How To Clean Your Car’s Interior

January 4th, 2024 by

How To Clean Your Car’s Interior

Keeping the interior of your car clean can take a lot of work – especially if you have kids or pets, or are using your vehicle as a daily commuter. Even if you use your car infrequently, dirt and grime buildup are a normal part of car ownership. Maintaining a clean vehicle is more than just for the aesthetic appeal – things like clean windows can help improve visibility and keep you safe on the road. Regularly cleaning your car’s interior can also help with resale value when it comes time to trade in your vehicle. In general, a clean interior can improve your day-to-day driving experience, making your car more comfortable. Here are some of the top tips for cleaning your car’s interior:

Clear Out The Trash

Before diving into a deep clean on your car, you’ll first need to remove any trash and debris from the vehicle. It may be easiest to grab a large trash bag and get into the car to access those hard to reach spaces. Make sure you check things like cup holders, door pockets, and underneath the seats for hidden trash. Before moving on to the next step, be sure to remove any car seats and excess items from the vehicle.

Remove And Clean Your Car’s Floor Mats

The first thing you should do after removing excess trash is take out the floor mats from your car. It will be much easier to clean these items outside of the vehicle. Shake off any dirt that may be on the mats first. Then, go over each with a vacuum to get more stubborn particulates. If you are planning on giving the mats a thorough wash, it’s best to do that now so that they have time to dry while you’re cleaning the rest of your vehicle.

If you have carpeted mats, you can use any carpet or upholstery cleaner. You can soak the mats in water mixed with the cleaner product, and then rinse them with plain water. Depending on if there are stains, you may have to scrub the mats with a brush. Make sure you hang the mats up to dry properly. You may also want to check if the mats are machine washable. Throwing them in the washing machine can save you tons of time and effort.

If you have rubber or silicone mats, cleaning is a bit easier. You can hose these items off, or similarly soak them in water with a cleaning product (typically dishwashing soap will do the trick). You may also choose to invest in some rubber floor mat cleaner made specifically for this purpose. Again, make sure you leave the mats out to dry before putting them back in your car.

Vacuum The Interior Of Your Car

Once the mats are out the way, you can work on vacuuming the entire interior of your vehicle. This will pick up any excess dirt, crumbs, and other particulates you may have accumulated on the road. Don’t forget to vacuum on top of and under the seats. For hard to reach places, use vacuum nozzle attachments.

Dust It Off

You can get a lot of dirt with a vacuum, but smaller particles like dust may need special attention. Especially on top of your dash or in between vents, you may want to use a microfiber cloth or other dusting apparatus to pick up leftover dust. These items will be a lot more helpful than a vacuum, and are specifically designed to pick up small particles.

Disinfect Your Interior

Once you remove all traces of dust and dirt, it’s time to disinfect. The easiest option here is to use a disinfectant wipe. Simply wipe over all hard surfaces – the dashboard, cupholders, seat belts, etc.. Over time, lots of bacteria can accumulate within your car’s interior, especially on high contact surfaces like the steering wheel. Make sure you’re not using bleach based cleaners, which can damage your interior and irritate your skin. Disinfecting your interior will not only leave your vehicle squeaky clean, but will prevent the spread of germs and pathogens, keeping you and your passengers healthy and safe.

Clean The Windows And Mirror

Keeping your windows and mirrors clean will help you maintain good visibility on the road and stay safe. In order to clean your windows and mirror, use a microfiber cloth to pick up dust and prevent scratching. You should also use a special window cleaner that is free of ammonia, which can damage interior plastic parts. If you don’t have a window cleaner on hand, you can make your own by mixing water and dish soap at a one to one ratio. Spray the cleaner directly onto your cleaning cloth, rather than the surface itself. If your car has tinted windows, check the owner’s manual before using any cleaning products to ensure that you won’t damage them.

Clean The Center Console

Special care should be taken when cleaning your center console. Sensitive buttons and screens can be damaged if you scrub too hard, or use the wrong cleaning product. Make sure that any cleaning solution you are using is free from ammonia, which can damage sensitive screens. This is especially important if your screen has been treated with anti-glare or anti-fingerprint coating, which is partially made from plastics that are degraded when they come in contact with ammonia.

Clean Your Car Seats

The first thing you should do when cleaning your car seats is remove any dirt and grime. You should’ve gotten it all when you were vacuuming the interior, but now is the time to double check. Use a microfiber cloth to pick up any extra dust or particles that may have been missed. If you have leather seats, you’ll want to use a special leather cleaning product. You may also want to consider leather conditioners afterward, which will give you that “new car” smell. If you have fabric car seats, first remove any stains with a stain removal product. Then, you can apply a general upholstery cleaner to the rest of the seat with a scrubber brush. Rinse the seats with a damp cloth, but be sure not to soak them. This can cause mold to grow overtime if the seats become too wet and are unable to dry quickly enough.

By following these few short steps, you can be sure that the interior of your car remains in mint condition. A clean car makes for a more enjoyable ride, making your journey safer and more comfortable for many miles to come.

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