Top 5 Cleaning Products For Both Car And Home

Woman kneeling at the floor cleaning while smilingCleaners do double duty! Our DIY Mom explores the handy dual uses of common car cleaning products.

If you think maintaining your car is time-consuming, let me tell you, it’s nothing compared to keeping your house in order. Between my car, my house and my kids, I’ve got three full-time jobs, and none of them pays a dime! But what if you could use some of your car products to maintain your home, too? There are a lot of dual-use car products out there, and I want to introduce you to a few of them today.

1. Brake Cleaner Brake cleaner has always been an indispensable piece of the home mechanic’s arsenal, allowing you to prolong the life of your brake components by keeping oil, dirt and other contaminants at bay. But did you know that it can also remove tough grease and oil stains from your driveway or garage floor? Think about it: if it’s strong enough to get in there and clean your brakes, a little grease is child’s play. So next time you’ve got an industrial-grade spill to clean up, save yourself the trip to the hardware store and just pull out your brake cleaner instead.

2. Automotive Upholstery Cleaner Have you ever heard of a specific product for cleaning your couch? They’re out there, of course, but chances are you don’t already have a bottle in your cabinet. What you do have, though, if you’re into DIY car maintenance, is automotive upholstery cleaner. And if you think about it, the only difference between cloth automotive upholstery and the stuff on your couch is where it’s located. Here’s another fun trick, by the way, and I speak from experience: automotive upholstery cleaner also works great for carpet stains. Give it a shot before you spend a bundle on renting a carpet cleaner or having a professional stop by.

3. Car Wax I know what you’re thinking: “What could I possibly use car wax for in my house?” This one’s definitely not obvious, but when you think about it, it’ll make a lot of sense. What I want you to do is try applying some car wax to your kitchen and bathroom counters. Why? Because food’s less likely to stick to a waxed surface, for one thing, and also, if you spill anything, the liquid will bead up for easy cleaning. Moreover, with that layer of wax in between your counters and whatever’s on them, the likelihood of staining is greatly reduced.

4. Automotive Glass Cleaner Next time you’re about to buy some Windex or a comparable cleaning product, pause for a moment and ask yourself if you’ve already got some automotive glass cleaner in your garage. If so, guess what — it’s basically Windex for your car. So why not bring it inside and use it on your mirrors, windows and other indoor glass surfaces? In some cases, the automotive formula might even work better, because it’s specially formulated to cut through dried bug residue and all the other nastiness that ends up coating windshields over time.

5. Metal Polish Metal polish is a must-have for car collectors, and even if you just like to keep your car spic and span, it’s a good product to have around. But your car isn’t the only thing in your life that needs its metal polished. Think about all the metal in your house, whether it’s stainless steel surfaces, metal door knobs or handles, door hinges, cabinet knobs, even sink and shower faucets. You can use that automotive metal polish on all of the above, and just like the glass cleaner, it might even do a better job than an actual household product, since cars really need high-strength formulas to deal with all the grit and grime.

It’s time to get busy!

You all know I’m big into DIY, so I would love to hear your ideas. What are some dual-use car/house products that I didn’t mention? Let’s get creative and help each other get the most out of our car products. Happy cleaning!

Editor’s note: as you get ready to buff and polish your prized possessions, count on Advance Auto Parts for the best values in cleaning supplies, tools, accessories and more.

ATV motocross is alive and well: the 2014 Mountain Dew National Series

quad jump

We recap the latest season. The 2014 Mountain Dew ATV Motocross National Championship season has recently hit its thrilling conclusion. The exciting season could be easily summed up by some sage words from reporter Rodney Tomblin: "there’s … [Continue reading]

Braking Fundamentals: Brake Pads, Rotors and Fluid

AdvanceAutoParts_Brake_Pads_072114

We cover the basics and explore the science behind brake parts and related accessories.   With so many options to choose from, how do you know which brake rotors, pads and/or fluid is best for your vehicle? Step one is to look for guidance … [Continue reading]

Preview: the 2015 Ford Mustang

mustang-line-lock

Our resident Gearhead tinkers with the highly anticipated new design of the Ford classic. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is talking about the new 2015 Ford Mustang. On the one hand, I'm kind of wondering what the fuss is all about. You can still … [Continue reading]

My garage. My sanctuary.

home mechanic

I love my wife. I love my kids. But I really love working in my garage. It’s the one place in my house that's truly mine. Some people go to the office on a Saturday morning for peace and quiet. Some go to nature. I go to my garage. In the movie … [Continue reading]

Checking in with Lowered Lifestyle – 2 years later

Photo by: Alex White

If the growth of LoweredLifestyle.com is any indicator of the growth of the lowered car / stance scene, then lowering cars for looks and performance is a trend that’s here to stay. Advance Auto Parts first met up with Matt Phillips to talk about … [Continue reading]

Coming soon: The Classic Car Show

The Classic Car Show

Globally televised show to feature rare beauties and cult classics—premiering in early 2015. If you've had your fill of zany Top Gear antics or the myriad of restoration shows hitting the tube, The Classic Car Show—presented by Sony Pictures … [Continue reading]

Make Your FR-S or BRZ As Fast As It Should Be

Scion FR-s

If you're like me, you probably went crazy a few years ago when you heard the Toyota 86 was about to drop. Known as the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ in the States, the hachi-roku (that's "8-6" in Japanese, kids) promised a return to the good old days … [Continue reading]

Loading Your ATV for Transport — a Cautionary Tale

Quad ATV

My brother-in-law almost killed himself a short while back. How he escaped serious injury I don’t know, but he’s lucky he did. He’s a big-time turkey hunter and was getting his gear ready in preparation for being in the woods before dawn the next … [Continue reading]

Towing information: 10 maintenance tips before you tow

Recreational vehicles on the highway

Even when you have a vehicle built with towing capacity, there’s still plenty to check and double-check before you get on the road. First, check your owner’s manual to answer these questions: Is your vehicle designed to tow? If so, what is … [Continue reading]