All You Need To Know On How To Clean Your Car Interior

Is your car starting to smell bad from the inside? There is nothing more cringe-worthy than opening your car door and being greeted with a bad odour. We spend a lot of our time there, going to the office, school, grocery runs, family trips, etc. 

Modern car interior

The car, for most of us, is like our second home. You need to clean it inside out regularly, clean stained chrome rims, and prevent and fix any damages and scratches. Why not keep the inside of the car clean to minimize any stress during your road trips? If it has been quite a long time since you have had a fresh smelling car, it is high time you cleaned your car interior. Here’s all you need to know on how to do it!

Is it important to clean the inside of your car?

If you want to have an enjoyable ride with your family as well as maintain a healthy, clean environment, you have to clean the interior of your car. Think about all the build-up of dust and dirt.

We all wash our cars from the outside to get that clean, sparkly, shine. However, what’s on the inside matters more than what’s on the outside! Nothing feels better than driving a clean car, with freshly cleaned interiors. So, before we begin, here are some things that you should keep in mind:

1. Improves life of the components

Wondering why you should spend additional time cleaning the interior? Well, if you take care of the car’s interior, the components will stay new and will not deteriorate over time due to neglect. This will save you money as well as time spent in replacing different parts in the long run! The dust, dirt, spilt food, etc. can wear away the upholstery

2. Avoids grime & stains

There is nothing worse than stains and mould on your seat covers. If you leave them for a long time, they take a lot more time to get rid of. And guess what? This isn’t something that you want to face ever! So make sure that you take action pretty quickly!

3. Prevents germs

This is one of the most important reasons for keeping your car clean. We spend a lot of time in our cars and we touch the safety belt, steering wheel, ignition, hand break – you name it! If you don’t clean regularly, germs start to become too many, making your car an unhealthy place for you and your family. Keep anti-bacterial wipes in there at all times to keep the harmful germs away.

.Hand with microfiber cloth cleaning leather seats

4. Keeps your car at the highest value

At some point, you will eventually trade-in or sell yours to buy a new car. If you have kept it in excellent condition, it will benefit both you and your pocket! You will never buy a shabby, unkempt car, right? Similarly, no one would give your car the time of the day if it is dirty, grimy, and stained. Ensure that your car doesn’t lose its monetary value. 

From vacuuming the carpets and the floor mats to vinyl cleaning, carpet shampooing, leather conditioning, etc. complete car detailing is pretty essential whether you do it yourself or hire a professional detailer for interior cleaning.

Some tips that you should keep in mind

Now that you know how important it is to keep your car’s interiors clean, it is time to learn a few simple tips that will help you keep the surfaces at their finest. 

1. Auto-wipes

Keep auto-wipes in there to give any compartment, steering wheel, dashboard, etc. a quick rub down. This will remove all the stains that your fingers left and the dust that accumulated over the drive. 

2. Look out for mechanical issues

Air fresheners can reduce bad smells but can’t remove them entirely. Mechanical issues in the car can also cause unpleasant odours and dust buildup in the car. Ensure that your air filter and air vents are regularly checked for their function. It is better if you get an air filter with built-in antimicrobial technology to keep everything healthy and clean.

3. Shake out the mats regularly

Shaking out the mats as soon as you get out of the car hardly takes 5 to 10 seconds but goes a long way in keeping a car clean. Even if you vacuum your car, it will get dirty from the shoes of all the passengers. By shaking the mats daily, you can save time from vacuuming all the time. 

4. Clean the cup holders & seats

We all have stuffed trash in the cup holders at one time or the other. Plus, the wetness from the cups that sit in there makes them dirty and gross quickly. As soon as you get out of your car, throw away the drive-through drink so that the condensation doesn’t create a dirty sludge.

Male hands cleaning the interior of the car

Along with the auto-wipes, keep some cotton swabs in your car as well so that you can quickly remove the liquid before it dries up. Similarly, keep napkins or paper towels to take care of any spills on your car seat as soon as they happen to reduce damage.

