How to detail a car interior like a pro at home

The smell of a new car is unique unless the interior is not clean. If you know how to detail a car interior like a pro at home, you can have the same results without spending a bunch of money. Moreover, having a clean interior makes driving more enjoyable.

Car Interior Detailing often gets overlooked by people who are new to the automotive world, but keeping your vehicle in good shape with regular cleaning is an essential part of owning any vehicle (cars, motorcycles, trucks, etc.).

Today, we will discuss the best ways and tips to detail the interior of a car from experts in this field.

Why Should You Detail Your Own Car interior?

How to detail a car interior like a pro at home

There are many reasons why you should detail your car interior. How about saving money? Instead of waiting weeks for a professional service provider to show up – and paying them at least $50 to show up? Being able to spend as much time as you want on your vehicle, taking care of every inch, and knowing that the results are going to be great?

Detailing your car interior is a great way to ensure that everything looks perfect. You can take your time ensuring that all the surfaces are clean and free of dust, dirt, or smudges. You can spend as much time as you need on each detail, and if there is any problem with your result, you can simply do it again and again until you achieve the perfect outcome.

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Why should you not choose professional car interior detailing?

How to detail a car interior like a pro at home

A professional car detailing service can restore your car’s appearance to like new. However, this can also be very expensive, so it might not be necessary. You can easily detail your car’s interior like an expert at home, without spending a lot of money.

Here are a few reasons why you should not choose professional car detailing:

1. It’s expensive:

Professional car detailing services are very expensive, especially if you hire professionals to come to you to detail your car inside and out. And, since you can do it yourself, why pay? You may spend less than $100 doing the work yourself by reading our article on How to Detail a Car Interior Like A Pro at home.

2. It is not difficult to clean the car interior:

Don’t be afraid to tackle car interior detailing on your own. You can detail your car like a pro if you follow our tips. We have given you some tips and tricks on how to get the job done at home without any hassle or extra costs.

3. You can save yourself time:

Professional car detailers are notoriously busy, so it can take weeks or even months for them to detail your vehicle. It is not only cheaper to do it yourself, but it also takes less time than waiting for professionals.

4. You can save yourself the hassle:

Professional car detailing can be a bit of a hassle. You have to schedule an appointment, make sure you’re there when they arrive, and then you have to wait around while they work on your car. Detailing your car at home is simple and easy.

5. You’ll know what has been done:

When you have your car detailed by a professional, there’s always the risk that they won’t do a good job or that they may not even clean certain areas. This can leave you with a car that still needs cleaning – and who has time for that? When you detail your car at home, you know exactly what has been done, and you can be sure that it’s been done properly.

6: You’ll save the environment:

Professional car detailers use a lot of harsh chemicals and solvents to clean cars. These chemicals can be harmful to the environment and should not be used unless necessary. When you detail your car at home, you can use eco-friendly products that are safe for both you and the environment.

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How to detail a car interior like a pro at home

How to detail a car interior at home #shorts

If you don’t have the right knowledge and equipment, detailing your car’s interior at home can be quite difficult. So let’s discuss the tools and equipment needed for cleaning before we begin our interior detailing procedure.

Tools/equipment required:

How to detail a car interior like a pro at home

When it comes to detailing a car’s interior, there are a few key pieces of equipment you’ll need. Here are the essentials:

  • Vacuum cleaner: A vacuum is essential for removing all the dirt, dust, and crumbs from your car’s interior. Make sure to get one with a good reach, so you can clean hard-to-reach areas like in between seats.
  • Microfiber cloth: These absorbent, lint-free cloths are designed for cleaning and polishing your car’s interior. Keep a separate one just for the dashboard to remove smudges while preserving your instrument panel’s finish.
  • Cleaning solution: Car interiors can get pretty dirty from sun damage, food spills, dust accumulation, and other everyday life. A general-purpose cleaning solution will help you tackle all sorts of marks and grime. Be sure to choose one that’s safe for use on plastic, vinyl, and leather surfaces.
  • Glass cleaner: Windshields can get streaky very quickly, so it’s important to have a good glass cleaner on hand. Look for a product that doesn’t leave any residue and is safe for tinted windows.
  • Carpet cleaner: If your car’s interior has carpeting, you’ll need a special carpet cleaner to remove dirt and stains. Choose one that’s gentle enough not to damage the fabric, and test it in an inconspicuous area before using.
  • Upholstery cleaner: If your car has a leather or cloth seats, you’ll need an upholstery cleaner to remove dirt, dust, and stains. Be sure to follow the product’s instructions carefully, as some cleaners can be harmful to certain fabric types.
  • Brushes for detailing
  • Gloves for safety
  • Garbage bags

Step 1: Remove your floor mats

Although floor mats provide excellent carpet protection, they can also collect a lot of dirt and grime over time. Remove all the floor mats from your car’s interior using your safety gloves to see the true condition of the carpet.

