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Car wash on a sunny day

Winter can be tough on cars, with water, road salt and dirt leaving their mark on your paintwork. The arrival of spring gives you the perfect excuse to get outside and spend some quality time with your car to make it shine like new – just in time for those road trips to the beach or that much-needed family holiday.

To help you say goodbye to winter once and for all, we’ve put together a complete guide on cleaning your car for the first time after winter. Use the links below to get the help and advice you need to get your car looking and feeling spring-ready.

Quick links:

Get Back in the Habit of Cleaning Your Car

Young woman washing car and cleaning car windows

Throughout the bitter winter months, it can be hard to find the motivation to take your car to a car wash, let alone clean it yourself in the driveway. In fact, the amount we wash our cars drops so much during the winter, you might struggle to remember the last time yours was cleaned.

But, cleaning it should be easier now that the warmer weather has arrived, and there are lots of benefits of spring cleaning your car – including improved driver safety and better personal wellbeing.

Simoniz tip:

We’d recommend cleaning it at least once a fortnight, and more regularly when the weather is bad. When roads are wet following a shower, the amount of dirt, debris and salt increases, and this will need to be removed ASAP to prevent it from damaging your car’s paintwork.

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Are you someone who struggles to find them time for car washing? For those who like a clean car without the effort, be sure to check out our express shine guide, which shows you how to clean your car in just 15 minutes.

Read our express shine guide

We’ve also put together a guide to the must-have interior car cleaning essentials for 2019 – so you can get great results inside and out.

Read Interior Car Cleaning Essentials

Rinsing Your Car

Woman washing her car with pressure washer at home backyard

Without regular washing during the winter months, road salt can build up on your car and cause a range of problems, including corrosion and rusting. At the start of spring, lots of winter salt will be clinging to components on the undercarriage, which in easily missed if you’re giving the car a quick wash.

Simoniz tip:

If you have one, use a pressure washer or garden hose to blast salt and debris from the undercarriage and those other hard-to-reach areas, such as wheel arches, door jambs and the spaces beneath the bumpers, bonnet and boot.

If you don’t have a pressure washer or hose, you can use a few buckets of clean water to carefully rinse the hard to reach areas, before giving everything a good clean with car shampoo and a clean sponge.

Wash Winter from Your Car’s Carpets

Man is exhaustively cleaning car mats outdoors

Over winter, your wet and muddy shoes will have bought a lot of dirt into the car. Even if you have car mats and are very careful, that dirt will have worked its way into the carpets, creating stains and smells.

Now that the drier months have arrived, it’s a good idea to give them a proper clean. To clean your carpets quickly, get rid of the loose dirt with a vacuum cleaner before using Simoniz Upholstery and Carpet Cleaner. Thanks to its intensive cleaning formula and unique brush head, this handy product gives a deep clean even if the dirt’s dried in.

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Our guide on how to look after car upholstery gives you all the help and advice you need to vacuum and clean soft upholstered surfaces in your car.

Read our upholstery guide

And, because we know how tricky it can be to clean carpet car mats, we have also put together a guide on removing salt stains from car mats after winter.

Read our Guide on Removing Salt Stains

Keep Your Windscreen Clean and Clear

Unrecognizable mid 30's man washing his car on parking lot. He's using green cloth and polishing rear windshield. The man is wearing blue polo shirt.

Smears, dirt and fingerprints on the inside and outside of your windows may not seem a big problem, but once the sun hits them on a spring morning, dangerous dazzle could impact on your ability to drive the car safely.

Simoniz tip:

Using Simoniz Anti-Glare Glass Cleaner and a soft microfibre cloth, wipe the internal and external glass gently to remove smears and grime that could cause dazzle and visibility issues. We promise the results will look great, and you’ll be able to enjoy safe, happy driving long into spring.

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Need more help cleaning your car’s windows and lights in time for spring? Click here to read our ultimate guide on cleaning car windows and headlights.

Read our Ultimate Guide on Cleaning Car Windows and Headlights

Complete the Spring Clean with a Coat of Wax

Man taking care and cleaning his new car

Once you’ve given your car a clean, it’s a good idea to apply a fresh coat of wax to protect the paintwork. Wax provides a protective barrier for your car against things like dirt, tar and road salt, as well as tree sap, which can become a real problem now that trees are beginning to bloom again.

Depending on the type of wax you use, we’d recommend applying a coat at least twice a year — once in spring, and again before autumn and any time in between when it’s needed.

Simoniz tip:

If you’ve never waxed your car before, it’s really not that difficult, and is a great way to finish off your car’s annual spring clean. If you have time to spend using a proper hard wax, get a tin of Simoniz Original Wax and a microfibre cloth, and apply a thin layer to one panel at a time (ensuring it’s clean and dry beforehand). Then, before the wax dries, buff it away using a second soft cloth or chamois. The wax will last for at least 6 months, and between washes.

If you want faster results, our Quickshine Detailer is an easy to use spray on wax – just remember to top it up regularly.

Get more insider tips:

If you’re looking for more help and advice on the best way to protect your car’s paintwork, be sure to read our beginner’s guide to wax. We’ve covered everything from choosing the right type of wax to covering swirl marks, so you can get great results with every application.

Read our guide to wax

No matter what the season, the Simoniz car care range is here to help you take better care of your car. To browse our product line, or find out more about individual products, visit the Simoniz homepage.