People detox their homes and detox their bodies, but what about their cars? Chances are that between commuting, errands, and driving the kids around town, you spend a significant number of hours in your car. Here are some easy steps to clean your car and remove some of the filthy toxins.
1.) Provide Ventilation.
A car is a relatively small space, and when the windows are closed, you don't get much ventilation. All sorts of smells and chemicals can be circulating throughout your car, including molecules from perfume, fabric softeners, and hair spray. Cars parked in garages may have chemicals such as paints or solvents in the air. Between it all, you can end up with quite a polluted air space. Rolling the windows down for the first mile you drive each day can help replace that stale air with fresh.
New cars have a special set of problems. That new car smell you may enjoy is actually a toxic mixture of chemicals that come out of the materials used in your car, including formaldehyde, xylene, diazinon, and styrene. When you have a new car, keep the windows down as much as you can, whether you are driving or have the car parked at home. Also, try to park in the shade when you can, because heat causes those chemicals to be released faster.
2.) Dust And Vacuum.
If you see a layer of dust on your dashboard and console, you should wipe down the interior of your car with a damp cloth to remove it. Dust contains a mixture of dirt, pollen, and dead skin cells. In a car, it can also contain chemical contaminants such as flame retardants released from the seat cushions. Dust is particularly bad for people with allergies, COPD, or asthma. Running the vents on high with the windows down can also help to remove dust.
Vacuum the interior of your car regularly too, to remove dust, dirt and particles from the carpeting and seats. Smaller vacuums can pick up debris, but the motor then blows tiny particles back into the car. The large vacuums with a motor outside the car do a much better job.
3.) Wash Without Chemicals.
The exterior of your car is covered with toxins and contaminants just like the inside. You have dust created by the friction of your brake pads and tires. There can be residue from gasoline that collects near the gas cap. It's not a clean or healthy place.
Cleaning and detailing the car often involves a multitude of different chemical products, none of which are good for your body or for the environment. You don't need all those chemicals to clean your car. Just using plain soap and water with a microfiber cleaning cloth can make a world of difference. One option that works well is to get a portable steam cleaner. Use it with biodegradable soap or orange oil to deep clean your car without chemicals.
For cleaning glass, instead of the commercial glass cleaner, you will find that a mixture of white vinegar and water works just as well. It costs far less, it's all-natural, and it doesn't contain toxic chemicals.