HOW TO CLEAN A CAR INTERIOR AT HOME LIKE PROFESSIONALS
According to a study by the car connection, Americans spend almost 18 days in their cars each year. Just for a moment, imagine we spend so much time in our cars, yet most of us don’t clean their interiors. Keeping your car interior clean to maintain its resale value and your family’s health is important.
Taking care of your car’s interior helps not only to keep its resale value up to but also makes it safer, more durable, smells nicer, and makes driving and traveling more enjoyable.
Why Should You Detail Your Car?
The majority of the time, I ignored the mess in my car. I only had time to do my school run and a few other things. One morning, I opened my car and almost fainted because of the smell. It was unbearable to look at the food wrappers, half-empty pop cans, and other garbage on the floor of my car. Indeed, that is not the way to start my day. It dawned on me that I should clean my car’s interior on a daily basis since it provides a sense of freshness.
Here are some reasons not to have your car detailed by professionals
Since I understand that car cleaning is important, I’ve taken my vehicle to professional detailers multiple times. Despite being expensive, my car was well cleaned. However, it did not appear to be spotless. Honestly, I feel as though I was cheated since I could have done a better job on my own if I had done some research.
That’s how I became better at cleaning a car’s interior than a professional detailer. Now I’ll share with you my cleaning process and routine for my car.
Materials and tools required to clean a car interior
- Empty trash bags or boxes
- Attachments for a vacuum cleaner
- An old toothbrush or foam brush
- A microfiber cleaning cloth
- A bucket of warm, clean water.
- Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl)
- Window cleaners
- A liquid dish soap
- Brush for scrubbing
- Pet Squeegees
Steps to clean a car interior at home like experts
Step 1: Get rid of all the trash
Garbage should be placed in a bag and thrown away. Place anything that isn’t belonging in your car into the second bag and store it for later. Once you’re done, make sure not to put everything back in the car!
Step2: Take off your floor mats
While floor mats are useful for protecting your carpet, they can also collect dirt and grime over time. Wear your safety gloves and remove the floor mats from the interior of your car so you can see your carpet’s true condition.
Step3: Rinse the soft surfaces
We recommend that you purchase a cleaning kit from AUTODECO for cleaning soft surfaces. You will get microfiber tools, a sponge, gloves, and a cleaning kit. These tools can make your work easier.
- Getting rid of pet hair: If you frequently take your pets along in the car, the seats and carpet are probably covered in pet hair. Using a damp sponge, lift most hair from soft surfaces, making it easier for your vacuum to work.
- Organize the Work: To clean efficiently, you need to move dirt from top to bottom. Ensure that the floor mats are vacuumed with the upholstery attachment, remove them, and put them aside. It’s important to vacuum your car’s ceiling (particularly if you smoke), seats, under the seats, and the rest of the floor. Ensure that the seats are moved as far forward and backward as possible, so you can clean as much of the floor as possible.
- Pay attention to the gaps: Use the crevice attachment to clean under the seats, between the rails, in between the seats, and anywhere else food can accumulate. To remove stubborn dirt, use a foam brush or an old toothbrush.
Step4: Clean the dashboard panel, doors, and center console
To clean your dashboard, fold a clean microfiber cloth towel in half, spray Intra Clean on the towel, and rub the towel across the dashboard to pick up the dirt and grime.
If your towel seems to be drying, spray it with more cleaner. Keep cleaning until you’re satisfied. Once the initial cleaning towel has been used, use a new, clean microfiber cloth to buff the area, removing all interior cleaner. Apply the same process to your door panels and center console, ensuring that you reach every corner around your car with the detailing brush.
- Protect your Dashboard: Finally, add some additional security to your dashboard. Use Chemical Guys InnerClean Interior Quick Detailer and Protectant. The cleaner removes dirt, dust, and body oils from surfaces and protects your interior from UV rays. For a dust-free interior, give your interior one more quick vacuum. Buff the Intra Shield in with a clean microfiber towel after applying it. Wipe away any excess product with a clean microfiber. For another 24 hours, do not touch the surface.
- Spray onto towel or cloth: Be sure to spray the interior cleaning solution onto a towel or cloth. Plastics and electronics can be damaged by heavily spraying them on them and then drying them!
Step5: Cleaning Leather and Vinyl
Leather and vinyl are tough, durable, and expensive materials, which can be permanently damaged if the incorrect cleaning product is used or if it is left on the surface for too long, so always use specialized cleaners for these surfaces, just like Chemical Guys leather cleaner and conditioner.
Apply the vinyl and leather cleaner, spray it directly onto your detailing brush, and gently scrub it on leather and vinyl surfaces. After that, wipe all the cleaning solution off with a microfiber towel.
- If you have vinyl or leather seats, make sure you clean them in sections to prevent the cleaning solution from drying on surfaces.
