Detailing the inside of your car doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Give your car a little bit of TLC this Spring and you will feel all the better for it.
What you will need:
To get your car interior cleaner than the day you drove it home, you need to know what stuff to use.
While you can repurpose many common household items to use in your car, you can also purchase cleaners specifically designed to give your car a deep clean while protecting its materials.
Keep in mind, some household cleaners may include harsh chemicals that can damage surfaces in your vehicle over time. These chemicals can degrade leather, plastics, and cloth materials, so avoid or dilute them to protect your car.
Instead, the team here at Euro AutoSpares recommend using products and cleaners specifically designed to give your car a deep clean while protecting its materials.
Most households will already have a bucket, gloves and a hoover. However it may be beneficial for you to invest in an interior cleaner, glass cleaner, all surface cleaner, soft bristle brush and microfibre wash brush to do a detailed job.
Check out Amazon for deals on full kits like this one from Autoglym.
Step By Step: Detailing a Cars Interior
1.Take out and clean floor mats
After removing all the rubbish from your vehicle, take out your floor mats. If you’re going to wash your floor mats with water and cleaner, it’s a good idea to do this step early in the cleaning process so they have time to dry while you detail the rest of your car’s interior. When you take your floor mats out, shake them outside to remove large crumbs and other debris. Run the hoover to collect dirt embedded in your mats.
If you have carpeted mats, apply a carpet or upholstery cleaner by following the instructions for the product. You can use a bucket with water and a few drops of the product to soak and scrub your mats before rinsing them and hanging them to dry. Another option is to check whether your floor mats are safe for machine washing. If you don’t have a good place to hang the mats, lay out a tarp or drop cloth instead of putting them on the ground.
With non-carpeted mats, like those made from rubber, silicone, or vinyl, you can use a hose to wash away excess dirt and soil. To wash more thoroughly, use a rubber floor mat cleaner. Another option is to add some dishwashing soap to a bucket of warm water and use a scrub brush to clean the mats. Rinse them thoroughly to get any remaining soap off and let them air-dry.
2. Hoover the interior
With the floor mats removed, run your hoover throughout the interior of your car. Use the attachments to get into those hard-to-reach corners, like your cupholders and the space between your windshield and dashboard. Don’t forget to run the hoover over your seats to collect all the sneaky bits of dirt and crumbs.
3.Clean, dust & disinfect your dashboard
While the hoover is great for picking up some of the dirt and dust in your car, it may be too large to navigate the smaller areas of your dash. Use a duster or microfibre cloth to clear your dash and vents of smaller particles. Dusters and microfibre cloths are soft enough that they won’t scratch your vents, and they’re designed to capture dust rather than spreading it throughout your vehicle.
After removing the dust from your dashboard, use disinfecting wipes to kill germs and bacteria living on your dash. Avoid using any bleach-based products and always read product labels carefully before using chemicals in your car. Crumbs, spills, and everyday use can cause bacteria to thrive on your dash, particularly on high-contact surfaces, so make a regular habit of disinfecting these areas. Keeping your dash clean can prevent the spread of illnesses to keep you and your passengers safe and healthy.
4.Carefully clean your console
Similar to your dashboard, it’s important to remove dust, dirt, and debris from your console. Be careful when cleaning areas like your gearstick and console controls. For example, the heat and radio buttons embedded in your console may be sensitive, so be gentle when dusting and disinfecting them.
If your vehicle has a screen, avoid using any ammonia-based products to clean its surface. Since most manufacturers use plastic for touchscreens, ammonia-based glass cleaners can damage the surface, particularly if it’s treated with an anti-glare or anti-fingerprint coating. Instead, you can clean the touchscreen with a microfibre cloth dampened lightly with distilled water.
5.Clean cupholders, door panels & steering wheel
Take care of your cupholders, door panels, and steering wheel by removing dust and disinfecting these surfaces. If you have removable cupholders, take them out and wash them in warm water with some dishwashing soap. Use a sponge or soft-bristled brush to give them a good scrub to remove any residue. You can use disinfecting wipes to clean your door panels and steering wheel, which are both high-touch places in your vehicle.
6.Wipe interior windows
Use an alcohol-based glass cleaner, like Invisible Glass, to wipe the insides of your windows and windshields. Never use products that aren’t made to clean glass. When using glass-cleaning products inside your car, try to use two microfibre cloths. Spray the product on one cloth and use it to apply the cleaner to the glass. This stops particles from the cleaner getting onto other surfaces inside your car where they might cause buildup and damage. Use the second cloth to wipe the glass clean. This strategy helps you reduce streaking, and a microfibre cloth saves your glass from abrasions.
7.Take care of your seats
Clean your seats, first by using the vacuum with the hose attachment to remove crumbs and other debris. Then use the right products for your seat material to clean them. For leather seats, wipe the seats with a leather cleaner manufactured with cars in mind. Follow the instructions on the product and consider doing a follow-up treatment with a leather conditioner to keep things supple, soft, and shiny. Who doesn’t like that clean leather smell?
With cloth seats, look for any stains you need to remove. Choose a stain removal product and follow the package instructions to apply, set, and rinse the product. Apply an upholstery cleaner over the entire seat. A scrub brush can help you work the product into the seat to achieve a deeper clean. Rinse the product using a microfiber cloth dipped in water, but avoid soaking the seat since wet seats may encourage mold growth. If needed, blot away excess water with a dry towel before letting the seats air dry.
Finally, get rid of that funky smell with baking soda, activated charcoal, and air fresheners. For example, you can add baking soda or activated charcoal with a few drops of your favorite essential oil into a lidded plastic container. Slice a few vents into the lid and tuck it securely under one of your seats, or use a gel air freshener. Every other month (or as needed in smellier cases), change out its contents to keep your vehicle fresh. Another option is to purchase a commercial air freshener to free your car from the smells of your last takeout meal.
From the team at Euro AutoSpares