Washing car is part of maintenance routine Routinely having the outside of your car washed and waxed is not just a good idea for aesthetic reasons; it’s also a maintenance duty that should not be overlooked.
Having a dirty car is never a good thing. Salt on the road used to melt ice and snow during the winter months collects on the body of your car over time and, if left untreated, can cause rust to form much quicker than on routinely washed cars. Bird droppings, dirt and debris can also significantly affect your car’s paint, eventually leading to a dull look.
Mevlin McKay, owner of Quick N Brite Mobile Detail in Charlotte, N.C., recommends washing your car at least every other week. Waxing should be done on cars twice a year, he said.
Most car wash businesses offer a variety of washes, from basic to premium. A basic wash at a drive-thru shop can go for as low as $3, while a premium wash can be up to $20 or more.
To ensure your vehicle is properly cleaned, McKay suggests taking it to a qualified auto cleaner.
“Oftentimes when people clean the car themselves they use the wrong products,” he said. “Washing a car with dish detergent is a no-no. It has different chemicals that can scratch some of the paint off. Take care of your car and you’ll get your money back when you trade it in.”
— Angie Hicks
Hints from Heloise:
Certain dry cleaners will recycle hangers
Dear Readers: What do you do with all of those wire hangers hanging in your closet? Most recycling centers will not take them because of the protective plastic coating on them.
The Drycleaning and Laundry Institute launched a nationwide campaign to reuse or recycle as many metal hangers as possible. Just last year, 25 million hangers were saved from going into landfills. Dry cleaners can sign up for this program, in which they agree to reuse hangers when possible and recycle others when they can.
You can go to www.DLICleanersCare.org for a list of cleaners that participate in this program. They will accept wire hangers and prevent tons (literally, 750 tons last year) of steel from ending up in landfills.
— King Features
‘Exotic’ vacation cruises Great Lakes in summer
Luxurious Great Lakes cruising is back for 2013, with Alpena, Mich., as a new cruise stop this year.
The most fantastic itinerary, aboard the 130-passenger Yorktown, is “From the St. Lawrence Seaway to Chicago: A Voyage Through the Inland Seas.” It is a 12-day cruise between Montreal and Chicago, with stops in Kingston and Port Weller, Ontario; Detroit; Alpena; Sault Ste. Marie; Mackinac Island; Charlevoix and Saugatuck in Michigan; and Chicago.
Departure dates are June 22, July 3, Aug. 26 and Sept. 6; price is $5,995 and up per person, based on double occupancy. Why so expensive? It’s an American-flagged, small vessel with an American crew on what is considered an exotic itinerary.
Another option is “Great Lakes Grand Discovery: A Voyage to the Five Inland Seas” that sails between Toronto and Duluth, Minn. for $5,595 and up.
For cruise details and booking, see www.greatlakescruising.com.
— Ellen Creager
Detroit Free Press