How to Clean Your Car Interior in 5 Easy Steps
Keeping the interior of your car clean is important not only for your vehicle’s maintenance but also for your own health and safety.
If there is a lot of debris lying around and you brake suddenly, it could come flying towards you, and if your interior windows get too dirty it can affect your driving. The good news is you can easily clean your car interior in just five easy steps:
Step 1 – Emptying the clutter
If you have bought a used car the previous owner may have left some clutter behind, or it may be that your family have dropped rubbish and items into the footwells over the months, so the first thing to do is empty all of the clutter out of the car.
Remove anything useful out of the car like gym bags and children’s toys and keep those to one side, before getting rid of any rubbish into an appropriate bin or recycling bin. Once your car is clear of rubbish and clutter, you can start cleaning the interior.
Step 2 – Clean the front of the car
The second step is to clean the dashboard and centre console, including the gear stick and steering wheel. You can buy car cleaning wipes for this purpose, or just use a damp clean cloth. If your car interior features seams and small detail it’s worth having some cotton buds on hand to reach into the small places.
Make sure you clean all the buttons and controls and clean the entire interior of the door panels as well, just wipe everything over to clear the grease and daily grime. Don’t use car cleaning wipes or sprays on the windows though, just for the plastic elements on the console area.
It’s also a good opportunity to empty out the glove box and get rid of any old receipts or rubbish which might have accumulated in there, and make sure it’s only used for items which actually need to be in the car.
We asked Darren from Big Motoring World for his thoughts, given his experience with ensuring their used cars are spotless. He said “For us, a clean car inside and out in essential for presenting a used car so that it looks good as new. But even once you’ve had a car for some time, why wouldn’t you want to be proud of it and keep it in the best condition possible? Would you rather people get into your gleaming car that’s spotless inside, or a mud covered motor with food wrappers in the footwell?”
Step 3 – Clean the inside of the windows
Use some window cleaning spray and a cloth to clean the inside of all of the windows. Try to use a cleaner without ammonia and if you have tinted windows on your car, make sure it’s suitable for the tint before using it. You will need two cloths, one to apply the cleaner and one to dry the window and remove streaks afterwards.
Step 4 – Cleaning the seat covers and cloth areas
Take all the floor mats out of the car and then vacuum the whole car interior, from the ceiling to the floor, including all of the seat cushions and under the seats. If your floor mats are carpet, vacuum them before you put them back into the car or if they are rubber then wash them down with a hose before drying and returning to the car. If your car fabric seats are really grimy then check the car manual to see if there are any approved cleaning products you can choose from. Vacuum first, then use the product, then vacuum again to remove any cleaning product. If there are any really tricky stains you might need to use a specific stain remover product.
Step 5 – Airing out the car
If you have been using a lot of products including window cleaning and fabric cleaning products, it’s good to air out the car by leaving all the windows and doors open for a couple of hours.
You might then want to install an air freshener, particularly if it’s a used car, so either opt for a spray or an air freshening product which remains in the car for a constant fragrance. There are also sprays which instill the fragrance into the fabric of the seat covers.
Once you have aired the car, added the fragrance and it’s all dried out, then you can put your door mats and any other belongings back into the car, but make sure they are tidied away. If you have a lot of children’s toys and books in the back, why not invest in a toy tidy which just hangs off the back of one of the front seats and will keep all of your children’s items off the floor and clean.
Keeping your car clean on the inside makes it a more pleasant ride when you do go out on a journey, but also if you are planning to sell your car in the future then keeping it clean and hygienic with a tidy interior is a key part of adding value to your vehicle.
Having clean windows and a clean dashboard also helps to keep your driving safer and it’s always good to avoid having loose objects rolling around inside a car, in case of any emergency braking. If it needs to be in the car, keep it in the boot, glove box or in a tidy holder for safety and hygiene.