How to clean tight spaces in car

Cleaning tight spaces in a car is sometimes difficult, especially if you do not have experience cleaning cars. That’s why we are here to guide you on how to clean tight spaces in car. You may find it a little more challenging to clean those difficult-to-reach spots, but it is certainly not impossible.

For a well-maintained vehicle, keeping the car clean on the inside and outside is vital. However, some drivers and car owners neglect to clean the hard-to-reach areas of their vehicles. It doesn’t take many tools to clean tight spaces – just a little bit of information can help you.

Why do you need to clean your car’s tight spaces?

How to clean tight spaces in car

The goal of cleaning your car is not to remove visible dirt. Instead, it’s about removing dirt you can’t see. No matter where you look, cars are filled with hundreds of tiny cracks and crevices, many of which become homes for dirt, rocks, food particles, and much more.

If these tight places are left dirty, they will develop rust, affecting other parts of the car. You can increase your car’s longevity and resale value by cleaning tight places.

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How to clean tight spaces in car (Steps)

Cleaning your car’s interior doesn’t require any special skills. You just need some time, patience, and some easily available cleaning products.

Safety measurement for cleaning tight spaces in a car

How to clean tight spaces in car

In order to thoroughly clean hard-to-reach areas in your car, you should take care of yourself first.

  • Wear gloves and safety glasses: It might seem unnecessary to wear gloves and safety glasses when working with chemicals, such as cleaning wipes or conditioning sprays. You will also need a good supply of air.
  • Be careful when cleaning under seats: When reaching under seats and other obstructed areas with your hands. You might find sharp objects under there that can cut or scratch you.
  • Wear a mask: It is helpful to wear a mask before cleaning your car interior. While cleaning, you have to use chemicals that may contain dangerous elements that you may be allergic to. You also have to deal with dirt and dust on your face. Wearing a mask will keep you protected.
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Steps for Cleaning tight spaces in car interior

Step 1: Clean your car interior under the roof or in a shady area with good light

Sunlight makes work uncomfortable and decreases the effectiveness of cleaning products. Too long exposure to the heat could cause a product to react and discolor or damage the interior.

Step 2: Get a trash bag or bin

Having bags or bins for trash is very important when cleaning out your car’s interior, especially if you have kids. Place the visible dirt and trash in the car’s interior in a trash bag.

Step 3: Take the floor mats off

Floor mats and carpets are the places where most of the dirt lies. For having a clean car, clean floor mats or carpets are necessary.

Tools and equipment required

  • Cleaning brush
  • Carpet cleaner
  • Vacuum cleaner or a steam cleaner (recommended)

1: Remove the carpet or mat for cleaning     

First, you should remove your car’s carpets and floor mats. After removing the floor mats, you should clean them with a carpet cleaner (look for a reputable brand like turtle wax). Allow the carpet to dry after cleaning.

2: Vacuum the car floors

Now vacuum the floor of the car. Vacuuming will remove every bit of dirt and dust. You can also save time by using a vacuum cleaner. Clean the floors of your car from front to back.

Step 4: Clean under the seats

Cleaning under the seats is one of the most important steps on how to clean tight spaces in car. Many people neglect this area. Dirt, dust, spills, and garbage are all scattered around here, so if you clean up your car but don’t take the time to clean this area, you are missing out.

To clean under your car seats, you need to take them out or move them. Today’s cars usually have seats that can be moved by rails. That gives you the option of moving or removing them. However, in older car models, the seats are usually fixed, so we have to remove them.

How to clean tight spaces in car

1: Cleaning beneath the car seats by moving them

Assuming your seats are movable and you only desire to move them, you will first move the seat to the front so that you can clean the back. Clean the front of the car seat after cleaning the back.

2: Cleaning underneath the car seats by removing them

Consider removing your car seats. During that process, you should avoid causing any problems, including electrical issues if your seats are powered, damage to your car’s interior or door panels, or incorrect installation.

Remove the negative battery cable from your car first if your car has airbags to prevent accidental discharges. To remove a car seat from a car, you would have to loosen bolts. They can be either Torx or 6 bolts, depending on the model of your car.

It is necessary to unplug the wires beneath the car seat after unfastening the bolts. Adjust the seatback slightly to make it easier to reach the harnesses. You can now take the seats out of the car after the bolts have been loosened and the wires have been disconnected.

