Anyone who has ever owned a car knows that, over time, the interior can start to look and feel a bit grungy. This is especially true if you live in an area with high pollen counts or if you have pets that like to ride along. Not only is a dirty car unsightly, but it can also be unhealthy. Dust, dirt, and pet hair can all contribute to poor air quality, and if not removed regularly, they can lead to clogged vents and other problems. The good news is that cleaning your car’s interior is relatively easy by learning some helpful tips on how to clean a car interior.
Equipment, Tools, and Materials Needed for Cleaning
- Trash bin
- Microfiber cloths
- Cotton swab
- Stiff-bristled scrub brush
- Garden hose (optional)
- Old toothbrush
- Tarp or drop cloth
- Spray bottle (optional)
- Window cleaner
- Dishwashing liquid
- Disinfecting wipes
- Paper towel
- Baking soda or activated charcoal
- Leather cleaner/conditioner
Instructions on How to Clean Your Car’s Interior
Collect Trash and Debris
The first step is to collect all of the trash and debris from the car. This includes fast food wrappers, receipts, straw wrappers, and anything else that doesn’t belong. Once you have collected all of the trash, put it in a garbage bag and dispose of it properly.
Clean the Floor Mats
Next, you will want to clean the floor mats. Take them out of the car and shake them off to remove any loose dirt and debris. If they are very dirty, you may need to scrub them with a brush or hose them off. Once they are clean, let them air dry before putting them back in the car.
Wipe Down Surfaces
After the floor mats are clean, it’s time to start wiping down all of the surfaces in the car. Use a dust cloth or duster to wipe down the dashboard, center console, door panels, and any other hard surfaces. If there are any tough stains, you can spray a surface cleaner on them and wipe them away with a paper towel.
Clean the Interior Windows and Mirror
The next step is to clean the interior windows and mirrors. Start by rolling down all of the windows and wiping them down with a glass cleaner. Be sure to get in all of the nooks and crannies. Then, wipe down the mirrors using the same process.
Clean the Center Console and Glove Box
The center console and glove box are often overlooked when cleaning a car interior. But, these areas can get just as dirty as the rest of the car. Start by emptying the console and glove box. Then, use a cloth to wipe down the inside of both compartments. If there are any stubborn stains, you can use a cleaner designed for plastic surfaces.
Clean Dashboard Dust and Grime
The dashboard is one of the dirtiest areas in a car. It’s full of dust, grime, and fingerprints. To clean it, start by dusting off the surface with a microfiber cloth. Then, use a cleaner designed for dashboards to remove any remaining dirt and grime. Be sure to follow the instructions on the cleaner to avoid damaging the dashboard.
Disinfect the Steering Wheel
The steering wheel is another area that can get pretty dirty. To clean it, start by wiping it down with a cloth dampened with soapy water. Then, use disinfecting wipes to kill any bacteria. Be sure to avoid getting the cleaner on the airbag.
Clean the Car Seats
The car seats are probably the area in your car that mostly got dirty. To clean them, start by vacuuming to remove any loose dirt and debris. Then, use a fabric cleaner to remove any stains. Be sure to test the cleaner on a small area of the seat first to make sure it doesn’t damage the fabric.
Vacuum the Interior Carpet
The next step in cleaning the interior of your car is to vacuum the carpet. This will remove any dirt and debris that has gotten trapped in the fibers. Be sure to go over each area multiple times to make sure you get all the dirt. After you’re finished vacuuming, use a carpet cleaner to remove any stubborn stains. Be sure to test the cleaner on a small area of the carpet first to make sure it doesn’t damage the fabric.
Clean the Door Panels and Dashboard
The next step is to clean the door panels and dashboard. Start by dusting off any loose dirt with a microfiber cloth. Then, use a cleaner that is specifically designed for these surfaces. Be sure to follow the directions on the cleaner to avoid damaging the surfaces.
Wipe Down the Windows
The final step in cleaning the interior of your car is to wipe down the windows. Start by using a glass cleaner to remove any dirt and debris from the surface. Then, use a microfiber cloth to buff out any streaks or smudges.
Use a car odor eliminator to help neutralize the smell. You can also try placing an air freshener in the car to help mask the scent.
Additional Tips on How to Clean a Car Interior
Cleaning with Compressed Air
If you have hard-to-reach places in your car, you can use compressed air to clean them. This is a great way to remove dust and dirt from areas that are difficult to reach with a cloth.
If your car has leather seats, you may want to shampoo them periodically to keep them looking their best. You can either do this yourself or take the car to a professional detailer.
Waxing your car will help protect the paint and make it easier to clean. You can do this yourself or have it done professionally.
Use Few Household Products to Clean a Car Interior
Several household products can be used to clean your car’s interior. Some of these include:
- White vinegar – This can be used to clean windows and mirrors.
- Baking soda – This can be used to clean carpets and upholstery.
- Lemon juice – This can be used to remove stains from fabric seats.
- WD-40 – This can be used to remove stickers and decals.
Cleaning the interior of your car is important to keep it looking its best. There are a list of tips on how to clean a car interior, including taking it to a professional detailer or using household products. Whichever method you choose, be sure to follow the instructions carefully to avoid damaging your car’s interior.
Hi folks! I’ve been a ‘car guy’ ever since that first Porsche 911 RSR poster went up on my pre-teen bedroom wall:) — Ok, there may have been a female pic or two thrown in… Farrah Fawcett comes to mind. In any case, I hope you enjoy my posts. I’ve always loved cars and have owned many, most of which have been older models that need a good bit of TLC. I’ve tried lots of detailing products and methods over the years and hope to impart some of that knowledge.