* When it rains after a long dry spell, a dirty windscreen turns into one big mess. Get rid of streaks and blotches by pouring coca cola over the glass. (Stretch a towel along the bottom of the windshield to protect bonnet paint.) The bubbles in the cola will fizz away the grime. Just be sure to wash the sticky cola off thoroughly or your cleaning efforts will end up attracting dust and dirt.
* When your windscreen-washer reservoir needs filling, raid the liquor cabinet to make your own washing fluid. In a screw-top jug, mix 3 cups vodka with 4 cups water and 2 teaspoons liquid dishwashing detergent. Screw on the cap and shake well, then pour as much fluid as needed into the reservoir.
* Keep your headlights polished by applying window cleaner and rubbing vigorously with an old pair of panty hose.
* Clean your windshield and car windows by rubbing them with baby wipes stored in your glovebox.
* If the windscreen-washer reservoir is empty, use an unlikely substitute to clean your windshield: feminine hygiene maxi-pads, a box of which you could stash in the tboot. Hold a pad on the sticky side and rub the windshield vigorously. The glass will really shine.
* If your windscreen wiper blades get dirty, they’ll streak the glass instead of keeping it clean and clear. Make a solution of 1/4 cup household ammonia to 1 litre of cold water. Wipe both sides of the blades with a soft cloth or paper towel soaked in the solution. Then wipe the blades with a dry cloth before lowering them into place.
* Use the same solution for washing the windscreen and windows. Keep it in a screwtop plastic bottle in the boot. As soon as your windscreen begins to get dirty, take out the solution and apply it with a sponge; then dry the windshield with a soft cloth or paper towels.
* Washing your car when it’s too hot—right after you’ve been driving it, for example, or when it’s been parked in direct sunlight—can result in soapy splotches and deposits.