every time you see salt stains on your car, try cleaning it yourself instead.

1. Wait for a sunny day

Few things are as frustrating for a car owner than cleaning your car only for the weather to almost immediately to ruin the work you did. Before you clean your car, wait for a sunny day when the roads are dry.

2. Rinse your car thoroughly

Start with rinsing your car thoroughly with a hose or pressure washer. Get all the salt and grime off the wheel wells and don’t forget to spray underneath the car if you can. 

3. Water & vinegar

After you’ve rinsed your car, mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a bucket. Then, apply this mixture to the salt stains with a soft brush or sponge. Be liberal with the application. Afterwards, rinse the area with water.

4. Clay bar

Next, use a clay bar lubricant and rub it over the salt stains. Be sure to check your paintwork for any bumps or rough patches. It’s not always possible to see the salt on your car. Use a soft cloth to wipe off the residue.

5. Final wash, wax, and rinse

Wash your car with a good car wash solution, then rinse. Dry the car with a clean cloth or chamois, then apply a good wax to your car to protect it from further salt damage.

Keeping your car clean and regularly maintained is essential for maintaining its value. Find out if you are making any of these mistakes to decrease your car’s value from Logel’s Auto Parts in Kitchener.

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