Step 2: Clean the trash

After removing the floor mats, you can see your car’s interior in its true condition. As for trash, plastic cans have been found, so it is best to put all garbage in a bag and dispose of it. Put all unwanted items in the second bag and put them aside to deal with later. Once you’re finished, don’t put anything back in your car!

Step 3: Removing the pet hairs from the car interior

Those who ride in your car with their pets tend to collect a lot of pet hair on the seats and carpeting. To ensure pet hairs don’t get stuck in your vacuum, wipe the soft surfaces with a damp squeegee.

Step 4: Clean with the vacuum

How to detail a car interior like a pro at home

Vacuum cleaners is the most effective method on how to detail a car interior like a pro at home. Whenever you vacuum your vehicle’s interior, always work from top to bottom. That way, the dirt is removed from the bottom.

Vacuum the floor mats with the upholstery attachment before removing and setting them aside. If you smoke, vacuum the ceiling of your car, the seats, under them, and then the rest of the floor of your car. If you want to clean as much floor as possible, removing the seat from the car is a good option. You read our guide about that.


Use the crevice attachment to clean underneath the seats, alongside the seat rails, inside the console, and anywhere else, food and dirt accumulate. Using an old toothbrush or foam brush can help you remove stubborn dirt.

Step 5: Wipe down the dashboard, door panels, and console

car panel cleaning

  1. Clean with a vacuum cleaner: Vacuum the interior of your car by using the brush attachment, sweeping up dust from the dashboard, the console, the cup holders, and other dust-collecting areas.
  2. Clean with a cloth: Take a clean microfiber cloth towel and roll it in half. Apply cleaner to the towel, and then rub it over your dashboard and other hard surfaces to get rid of dirt and grime.
  3. Detail with brushes: Clean the door panels and center console while using a detailing brush to get into all the nooks and crannies.
  4. Add protection: You should add more protection to your dashboard. You could use a UV-protective cleaner for it. Use cleaners from a reputable brand like Chemical Guys and Adam’s cleaner. Make sure the dashboard hasn’t been contaminated with dust by vacuuming it again. 


You should always spray the interior cleaning solution on a towel or detailing brush before using it. If you spray directly on plastics, you may leave streaks and harm-sensitive electronics.

Step 6: Detailing the crevices and vents

Let’s now focus on all the air vents and nooks and crannies. A limited amount of space is available here, so it’s a great time to use an excellent detailing brush!

Use your detailing brush to clean your vents, then apply a small amount of interior cleaner, scrub, and wipe down the vents thoroughly to remove any dirt and residue.

Step 7: Detailing car upholstery

How to detail a car interior like a pro at home

Detailing car upholstery is an important step in how to detail a car interior like a pro at home. But there are some important points to keep in mind.      

  • First of all, never use bleach or ammonia to clean upholstery. Bleach and ammonia damage leather (and plastic) by disintegrating them.
  • Before cleaning car seats, remove all loose objects from the seat. You don’t want anything to fall crevices and get lost.

Here are the steps involved in detailing a car’s upholstery;

  1. First of all, vacuum the entire surface of the seat. This will remove any loose dirt or debris.
  2. Second, use a damp cloth to wipe down the seat. Be sure to wring out the cloth well, so it’s not dripping wet. Then use a dry cloth to finish drying off the seat.
  3. To protect and nourish the upholstery, use a conditioner depending on the type of material (leather, vinyl).

Step 8: Cleaning leather and vinyl surfaces

How to detail a car interior like a pro at home

Leather and vinyl are sturdy materials, but if you use the wrong products or leave them on the surface too long, they can damage the surface permanently, so make sure you use leather and vinyl cleaners only! Meguiar’s and Car Guys have one of the best leather and vinyl cleaners.

You should spray your vinyl and leather cleaner onto your detailing brush, then lightly scrub the surface of the vinyl or leather. Next, wipe off the leftover cleaning solution with a clean microfiber towel.

Pro Tip:

Before using a cleaning solution on a large surface, it is always good to test it on a smaller surface first. If any spot appears, you will know the product is unsuitable for you.