Check out our article on removing car seats for more information.

Step 5: Clean around the car console and seats

Most dirt, dust, and garbage such as food cans, spills, and plastic bottles are found in this area around the console and front seat of the car. It is essential to clean this area. To clean this area, you will need some tools.

Tool required:

  • A vacuum cleaner with a crevice tool attached or a steam cleaner (optional)
  • Cleaning brush

1: Vacuuming the surfaces

Use a vacuum cleaner with a crevice tool to clean the areas around the front car seats. Due to its thin, narrow, long shape, a crevice tool is the best way to clean between car seats. It doesn’t matter whether you remove the seats or just move them while cleaning.

Though you can remove all types of dirt and dust from your car with a vacuum cleaner, it is recommended that you use a steam cleaner because it will deeply clean your dirty spots.

2: Clean with a bristle brush

After vacuuming the area, now it is time to clean it with a bristle brush. Always choose a brush with soft bristles to avoid scratching your interior.

3: Clean until you are satisfied

Once you have completed this process for the first time and are unsatisfied with the results, you should repeat the process to remove dirt from your car’s tight places.

Step 5: Clean your car’s vents

It is common for car detailing professionals to thoroughly clean the entire car but completely forget to wash this area. That is why it is so important on our list of how to clean tight spaces in car. Following are the tools you require to clean your car vents;

Tools required:

  • Steam cleaner
  • Detailing brushes: Toothbrush or cotton swab
  • Microfiber towel
  • An air compressor

1: Cleaning with a steam cleaner:

Cleaning your car vents with a steam cleaner is a great way to remove dirt. Use a steam jet nozzle to clean the vent. A steam cleaner can easily remove the dirt deeply from your car vents.

2: Clean car vents with a toothbrush

Cleaning your car vents is a great way to eliminate dirt but try to use a toothbrush with soft bristles as a hard toothbrush will scratch your car interior.

3: Cleaning with a microfiber cloth

A microfiber cloth wrapped around a popsicle stick is a great way of cleaning car vents and other confined areas in your car. If you are cleaning in tight places, use a thin microfiber cloth.

In the absence of a popsicle stick, use anything thin. You could even use your fingers, but your fingers would have a hard time reaching all the tiny gaps.

Step 6: Cleaning the cracks in your car seats

It is very important to clean your car seat’s cracks and crevices, and you have to be very careful while doing so. If you make any mistakes, your seats will be damaged.

How to clean tight spaces in car

When cleaning cracks in a car seat, you should use the right cleaner based on the surface type (e.g., leather needs to be cleaned with leather cleaner).

Do not apply the cleaner to cracks, as it will seep down through the gaps and hurt the material. Instead, apply the cleaner directly to a microfiber cloth and wipe it on the crack. This will ensure that all dirt on the cracks of your car seats is removed.

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Steps for cleaning the tight spaces of the car exterior

Step 1: Clean the wheel wells of the car

Our wheels are where most of the dirt and mud from our vehicles accumulate. Cleaning them properly is an essential part of car detailing. Tools you required for cleaning the wheel wells are;

Tools required

  • Any cleaning solution
  • Detailing brush
  • Toothbrush

1: Apply a cleaning solution

It is highly recommended to use a cleaning solution such as Adam’s or Chemical Guys. Such cleaning solutions will effectively clean wheels.

2: Brush your wheel wells

To clean tight spaces in your wheel, use a cleaning brush. The process will be carried out after the cleaning solution is applied. By doing so, you can effectively remove stubborn dirt from your wheel. If you still wish to deep clean the wells, you should use an old toothbrush. It will deeply clean your car wheels.

3: Wash the wheel and repeat if necessary

After brushing, now it is time to wash the wheel with the water. If you feel that dirt and mud have not been properly removed from the wheel, you should repeat this procedure.

Step 2: Cleaning the grills of the car

Car grills are probably one of the dirtiest and most attractive parts of a car, so it is on this list of how to clean tight spaces in car. A car grill has probably the tightest spaces in a whole car. In order to clean it, you will need the following tools.

Tools required:

  • A toothbrush
  • Dryer sheets

To get rid of stubborn bugs from your car’s grille, use dryer sheets. First, you need to soak the sheets in warm water, then wipe the grille with them.

In case you are not satisfied with the results, use a toothbrush or another cleaning brush to clean the tight spaces in the grill.



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