It’s all well and good having a clean car on the outside, but if you’re sitting in a mess it doesn’t have the same effect. Cleaning your car’s interior isn’t particularly enjoyable, and with so many nooks and crannies, it can take a while too. That is, if you don’t have a method.
We’ve compiled nine tips for you to follow (in order) that’ll get your car squeaky clean on the inside. So let’s get going.
1. Clear out the rubbish
First off, you’ll want to remove any rubbish from your car. Get rid of anything you can’t (or don’t want to) vacuum. Coffee cups, crisp packets, children’s toys, they all have to go. Not only will it make it easier to do the actual cleaning, but you won’t block the hoover either.
And while you’re at it, remove anything from your boot that you don’t use. Whether it’s golf clubs or power tools, a lighter car is a more economical one, meaning you’ll save money on fuel.
2. Remove your mats
Removing your car mats is next. Once you’ve done this, give them a good shake (or whack) to remove any loose dust or grit.
Next, grab a hose or jet washer and blast off any stubborn dirt. Then, scrub your mats with soapy water and let them dry while you do the rest of your car.
3. Grab the vacuum cleaner
Now it’s time to vacuum. Start with the carpet, and remember to lift up the seats to get anything that’s hidden. Then move on to the seats themselves.
Using a long and thin attachment, pay attention to the seat crevices where sand, food and pet hair can gather. If your hoover doesn’t remove all the pet hair, use a small brush or a rubber glove to dislodge it first.
4. Clean your dashboard
Rather than a quick wipe down with a damp cloth, spend some time cleaning your car’s dashboard. After all, it’s what you spend most of your time looking at.
First off, give it a good wipe down with a microfibre cloth to remove any loose dirt or dust. Then, rather than use household polish, which isn’t great for car interiors, use a specialist dashboard wipe or spray — whichever you prefer.
And here’s a top tip: if you’re using a spray, spray it onto a cloth rather than your dashboard. This will stop anything splashing on your windscreen or seats.
5. And your cup holders
Cup holders can harbour a lot of dirt and grime. So before you do anything else, give them a good wipe with a damp cloth to remove dried liquids. Use a cotton bud to get into hard to reach areas. And to finish it off, use a dashboard cleaner to give it shine and a nice scent.
6. Use a leather cleaner on your steering wheel
If you don’t have a leather steering wheel, you can skip this step. But if you do, listen up. Because it’s the thing you touch most in your car, you’ll want to keep it looking (and feeling) nice.
Much like leather seats, it is prone to cracking and fading. But you can help prevent this somewhat by using a leather cleaner and a moisturiser. Apply this with a clean microfibre cloth and let it soak in.
7. Clean your mats
Once your mats are dry and you’ve given them a good vacuum, it’s time to scrub them using a carpet cleaner to remove stains and get rid of odours.
Depending on how dirty they are, you might want to give them another vacuum before you put them back in your car.
8. Wipe down your windows
Cleaning the glass on the inside is just as important as the outside. Fingerprints, dirt and smears can reduce your visibility, especially when it’s dark.
When you’re cleaning the glass, make sure you use an auto-specific glass cleaner, and try newspaper to leave it smear-free. Avoid ammonia-based cleaners, which can damage your car’s interior materials.
9. Finish it off with an air freshener
There’s no better way to finish off than with a brand new air freshener. As well as a hanging air freshener, try a spray for your car’s seats, dashboard and carpets.
Most give your protection from odours too, so it’s not just about making your car smell nice initially.
That concludes our list of car interior cleaning tips. After such a deep clean, you’ll only need to make touch-ups going forward. And not only will you enjoy driving a lot more, but it also makes it nicer for your passengers.