How To Clean Your Used Car Before A Sale – The Ultimate Guide!

Car Maintenance, Tips, Trade-Ins, Used Car Dealer, Used Cars

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If you own a used car, chances are that you’re going to sell it someday. Whether you’re financing the purchase of a new vehicle, or simply wish to buy a used car that’s slightly newer, there comes a time when you need to consider selling your vehicle.

And an often-overlooked aspect of selling a car is cleanliness. Think about it – would you want to buy a used car that’s littered with fast food wrappers, or has dirty upholstery? Even though your car may be in great shape, it may seem like it’s been neglected if you don’t clean it properly before trying to sell it.

So to help you maximize your sale value and sell your used car quickly, we’ve put together this article to show you how to clean your used car before you sell it! Read on, and learn with us!

Cleaning The Interior Of Your Car

When selling a used car, the quality of the interior is critical. Buyers are going to be imagining themselves in your car for years to come – so if the inside of your car is dirty, it’s a big turn-off.

Here are some tips on detailing the interior of your car.

  • Start with the big stuff – Do you have trash, random items, or other unnecessary stuff in your car? Start by clearing out everything from your vehicle – from the front seats, back seats, and even the trunk. Doing so will let you get a better assessment of the cleanliness of your vehicle.

  • Clean the upholstery – If your car has leather seats, use a high-quality leather cleaner to scrub all of the seats and upholstery. If you have stains on your seats, you can use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove the majority of staining.

    For cloth and carpet, dilute about 60ml of laundry detergent with a half-liter of warm water. Using a clean rag, scrub the dirty areas. Soak up any excess water and dirt with a separate, clean cloth – repeat until the entire car is squeaky clean!

  • Clean up your console – You’d be surprised how much dirt your knobs, gear shift, buttons, and other items on your console can pick up. Use cotton swabs or balls and rubbing alcohol to clean off any dirt or grime that has built up on your car’s console.

  • Don’t forget hard-to-reach areas – All cars have plenty of cracks and crevices – and dirt, food debris, trash, and more can build up in these areas. Head to a gas station and use a high-pressure air hose to blow debris out of the hard-to-reach areas of your car.

    If you need to clean these areas further, you can use a bottlebrush dipped in the same laundry detergent solution mentioned above.

Once you’ve cleaned the interior of your car, do your best to keep it clean until the car is sold – you don’t want to have to go through the whole process again!

Cleaning The Exterior Of Your Car

Whether your car is in nearly-new shape – or is a bit more well-worn – you shouldn’t ignore the exterior when selling your vehicle. Even if your car has some surface damage or rust, making sure it’s squeaky-clean will still help you sell it more quickly. Here are some tips for cleaning each part of your car.

  • Car body – Mix car soap and warm water in a large bucket. Using a sponge or a microfiber towel, apply the soap generously to the entire body of the car – preferably in the shade, as this will help avoid streaking. Rinse each section of your car as you clean it, and don’t neglect areas like bumpers and wheel wells.

  • Rusty spots – If your vehicle has rusty spots around the wheel wells, license plate holder, or anywhere else, simply spray the area with WD-40, and wipe it with a clean rag. This will help remove surface oxidation, and aid in preventing further rust damage to your vehicle.

  • Windows – Newspapers are actually the best material for cleaning your windows! They won’t scratch, unlike paper towels, and won’t separate! Using yesterday’s paper and some high-quality glass cleaner, scrub your windows in 2-3 inch circles, and wipe them down with plain water and a terry-cloth towel to ensure a streak-free finish.

  • Tires – Your tires won’t need too much special attention. Just wash them down with a high-powered hose and scrub them with a bristle brush, then clean them with the same car soap solution you used for the rest of your car.

  • Exterior stains – Stains like road tar, bug debris, sap, and even bird poop can be tough to remove from your vehicle. If you can’t wash away these surface stains with car soap, consider purchasing some auto detailing clay. This sticky, resinous clay grabs onto tough stains and debris, removing them from the surface of your car.

Once the exterior of your car is squeaky-clean, try to keep it that way. If you have a garage, keep your vehicle there until it’s sold – or invest in a protective car cover if you don’t have a covered area where you can keep your vehicle.

Interested In Trading Or Selling Your Used Car? Come To Ride Time Now!

At Ride Time, we buy and sell a huge variety of used cars. Interested in seeing how much you can get for your vehicle? Come in today – we’ll inspect your car, make you a cash offer, and give you 7 days to decide whether or not you want to sell your vehicle!

We also offer vehicle trade-ins – we make it totally simple to apply the value of your old car to the purchase of one of our pre-owned vehicles, so you won’t have to worry about dealing with third-party buyers!

So come to Ride Time now, browse our selection of the best used cars in Winnipeg, and get an instant cash offer for the value of your used car – it’s just that easy!


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