Step 9: Clean the car carpets

There is no point in detailing or cleaning anything until these carpets have been properly cleaned. Carpet is one of the dirtiest areas in the interior of a car, mainly because people rest their feet on them all day.

Cleaning the carpets with a cleaner

Always vacuum the carpet before cleaning it. You should remove the carpet from the car before cleaning it. Use shampoo or carpet cleaner to clean the carpet. For best results, allow the cleaner to sit on the stain for a few minutes. After that, rinse the carpets with water and allow them to dry.

Step 10: Getting Rid of Odors

How to detail a car interior like a pro at home

Have you noticed that when a car smells bad, it smells awful? A stinky gym bag spilled drinks, and long-forgotten snacks are all contributing factors to this unpleasant odor.

There are many good odor removal products and tools on the market, so the process depends on what you end up purchasing. For lingering odors, I suggest using enzyme-based odor removers. You can leave them in your car overnight to eliminate most odors. Usually, they come in aerosol form.

Step 11: Sanitizing the interior of the car

Now that the vehicle appears clean, it also needs to look good! The interior sanitation of your vehicle depends on your needs.

For the interior of the car, there are many good sanitizing products. The choice depends entirely on your budget. Most sanitation is done with alcohol-based and hydrogen peroxide-based cleaners, along with ozone machines and commercial steam cleaners that can cost thousands of dollars.

Step 12: Cleaning the trunk

How to detail a car interior like a pro at home

Most people, including detailers, don’t clean their trunks! Remove everything from the trunk and vacuum it thoroughly.

Due to the lower quality carpet typically used in trunks, a cleaning brush can be useful in trunk areas. Vacuum the trunk thoroughly after cleaning it with your brush. Use carpet shampoo if necessary.

Step 13: Clean the panels and sills of the doors

You should also clean the panels and sills of the doors since they’re one of the first things people see when they sit in an interior.

Spray your door panels and sills with a quality quick detailer or ammonia-free interior cleaner, scrub small areas with a detailing brush, and buff the surface with a microfiber towel.

Step 14: Detailing the interior glass of the car

How to detail a car interior like a pro at home

Use only a glass cleaner specifically formulated for glass. Most household glass cleaners contain chemicals, such as ammonia, which may damage window tints and materials.

Using a high-quality microfiber towel and a dedicated car glass cleaner is recommended. Start by spraying a few drops of window cleaner onto your microfiber towel and wiping it from left to right.


Make sure you only use a small amount of glass cleaner in your towel. You will streak your glass if you over-saturate your microfiber towel. You should also clean the rearview mirror and speedometer as part of the glass cleaning process. 

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Expert advice on how to detail a car interior like a pro at home

  • You can use cup holders to prevent spills, dirt, and slips in your center console. Since they’re removable, they’re easy to clean and very affordable to replace when they wear out!
  • Weather tech or a quality plastic floor mat from your local store or the internet is always a good idea to protect your carpet floor mats. Plastic floor mats are easier to clean and cheaper to replace than factory mats!
  • To keep your vehicle clean throughout the week, carry disinfectant wipes or hand sanitizer!
  • Microfiber towels are better than paper towels! Over time, paper towels cause scratches.
  • Store a microfiber towel and the best interior cleaner on your dashboard. You can use this for quick cleanups.
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Tips and tricks to detail the car interior at home

How to detail a car interior like a pro at home

Buy a car trash bin

Make it a habit of keeping garbage bags in your car for things like food wrappers. Nothing fancy is required: even an empty plastic shopping bag or an empty cereal box will do.

Don’t store trash

It is easier for a mess to go unnoticed in cars with a lot of stuff. After you get home, empty your trunk. Make sure any items rolled underneath the seats haven’t been dropped by your children.

Don’t smoke in your car.

The odor of tobacco smoke in a car is very difficult to get rid of. Everything is filled with smoke, even the foam rubber in the seat cushions.

You can remove most of the tobacco smell by thoroughly shampooing carpets, furniture, and even the headliner.

Repair leather seats that are torn

In an hour or less, you can repair leather or vinyl with an affordable kit. It won’t be perfect, but it will work. Even so, you’ll probably not get a perfect color match, and you’ll still see the tear. In spite of this, this fix is better than a big hole since it will contain the tear.

Always start from the top.

When detailing cars, professionals start from the top and work their way down to the carpet.

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We hope that now you have a better understanding of how to detail a car interior like a pro at home. It is really simple to clean your car interior, you just require patience and some knowledge to do so.


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