A friend of mine gave me a lift last week. As thankful as I was to her coming to my rescue, I was rather glad when we had reached our destination, and I could escape from the car. I didn’t recognise it, but I mean, it was filthy! 

So, dear friend, I dedicate this column to you. You really are a dear friend to me, and I do hope you don’t take this the wrong way. I know you’re a busy woman, rushed off your feet and all that, but none of this will take forever. 

The crumbs on the passenger seat aside, the collection of stones, pine needles and leaves in the footwell, you really do need to vacuum those away. When you have done that, and you can probably see some of the car seat surfaces again, cleaning the rest should be a breeze.  

Now, I know you don’t like to use aggressive chemicals. Why don’t you try some of these home remedies to make your seats shine again? 

Shaving foam, which I know you have, works great as an upholstery cleaner. It’s good against water or grease stains. All you have to do is apply a little foam to the stain, leave it to soak for half an hour and then dab it off with a damp cloth. But don’t think you can shave in the car to save time. 

Anyway, the next time I see you, I’m going to give you a little tub of bicarbonate of soda. It really is your best friend around the house, and by extension, your car as well. All you need to do is sprinkle some on the stain, and then work it in with a cloth. Now, thank God you don’t smoke, but it also helps get rid of nicotine odours and that “old car” smell. What I recommend you do, is spread the powder over the seats, let it soak in for a few hours, and then vacuum it off. 

If your daughter decides to vomit, spill her milk again (because, the poor dot, she doesn’t like cars much, does she?) then take some vinegar or perhaps citric acid. It will remove the stains and the odours as well. But do be a tad careful here. I suggest you add three tablespoons of vinegar essence to a litre of water. Then, dip a sponge into it and dab the stain with it. A little later, wipe with a damp cloth. Instead of vinegar, you can also use citric acid with its neutralising effect.

Now, a real miracle cure, especially when it comes to getting car seats clean again, is salt. It’s brilliant for removing water stains. Slightly dampen the car seats, then sprinkle some salt over them and let it soak in for two hours. I’ll bet you a glass of bubbly that the stain will have disappeared. (We haven’t done that for a long time, have we? We must!) 

You can also clean your car seats with detergent. Again, just dissolve a small amount of mild detergent in hot water and brush the mixture into the fabric. But here, I recommend you clean the entire surface, just to avoid any unsightly edges. 

So, you see dearest friend, it really isn’t that difficult nor is it rocket science. And, if you to enjoy having all us friends in the car for our girly days out, you really could do worse than spend a few minutes and try one of these suggestions out. And if you can get it done by next Thursday, well, I’d really appreciate that. I’ll see you then.  Oh, I see, it’s your new boyfriend’s car! I did wonder a little. Well then, I’ll leave it to you to sort him out. Good luck!

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