5. Keep a small trash can in the car

You have no idea how brilliant keeping a small trash in there can be, or even a grocery bag meant for disposal in your car will do. Having a nice, convenient place where everyone can toss the wrappers, cans, tissues, etc. keeps your car interior nice and clean.

Clean the interior of your car step-by-step

Don’t have the time or budget to get your car’s interiors professionally cleaned? There is no need to worry – you can clean it yourself! Simply follow the steps that we have mentioned below and you will be good to go!

Equipment You Need

  • Trash can
  • Vacuum
  • Cotton swabs
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Sponge
  • Scrub brush
  • Bucket
  • Spray bottle
  • Detailing brush
  • Old toothbrush

Cleaning Products/Materials You Need

  • Window cleaner or white vinegar
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Anti-bacterial wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Baking soda
  • Leather cleaner
  • Carpet cleaner
  • Water

Man using vacuum cleaner for car seats

Step-by-step car cleaning instructions

  1. Firstly, you have to gather all the trash from the cup holders, floorboards, door and seat pockets, etc. remove all the toys, baby car seats, or any other items present in the car.
  2. Take out the floor mats and give each one a good shake to get rid of the dust and dirt present on them. Next, vacuum them thoroughly. If you are using plastic mats, you can simply wash them using dishwashing cleaner and water. Use a hose to wash away any excess soil. Rinse well and let the mats air dry. If your mats are carpeted, then you should use the carpet cleaner instead. Check the label to see if they can be machine washed and dried. 
  3. After cleaning the mats, the next thing you have to do is clean the windows, windscreen, and the mirrors. Put some glass cleaner or all-purpose cleaner in the spray bottle and use a soft cloth to remove all the dust. If you don’t have a window cleaner, you can mix white vinegar and water. If you have tinted windows, make sure that your cleaner is compatible with them.
  4. Next, you have to clean the centre console. If the cup/bottle holders in the centre console are removable, soak them in dishwashing soap and warm water. Then scrub them clean using a sponge. Wipe them with a soft, clean cloth and let them dry
  5. To clean the controls and the gearstick, use a slightly damp microfiber cloth. If you can’t reach the tight nooks and corners, you can use an old toothbrush and reach areas that are not accessible otherwise.
  6. If you have leather seats, use a vacuum cleaner to remove the dust from the stitching. Then wipe down each seat with the help of the leather cleaner. Use leather conditioner on the front and back seats to keep them in pristine condition. If you have cloth car seats, then first vacuum them thoroughly. If there are any spots or stains, make sure that you remove them with the help of a stain remover.
  7. Don’t forget to clean your car seat belts as well. With the help of the upholstery cleaner, clean the straps and wipe down the metal fasteners with a wet microfiber cloth. Clean the door panels as well. 
  8. If even after all the cleaning your car smells bad, sprinkle baking soda on the cloth seats and the carpet. Leave it overnight, and then vacuum it away in the morning. You can also place activated charcoal or baking soda in a plastic container. Cut some holes in the lid and keep the container under the seats. 
  9. Disinfect all the interior surfaces once you are done cleaning. Simply use anti-bacterial wipes and then dry with a clean cloth.

How often should you clean your car interior?

Want to know how often you need to clean your car? Well, there is no straight answer to this. This depends on various factors such as how often the car is used, the driving conditions, the number of passengers, etc.

When it comes to cleaning and maintaining your car, safety is the first priority. Therefore, clean the interior windows once every month or whenever the grime starts to impede your ability to see clearly. Remove any debris and trash from the dashboard as well as the driver’s floorboard so that it doesn’t interfere with the vehicle’s controls. Surface cleaning should be done twice a month while a thorough cleaning of the interior 3 to 4 times a year is sufficient. 

Woman in a modern interior car

We spend a lot of time in our cars, driving from one place to another. For the sake of less stress, convenience, and safety, it is essential that your car becomes a comfortable and clean place. Follow the tips and techniques that we have mentioned above to keep your car neat, tidy, and clean! Find out next: How to fix water damaged leather car seats and how to clean your soft-top roof car.

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