Sunday, 6 October 2013

A DIY valet to save money

I can't remember when I last washed my car, must be about a year by my reckoning. I haven't needed to, I have only done 5,000 miles since the last MOT test. Mind you, silver is regarded as being the best colour for not showing the dirt, black and white being the worst. I gave it a quick swill over the other day, but this morning I thought I would make more of an effort and get into all the nooks and crannies, give it a super duper five star valet. I don't believe in taking my car to a car wash, when I can do it at home myself for the price of a bottle of car shampoo which lasts for a very long time if used sparingly.
Here I have gathered together my cleaning tools. Three assorted brushes of different sizes. A large piece of sponge, and a small sponge with a rough side to it. A towelling rag, and a squirty bottle filled with clean water for rinsing the dirt away in those small hard to get your fingers into places.
First of all, open all the doors, the bonnet, and the tailgate. The inside is clean as I only did that last week with the Dyson.  
I think you have met Heidi before, she wants to get in on everything. The back seats are down at the moment, that's how I keep it. I remove the rear headrests and the parcel shelf and keep them in the house. No point in carrying extra weight around. If you have stuff in the boot it only costs more in petrol. I only take what I need with me, and every time I come back I always empty the car. The shopping bags stay in, plus an old throw in case I need to put something mucky in the back, or cover up something I have bought.   
Yes, Heidi, you are a pretty girl, but I don't want to play at the moment. There is plenty of room in here for me to sleep if I need to. Chuck in my sunlounger mattress, a few pillows, a camping stove to make coffee, and bran flakes, and I have my own bed and breakfast  :o) 
She's gone. Time to turn it back into a five seater. Lift the seats and put all the bits back in. The man in the garage will want to check seat belts, spare wheel, and other parts when it goes in tomorrow. Everything needs to be easily accessible
This is why I have got all doors opened, to clean the hidden gunge. The muck at the top of the tailgate is yuk. If you leave it and it gets worse it will start eating into the paintwork. So with brushes and sponge I attack it.  
That's better. I'd better keep on top of it and wipe with a cloth a bit more often.
All around the doors have been done, sparkly clean. All the rubber seals have been wiped.  
Inside the bonnet and the engine compartment has been cleaned. All the windows have been polished inside and out. All the wheels have been scrubbed. New carpets have been put in the footwells. The dashboard has been polished. In fact it's like brand spanking new again.
Now where is Heidi, ha ha, might have guessed. She is so happy, I think she wants to move in.
That's £35 saved on a full valet, and it's taken me two and a half hours. That's very frugal I would say. Bye the way, I washed it with my bath water. 
After lunch I decided to take it for a spin. It's been a lovely sunny day again and I wanted to check out a couple of places. There will be pics tomorrow of Thornton Abbey Gatehouse, and a new visitor attraction, The Old Tile Works at Barton, near the Humber Bridge. MOT test at 2pm tomorrow, keep your fingers crossed.
Toodle pip.


  1. You put me to shame! I will clean car one day, I know I will!
    Angela x

  2. I leave it up to Jozef, lucky me. But I would do it myself if I had too.

  3. I love a clean car interior!
    Jane x

  4. Nice clean car inside and out but the MOT tester is more interested in the mechanical condition of your car. You should be checking the lights and tyres. Nellie sounds like the type to get underneath the car in her boilersuit to make sure the exhaust is in good order.
    Good luck for the MOT, i'm sure the valeting will make a good impression.

  5. Love these pictures of Heidi, they just like to get in anywhere they shouldn't be dont' they?

  6. Your car is a car to be proud of - immaculate inside and out. I've had silver, white and black cars in the past; funnily enough, the silver and the white ones never looked dirty, but the black one could have done with being washed every day. It looked beautiful after a wash - but it didn't last long.
    Fingers crossed for the MOT tomorrow, I hope you have a trustworthy garage to take it to. Or do you use a Council MOT testing station? They are recommended as they have no interest in making money out of you. (Recommended by 'the money-saving expert')

  7. Your car "dirty" is cleaner than my car "clean" I think! I live in the woods, and there is a constant unavoidable accumulation of pollen, mud, bits of plant material, etc. but I do a sort of general clean up a couple of times yearly, and any time it's going into the shop. I have a little wagon, and the back folds down like yours. Leaning in to vacuum is very hard on my back, so I truly hate doing it. Still, I've only paid for a professional cleaning once in my entire life, and it was after months of trips carrying cargo like wet field gear, a mucky dog, bales of hay (which gets everywhere), and culminating in a five-hour trip with a very large male goat riding in the back. And I must say, that one pro cleaning WAS a treat!

  8. I have my MOT this week we well. I know that I need some work on the brakes so I am expecting a bill at the end of it.

  9. Wow, that is spotless! I was forced to clean my car (black it is unfortunately!) last week after parking under a streetlight favoured by the family of seagulls that reside at the Co-op, you can imagine the mess and hence the need to clean asap! Usually in Devon I adopt the self clean mode - Rain, but we have actually had a summer this year so it was down to me in the end!
    take care
    Sarah x

  10. I definitely think it's worth doing your own car washing and valeting - saves a lot of money in the long run.... I wouldn't scrimp on my servicing and Car MOT though because they do genuinely help the performance of the car and to spot any errors (obviously make sure you don't fail on a light bulb though)!


Comments are welcome from anyone with a Google account. I have had to change the settings due to the amount of troll comments coming through. My apologies to genuine readers who have been with me for a long time.