Cars, Home Care, Today


Today I had on the schedule to wash my van and clean the moss out from around the doorhandles. I take it through the car wash fairly regularly, but nothing really cleans like a good hand wash. I started around 9:00 a.m. after I went and picked up the groceries so I wouldn’t get too hot.

I took the hose from the side yard to the driveway and attached it to the faucet behind the gate, and filled up my bucket with water and Dawn dishwashing liquid. I had plenty of rags ready to go for washing and drying. Unfortunately I didn’t get a “before” photo of the whole van, but here is one of some of the moss. You can see it around the door handle and the window. Blargh. How icky is that? I was tired of seeing that each time I got in the van to go somewhere and was rather embarrassed for other people to see it and think I don’t take care of my things.


So I got out an old toothbrush and started scrub-a-dub-dubbing. An old toothbrush is a great thing to have around the house for just such a job. You can see in this photo what I discovered when I inspected the rest of the van — that every nook and cranny that could have moss in it did. The plastic stripes at the bottom of the doors also had moss.

So, I washed and scrubbed and scrubbed and washed, and almost got all the dirt off the paint and the windows (there is some white stuff on the back passenger side quarter panel that I will probably need a plastic scraper to remove. I decided not to do that today.) With my toothbrush I was able to get into most of the nooks and crannies and remove the moss. Now the door handle and window look like this:

SO much better!

This is the passenger side front window. Aaack! I scrubbed this moss off but on final inspection a lot of it hadn’t been completely removed, so I had to go back with my wet rag and scrub again. It still didn’t all come off. I’m not sure why the passenger side had so much more moss than the driver’s side, the only thing I can think of is that the passenger side gets more sun.


I wiped down the insides of the doors and liftgate, although there was some gunk inside the top of the liftgate I couldn’t get very well. Then I got out my baby ShopVac and a damp rag to clean the inside of the van. I ran the rag over the dash and steering wheel and all the other plastic parts. Then I vacuumed everything out. There wasn’t too much dirt in the second row of seats because people hardly ever ride there, and I keep the third row folded down so there wasn’t any dirt there, but the way-back had a lot of dirt still from when we brought home my concrete bear statue. The front seat floors were very dirty as usual, especially the driver’s side since it is the side that gets used the most. I don’t know where I get all the junk on my shoes, but there is always a lot of dirt on the floor where I put my feet. It’s a mystery.

Baby ShopVac

The van wasn’t as dirty as it could have been because I did go to the car wash the other day, but the windows always get very dirty and I am glad to be able to see out of them again. I couldn’t reach the top middle of the windshield so there might still be a dirty spot there, but maybe The Hubs will take care of that for me on his next days off. I had forgotten to bring out the stepstool and didn’t really want to get it all wet. The windshield wiper on the driver’s side kept making a smudge right at eye level when I used the washer function, so I wanted to give the wipers a good cleaning too. Usually the wipers rest way down under the hood and are impossible to get to, but I found out by accident that if you turn them on low and then turn off the ignition when they are at the outside of the windshield, they will stay up and accessible. I gave them a good wipedown as well. Seems like whenever I clean the windshield wipers they are always covered in black dirt. They need to be replaced soon for the rainy season but at least they should work for the washing function now.

Wipers are accessible now.

Here is the finished product, in front of the spectacular gate The Hubs designed and built to keep people from gawking at his backyard. It only took me two hours to finish my car wash! My van is 17 years old and has dents from a mistake I made and from when a small man sideswiped my driver’s door in the RiteAid parking lot while I was in the store. A very large man had seen it happen and kept the little guy there until I came out so I could get his information, because he was trying to sneak away. It sounded like he was saying his car did the sideswiping all by itself, but he wasn’t speaking English very well and I couldn’t quite get what he was trying to tell me. I did get a rather tiny payment from the man’s insurance company but Greg decided it wouldn’t be enough to pay to get the dents fixed so now I drive a hooptie. And I know it would be cooler to have an SUV, but you wouldn’t believe all the treasures I can fit in the minivan, ha! Oh well, it runs fine and it’s paid for and it’s really in pretty good condition, and now it’s clean and moss-free!

So shiny!