Step6: Brushing cracks and crevices
Now it’s time to worry about the vents and nooks and crannies. These areas don’t offer much room for working, so it’s a great time to get your detailing brush out!
Clean your vents with a detailing brush to remove as much loose dirt and dust as possible, then apply a small amount of interior cleaner to the brush, agitate it, and then wipe it down to ensure everything is clean.
- As an alternative to a detailing brush, wrap a microfiber towel around your finger or use a wooden stick. You’ll be able to reach all those tight spaces! You can also use a clean toothbrush with soft bristles.
Step7: Vacuum your carpets and car seats
The next step is to vacuum up all the grime from the carpet & the car seats!
Start vacuuming your car seats starting from the driver’s side. Reclining your seat will allow you to get between the bolsters and edges. Then, push your seat all the way back and begin vacuuming your carpet. Ensure that you repeat this process around the vehicle, moving the seats back and forth to avoid missing any dirt.
- You can also vacuum your car’s carpet mats during this time! Clean your plastic floor mats using your interior cleaner or use your detailing brush to remove dirt and grime and dry them using microfiber towels.
Step8: Shampoo carpets & upholstered seats
Once the vehicle has been thoroughly vacuumed, the carpets and upholstery need to be shampooed. If you are cleaning upholstery seats, spray the area lightly with your upholstery cleaner, then scrub the area with a brush with stiff bristles.
In case of heavily stained areas, spray more carpet cleaner or shampoo on them for a few minutes to loosen stains. Scrub the seats with a microfiber towel after cleaning them with shampoo.
- You can also vacuum the upholstery to remove excess moisture and dirt. Follow this same procedure for the rest of your vehicle, including your carpets.
Step9: Deodorizing and sanitizing the car interior
Make sure the vehicle is clean after it looks clean. Cleaning the interior and removing odors is dependent on your needs.
Since there are hundreds of products and tools available for sanitation and odor removal, the process varies by product. Sanitation uses a variety of disinfectants, such as alcohol and hydrogen peroxide-based products, as well as ozone machines and steam cleaners, which can be expensive, so choose carefully.
You should use enzyme-based odor eliminators to eliminate lingering odors. Leaving them overnight usually eliminates the majority of odors. Typically, they come in aerosol form.
Step10: Remember to clean the trunk
It is often forgotten to clean the trunk by individuals, including detailers. Don’t forget to vacuum the area after removing large items.
Due to the lower quality carpet usually used in trunk areas, cleaning brushes are sometimes useful. With a cleaning brush, you can clean your trunk’s fabric, and a vacuum can remove dirt and grime. If necessary, wash your carpet or use a carpet cleaner.
Step11: Clean the jambs and sashes of the door
Because you can’t see the door jambs and sills from the outside, they are considered to be part of the interior, so clean them as well.
Apply a quality quick detailer or PH balanced interior cleaner to the door jambs and sills, scrub any dirt and grime with a quality microfiber towel, and use a microfiber towel to buff the surface.
- Add a coat of high-quality spray wax or sealant to your door jambs and sills, too. It will keep them cleaner until your next wash or interior detail.
Step12: Clean interior glass
You should not use a general-purpose glass cleaner like Windex. Most home glass cleaners contain harsh chemicals, such as ammonia, which may damage window tints and car interiors.
Use a quality low pile microfiber towel with a dedicated glass cleaner. Then use your microfiber towel to mist a mist of window cleaner from left to right, pointing away from your car.
- Flip the towel over and buff until you have a high-quality shine.
- Vacuum Frequently: Vacuum your car at least once a week or whenever you feel the need. Your car interior will remain cleaner for longer by keeping dirt out.
- Quality Matters: Keep a microfiber towel in the glove box and your favorite interior cleaner in the trunk. It’s easy to clean light spills and grime this way.
- Protect carpeted flooring: It’s always a good idea to protect carpeted flooring with a plastic mat or weather-resistant mat. Compared to factory floor mats, plastic mats are easier to clean and much cheaper to replace.
- Clean Cup Holder: Cup holders are great for cleaning up messes on your center console. They can be easily and cheaply replaced when needed since they are removable.
- Protect leather: Regularly condition leather, vinyl, and plastic. Keeping your plastics, vinyl, and leather protected from the harsh UV rays will keep them from fading and cracking.
- Apply protection: Protecting your upholstery and carpet with a protective coating such as Scotchguard will help prevent major stains and make cleaning them easier over time.
- Protect door panel: Those with families or pets will appreciate door panel liners! You will no longer have to worry about your doors being permanently stained by kids or scratched by pets permanently if you install them.
- Protection against germs: Having disinfectant wipes or hand sanitizers in your vehicle is also helpful.
- Avoid paper towels: Use clean microfiber towels in place of paper towels. Paper towels will scratch over time. Blue shop towels are also harsh.