Spring cleaning hacks for your Subaru

Written by : Team Subaru


If you’re anything like us at Subaru, our All-Wheel Drive vehicles get us not only back and forth to work, but also out exploring our stunning New Zealand backyard. So, they tend to collect a bit of mud – both inside and out! As spring is just around the corner and with some of us at home finding ourselves with more time up our sleeves than usual, it’s the perfect chance to give your car a spring clean. Your Subaru will then be fully refreshed and ready for new adventures when we’re allowed out and about again. It’s also a great way to get the kids outside for some fresh air and help clean the car together, although be careful letting them be in charge of the hose!

Subarus are used for adventuring but can get dirty easily

The best way to maintain and protect your car and prolong its new-car looks is to regularly clean it internally and externally. Washing your vehicle thoroughly at least once a month will help prevent road grime from sticking to it to the body and cleaning out the interior will ensure dirt and dust don’t become engrained in the upholstery.

Our Subaru team has had plenty of experience looking after Subarus, and we’ve got some top tips to on how to give your Subaru a spring clean. Plus, some helpful hacks to get the best results!

We also asked High Performance Lubricants’ GM Chris Walkley to recommend his favourite products to get your Subaru shining like new again.



Subaru car cleaning hack: start at the top and work your way down

When it comes to cleaning the outside of your vehicle, it’s best to start at the top and wash methodically downwards. Rinse from top to bottom too.

Use warm soapy water (but not too hot) and apply it with a sponge. One of our top tips is the two-bucket technique: Have one bucket with carwash product mixed with lukewarm water in it and one bucket with solely water. Dunk your cleaning cloth/sponge into the first bucket and start washing the car. Then rinse out your sponge in the second bucket with just water to remove any excess dirt from the sponge. Start the washing process again with the contents of carwash product bucket.

For hard-to-reach spots, or tiny flecks of dirt that don’t come off with the sponge, use an old soft toothbrush.

Exterior cleaning hack: To help avoid those pesky dried water spots on the window, use an old bath towel rather than a micro fibre towel, as bath towels can absorb a lot more moisture. (Note: Be careful with any window cleaner products around the EyeSight cameras mounted at the top of the windscreen).

Chris from High Performance Lubricants recommends: Motowash - a unique product that can be used in its concentrated form or mixed in water. Sprayed directly on a dirty surface that has been wet first, gives the best results. Motowash leaves a shiny waxed finish.

If you own a Subaru Outback, or XV, Chris says Motul Wash & Wax is particularly good for rejuvenating these models’ unpainted grey or black side skirts.



Subaru car cleaning hack: use a sponge when washing your wheels

What looks better than some shiny alloy wheels!? To keep them looking spick and span, we suggest using a sponge rather than a harsh brush to maintain the alloys. If you have more than one, try to use a separate sponge for wheels to avoid spreading grime and brake dust across the car’s body.  Your sponge will last much longer too. 

Wash the wheels last to make sure you don’t spread any dirt from the wheels across the paintwork. 

If you’ve been near a beach, try to clean your car as soon as possible after it’s been splashed by salt water, or exposed to sea breezes.

Wheel cleaning hack: Some wheels have very intricate designs, so try using a cloth to clean the alloys, as it’s also much easier to manoeuvre between spokes than with a brush.



Subaru car cleaning hack: use a damp cloth to wipe the interior

For some of us, the inside of our car is our workspace, gym bag, surfboard holder or second home! With so much space inside a Subaru, dirt, dust and crumbs can creep into the cabin.

When cleaning the floor space, remove the carpet mats first and use your house vacuum with its normal flat head. This is much faster than leaving the mats in place and trying to use a small nozzle end to clean them.

If you own a dog, you’ll probably know it can be a mission removing pet hair from carpet and fabric seats.
Our life hack is to gently use a small window squeegee, or another rubber-type blade which can help dislodge or lift the hair strands before attacking them with a vacuum.

To clean the interior cabin area, use a damp cloth and if needed a very small amount of soap. Always wipe down afterwards to remove any soap residue and eliminate dampness after cleaning.  

Cloth upholstery: It’s best to vacuum the seats first and use a soft brush for any areas that have lots of caked-on dirt. Then wipe the upholstery with a tightly wrung cloth and dry it thoroughly. If the upholstery is still dirty, use mild soap and lukewarm water, then dry thoroughly.

Leather upholstery: To help preserve your leather upholstery, try not to let dirt or dust build up, as it can make the leather wear earlier than usual. So, ideally attempt to clean the interior monthly. When cleaning, vacuum first and then use a soft lint-free cloth dampened with lukewarm water and mild soap – don’t let it soak in. Wipe with a gentle circular motion and then dry with a soft cloth.

Chris recommends: Motul Perfect Leather as it can be used to clean and condition, or used as a conditioner after leather is cleaned. This product can be applied using a soft cloth and left for a short time to cure before use. It can be used on interior and exterior leather surfaces.

When used in conjunction with Perfect leather, Motul's silicone spray Shine N Go has a distinct mandarin fragrance, that leaves the vehicle smelling almost like a new one. It can be used on the interior or exterior, because the spray nozzle is very fine. It leaves a light mist on interior surfaces, like the dash board and console panels.


Just like cleaning your bathroom or kitchen, it’s important to keep your Subaru clean to ensure it’s fresh and free of dirt - enabling it to perform at its optimal level.
We’d love to hear your top tips for spring cleaning your Subaru, so please share them with us over on our Facebook page or on Instagram. To check out the full Subaru range, visit our showroom or explore our e-Boxer Hybrid range here

For further information on caring for the exterior and interior of your vehicle, please refer to your Owner’s Manual.


More Subaru Stories