How to Clean a Car Interior at Home. Cleaning the interior of your car will not restore that heady new car scent, but it will improve the air quality significantly. Cleaning the windows, removing trash and clutter, and cleaning the carpet and seats can make it easier to breathe and may even improve your driving skills. Professional detailing might be expensive, but you can clean your car inside like the pros with only a few tools and cleaning products that you probably already have on hand.
How Regularly Should You Clean Your Car Interior?
The frequency with which you clean your automobile is determined by factors like driving conditions, how the vehicle is utilized, the number of passengers, and how often you travel.
When it comes to car maintenance, safety is always a top priority. Clean your interior windows at least once a month or whenever grime obstructs your view of incoming traffic. When garbage or debris is interfering with the vehicle’s controls, remove it from the driver’s floorboard and dashboard. Twice a year, thorough cleaning of the car’s interior should be enough. Maintain the car’s interior in good condition to help it survive longer and keep its worth when you sell or trade it in.
What You’ll Require
|Equipment / Tools||Materials|
|Trash bin||Disinfecting wipes|
|Duster||Ammonia-free window cleaner or distilled white vinegar|
|Vacuum with the hose, crevice tool attachments or shop-vac||Paper towel|
|Microfiber cloths||Oxygen-based bleach (optional)|
|Cotton swab||Leather cleaner/conditioner or saddle soap (optional)|
|Stiff-bristled scrub brush||White distilled vinegar (optional)|
|Garden hose (optional)||Baking soda or activated charcoal|
|Tarp or drop cloth||Upholstery cleaner (optional)|
|Old toothbrush||Toothpick or pair of tweezers (optional)|
|Dull knife or flat-head screwdriver (optional)||Carpet cleaner (optional)|
|Ruler or paint stirrer stick||Dishwashing liquid|
|Spray bottle (optional)||Disinfecting wipes|
How to Clean a Car
Remove the Floor Mats and Clean Them.
Floor mats are frequently among the dirtiest parts of a vehicle’s interior. To make cleaning easier, take them all out of the car. Before you start cleaning, give each mat a quick shake or vacuum. Then, rather than putting them on the dirty ground, place them on a tarp or other sort of drop cloth.
Use a carpet or upholstery cleaner and follow the manufacturer’s directions for carpeted mats. To remove excess soil from rubber, vinyl, or silicone mats, use a hose. In a bucket, combine warm water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Clean the mats with a scrub brush dipped in the solution. Rinse them thoroughly and allow them to air dry before reinstalling them in the car and continuing to clean the rest of the interior.
Clean the Steering Wheel:
Using a disinfectant wipe, remove germs and bacteria from your steering wheel and gear change knobs. Using a clean microfiber towel, buff dry.
Washing Carpeted Mats:
Some carpeted mats may be stain-resistant and machine-washable but check the label.
Clean Windows and Mirror:
Remove the haze from inside windows with a microfiber cloth and an ammonia-free professional window cleaner (ammonia can damage interior plastics). Make your own window cleaner by combining distilled white vinegar and water in a one-to-one ratio. Lower the windows slightly, starting at the top and working your way down to catch any drips.
When cleaning the interior of your automobile, you can’t overlook the dust, filth, and fingerprints on the windows and mirrors. Spraying windows with a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water is one of the car interior cleaning tips.
Working your way down from the top of the glass will avoid any drips from ruining your car seat or door panel. After that, clean the windows with a microfiber towel for a streak-free finish. This cleaning solution can also be used to clean automobile windows from the outside, as well as the windshield, side, and rear-view mirrors. Simply use a different microfiber cloth for each of them.
Clean the Center Console:
Cup holders are frequently found in the center console, which can grow filthy. Allow the cup holder to soak in warm water with a little dishwashing liquid if it’s removable. With a sponge, scrub it clean. Wipe it down with a soft cloth and thoroughly rinse it with fresh water. Reassemble the console after it has dried.
