A step-by-step guide to cleaning the interior of your car

A step-by-step guide to cleaning the interior of your car

You spend lots of time in your car, right? Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning the interior of your car simply, cheaply, and thoroughly.

You spend a lot of time inside your car. And try as you might, you can’t stop dirt and grime from building up the interior of your car. It comes in through the shoes of you and your passengers, but traffic fumes and airborne dirt also get in through the windows and air ventilation grills. The key is to clean the interior of your car.

Here’s your step-by-step car-cleaning guide

Step 1: Gather all the necessary supplies and equipment.

  • Vacuum cleaner with a hose and attachments
  • An electrical extension chord (in case your vacuum chord isn’t quite long enough)
  • A garden hose (for plastic floor mats)
  • Paper towels or lint-free rags
  • Ammonia-free window cleaner
  • Vinyl or leather cleaner and protector

Step 2: Empty your vehicle of all your trash, recyclables and unnecessary belonging. Then take everything else you want to keep in your car, and set aside so you can clean all the surfaces.

Step 3: Take out all your floor mats.

Step 4: Vacuum the floorboards, under the seats (slide seats all the way forward and all the way back to get all the debris), around the pedals, all upholstery, rear back window and the dashboard. Make sure to get in any cracks and crevices (like your dash, door panels and pockets) by using your vacuum attachments.

Step 5: Vacuum the floor mats. If they’re dirty, hose them down with a garden hose and let them dry.

Step 6: If you want to really clean your carpets and upholstery, buy or rent a carpet-cleaning machine. It will get at the dirt that has settled deep into the fibres of your carpet and seats. It sprays the carpet with a solution and then sucks up any dirt and grime.

Step 7: Spray vinyl or leather cleaner onto a cloth or paper towel and wipe all the vinyl or leather surfaces. Start at the top and work your way down. When the entire rag gets dirty, switch to a clean cloth. If you have leather upholstery, your best bet is to buy a leather-cleaning kit.

Step 8: Buff the vinyl or leather surfaces with a clean, soft cloth.

Step 9: Spray a little window cleaner on a cloth and clean your windows, dashboard and plastic parts. When you are washing your windows, roll them down so you can clean the top edges.

Step 10: Buff your windows with crumpled newspapers until all streaks are gone.

Step 11: Wipe away dust with a rag or paper towel. Sweep the dust out of the cracks with a detailing brush. Catch all that crud right away with your vacuum.

Step 12: Wrap a cloth around an old, worn screwdriver, spray it with an all-purpose cleaner and then move it gently along the trim lines of your car to pick up any dust and gunk. Go over all the buttons and controls as well.

Step 13: Spray an odour eliminator product to get rid of any funky smells.

Step 14: Put everything (dry floor mats and items for your car) back inside your car.


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