We spend thousands of dollars on our precious new cars! Even though we may spend countless hours and even more money trying to keep them in “showroom” condition, there are always other ways to keep them clean other than a visit to the local car wash or the hose and bucket sitting in your driveway. For the most part, when it comes to cleaning your car most of us probably can only think of traditional methods like a bucket of soapy water and a sponge, but here are five cool ways to keep your car clean, that you may have never heard of before.

1. Toothpaste: Of course the dentist always recommends that you brush your teeth at least twice a day to keep them clean and white, but although your car doesn’t have teeth, toothpaste does wonders for at least one part your car. Sadly as a car ages, its headlights begin to get an ugly film on them, that doesn’t come off with soap and water. This is where that tube of toothpaste comes in handy and it’s really easy to do. All that you need is a tube of regular toothpaste (stay away from whitening or mint toothpastes as they contain more ingredients that can actually hurt your headlights). Apply the toothpaste with a dry soft cloth to the your car’s headlights in a circular motion until the grime and film comes off.

2. Mayonnaise: For those of you that hate mayonnaise on your sandwiches, at least here is one new reason to buy the stuff: tar. International Aero, a large aircraft detailing company actually uses a dab of mayonnaise to remove tar. Just apply a very small amount of it on the affected area for about 10 minutes and then rub it off. If that doesn’t work, then lighter fluid should do the trick.

Clean Car, Cleaning Ideas, DIY

3. Baby Wipes: They are not only great for keeping your newborn baby clean, but they are great for your car’s dashboard. They are moist so they are more effective than cleaning with a dry cloth and they leave behind an anti-static layer that keeps dust off your dashboard even longer.

4. Nail Polish Remover: How many times have you parked your ride under a tree to only come back a few hours later and your windows are covered in tree sap? If you can’t get the tree sap off with soap and water, try nail polish remover. Just make sure that you don’t get any of it on your car’s paint, as it will also remove the paint as well. If you need to get it off your car’s paint try using a soft towel with a little rubbing alcohol.

5. Cooking Spray: Cooking spray is a quick and easy way to keep your food from sticking to cooking pans, but it’s also a great way to keep brake dust from sticking to your wheels. Some alloy wheel designs are so intricate that it’s a total hassle trying to keep them clean, but a quick spritz of cooking spray on clean wheels will make it even easier to take off that ugly brake dust. Of course be careful to not spray any on the brakes…

Now for that really bad idea: Power washing the exterior of your car is great for getting really tough dirt and dead bugs off your car, but doing it to the interior is not recommended!

Let us know if you’ve tried any of these methods yourself and if you have any other cool ideas!