With the average age of passenger cars on U.S. roads now standing at a record high, and the fact that Americans now spend more than 100 hours each year commuting to work, it’s even more important for car owners to be educated on preventative measures to ensure a smooth transition from winter to spring. In addition to improving its looks, a spring cleaning can help owners get the most out of their vehicle in terms of performance, economy, emissions, and longevity, in addition to increasing the resale value.
“One of the easiest and least expensive ways to prepare a car for spring is an intense cleaning of the interior and exterior to prevent damage and remove the dirt, mud, dust, and grime that accumulated over the winter months,” said Terri Sniegolski, CEO of Creative Colors International. “Caring for the interior of a vehicle is just as important as the exterior, as drivers spend the most time inside their vehicle and passengers also take note of how clean, or not so clean the interior is. As industry professionals, it’s our job to educate car owners on proper cleaning and maintenance techniques so they can prevent unnecessary replacement costs and enjoy getting into their vehicle for years to come.”
The experts at CCI have come up with the following do-it-yourself techniques to help car owners properly transition their vehicle into spring.
• Leather. Without proper care and maintenance, leather seats can easily be worn down prematurely from cleaning-related factors such as dirt, spills, and oil from skin. To remove fresh stains and clean leather seats, apply a solution of 10 parts water to 1 part ivory liquid dish soap to one section of the seat at a time and wipe clean using a soft towel. To avoid expensive and unnecessary replacement costs, it’s important to wipe down seats regularly using a clean, damp towel which prevents the dust from working its way into the leather. To protect seats, apply a leather conditioner several times a year so the leather continues to breathe and stays flexible. Do not use waxes, silicone products or other leather preparations that impair the ability of the leather to “breathe.”
• Upholstery. Stains are inevitable with the amount of time drivers spend on the road, whether they’re commuting, traveling or catering to their family member’s busy schedules. For hard stains such as crayons and dried food, scrape off as much of the debris as possible before wiping or scrubbing using a spatula, putty knife or vacuum. For liquid stains, pour several drops of ivory liquid dish soap over the area, spray with water and wipe down area using a clean cloth or soft brush. Finish by wiping area with a clean, dry towel.
• Carpeting. With all the salt, dirt and debris that accumulate during the cold months, carpeting and floor mats are without question the parts of the interior that take winter abuse the hardest. Before vacuuming, use a stiff brush to ‘scrub’ the area, bringing unwelcome contaminants to the surface. For unwanted pet hair and dander, wear a pair of latex or rubber gloves and rub hand over the surface. For increased effectiveness, dampen the glove with water to attract and bring allergens to the surface. Floor mats should be vacuumed then washed thoroughly using a power washer or self-service car wash to remove the dirt buildup from each winter snowstorm and spring shower. Lastly, floor mats should be completely dry before putting them back into the vehicle to avoid the possibility of mold growth.
• Air Conditioning/
For more information on Creative Colors International, please visit www.wecanfixthat.com.
About Creative Colors International
Launched in 1991, the Creative Colors International (CCI) franchise system was created through its affiliate, J&J’s Creative Colors, the original industry leader in refurbishment techniques and systems. J&J’s Creative Colors was founded in 1980 by Jim and JoAnn Foster. Today, both companies continue to be family-owned and operated by the second generation Foster family. Catering to the abundance of upholstered items in every home, business and vehicle, CCI is the ultimate in on-site repair, restoration, cleaning, protection, and dyeing of leather, vinyl, plastic and fabric. Through proprietary technology, CCI restores damaged seats at a fraction of replacement costs, saving customers up to 90 percent. CCI repairs are stronger than the original area and are nearly invisible to the naked eye. In the Automotive, Furniture and Commercial Markets, CCI offers on-site repair and restoration to all types of leather, vinyl, fabric, plastic and carpeting by repairing and redyeing holes, cuts, tears, burns, scrapes, fading and discoloration. For more information on CCI’s services and franchise opportunities, visit www.wecanfixthat.com.