Use a clean microfiber cloth that is only slightly damp to clean the gearstick and other controls. Use an old toothbrush, a moist cotton swab, or a damp paper towel wrapped around the tip of a dull knife or flat-head screwdriver to reach tight spots.
Reaching Into Tiny Areas
Remove trash from the tiny nooks and crannies of your car’s interior with a toothpick or a pair of tweezers. To remove dust particles from the console (and dashboard), use the crevice tool on your vacuum.
Remove Dashboard Dust and Grime:
Dust the dashboard as much as possible with a duster and cotton swabs to get dusty tight spots around vents and knobs. Remove any filth and fingerprints with a slightly moist microfiber towel after dusting.
Get Rid of the Grunge on Your Dashboard:
Wrap a somewhat moist microfiber cloth around a ruler or wooden paint stirrer to reach the narrow area of the dashboard where it meets the windshield. To collect the trash, slide it through the region.
Clean Leather Car Seats:
Use the vacuum crevice tool to carefully remove dust and filth from the stitching and the region where the backs and bottom seats meet if you have leather car seats. Wipe each seat thoroughly with a commercial leather cleaner or saddle soap and water solution. Consider using a leather conditioner to restore suppleness and sheen after cleaning the seat.
Clean Cloth Car Seats:
Start by vacuuming each seat thoroughly if you have fabric car seats. Pretreat badly stained areas with an upholstery cleanser or follow the stain removal instructions for a specific stain. Make a paste with powdered oxygen-based bleach and a little water to remove dye-based stains like Kool-Aid. Before vacuuming away the residue, apply the paste to the stained area and let it sit for at least one hour.
After the severe stains have been removed, clean the entire seat according to the upholstery cleaner’s recommendations. Scrub the cleaner into the fabric using a scrub brush, then wipe away the cleaner and debris with a microfiber cloth dipped in plain water. If required, repeat the steps and let the seats air dry.
Seat Belts Should Be Cleaned
Make sure your seat belts are clean. To remove dust and stains from the fabric straps, use the upholstery cleaner. Using a damp microfiber cloth, wipe off the metal fasteners and molded clasps.
Interior Carpet Vacuuming and Cleaning:
One of the last tasks is to vacuum the car’s carpet or floor to remove all the dirt and debris that has accumulated in your vents and crevices. If the carpet has stains, use a commercial carpet cleaner and follow the manufacturer’s directions. Remember to vacuum the carpet in the trunk as well.
Clean the Door Panels:
The door panels could be made of a mix of carpet, vinyl, or leather. Wipe off the finishes and the pockets with a moist microfiber towel. Don’t forget to clean the hatchback or back door. When cleaning, leave the doors open so that the dirt and dander fall to the exterior of your vehicle.
Take on Difficult Odors:
Finally, if your car still stinks, sprinkle dry baking soda on the carpet and cloth seats. Allow it to sit overnight before vacuuming it away. Baking soda or activated charcoal in a sealed plastic container can also be used to control odors. Make perforations in the lid and position it beneath one of the seats. Every other month, the contents are changed.Tips to Keep Your Car Interior Clean Longer
- Backseat pet covers should be brought along, as well as a rubber glove or lint roller to clean off any fur that has settled on the seats or carpet.
- Keep a tiny sealed container in the door pocket of your car for any rubbish that falls to the floor or into the cup holders. It’s a good idea to use a thin pet treat holder or a cereal dispenser.
- If you frequently have children in the back seat, invest in a pair of kick mats to protect the seatbacks from muddy footprints.
- If you’re stopped in traffic or otherwise spending time in your car, keep automotive gel or putty in your car so you can clean out vents and other hard-to-reach locations on a regular basis.
- To keep your cup holders cleaning for longer, use a silicone baking cup.
- Use a compact expandable file to organise your glove compartment so you have extra area to keep minor cleaning items for in-between cleanings (and to keep things from falling out of your glove compartment).