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How to Clean Your Car's Interior

While cleaning the interior of a car may not be romanticized like cleaning the exterior, it is just as important. Cleaning the interior of your car will help maintain the value of your car as well as make it a more pleasant place to spend time.

It doesn't have to be a long, onerous process to clean out the inside of your vehicle. All it takes are some inexpensive supplies and a little bit of time. It is likely that you will be able to clean out the entire interior of your car within a few hours, if not quicker.

How to Clean Your Car’s Interior

The first thing that you are going to want to do when you begin to clean out the interior of your car is ensure that you clear out all of the debris. Some folks practically live in their vehicles, which means that trash can accumulate. If you are driving around with children in tow, the situation can get messy fast.

Make sure that you remove everything from the interior of the car that is not attached. This includes trash, gym bags, children’s toys, magazines, garage door opener, owner’s manual, or anything else that is in there. You may find it advantageous to have a trash receptacle and a recycling bin near the car while you are doing this.

Once you are done removing everything, it is time to start your car’s interior cleaning. Using some basic cleaning wipes or glass cleaner, you can start wiping down the center console of the car. It is best practice to start from the cleanest areas of the car and then work to the dirtiest areas to ensure that any rags that you are using stay clean as possible throughout the process. If you really want to ensure that your car wash interior cleaning is as thorough as possible, you may want to take out some cotton swabs and really get into the grooves and crevices of the console.

After you have wiped down the general console, you will want to pay special attention to the buttons, given that these get a lot of attention. In addition to wiping these down with a basic household cleaner, you may want to try spraying them with an antimicrobial substance.

Another good way to get detailing in on your car is to take an interior cleaning brush (or an old toothbrush if you’re staying inside) and start working in some of the crevices surrounding buttons and dials on your car. Particularly if the inside of your car has textured surfaces, a soft toothbrush can help clean the surface and make it look like new again.

A microfiber towel will help you to take care of the windows. You can go ahead and spray the interior windows with window cleaner and use the towel to get a streak-free shine. If you do not have a microfiber towel, you can also try crumpled up newspapers for the same effect. If you have tinted windows, make sure that you follow any cleaning instructions that came with them so you do not accidentally ruin the finish.

Don’t forget to pay attention to the seats and upholstery of your car. Many cars have removable mats; some of them are carpet and some of them are plastic. If you happen to have plastic mats, you can simply take them out, shake them, and hose them down. If you have carpet mats, then you may want to remove them, vacuum them, and use a carpet or upholstery cleaner to remove any stains.

If you have the vacuum out to take care of your removable mats, keep it outside because you are going to want to use it to vacuum the entirety of your car as well. You want to start from the top of the car, at the ceiling, and then move to the bottom of the car. You will have the best lock if you use the appropriate nozzles for this. The upholstery nozzle is best for the seats and other fabrics inside of your vehicle. The crevice tool helps you get between the seats and the seat pockets as well as between the seats and the center console. The dusting brush is best for vinyl and hard plastic.

Don’t forget to move the seats back so that you can clean under them. The crevice tool on the vacuum cleaner can help you clean under the rails.

If you happen to have leather seats rather than upholstered ones, you can clean them with saddle soap or another type of gentle cleanser that is appropriate for leather. Make sure to test your preferred cleanser out on a small area to ensure that it does not affect the coloring or feel of the leather.

Once you are done with all of this, make sure that you leave time for your car to air out. It is likely that you will have used multiple cleaners inside of the car, and while you probably commonly use these cleaners in your house, the small interior of your car will make the smells more overwhelming. Having plenty of time to leave your car doors open so that the smells can dissipate will make your car a more pleasant place to be.

Finally, you may wish to finish with an air freshener if you like to use these in your vehicle.

Final Thoughts

There is no one best way to clean a car’s interior, but the overall process can be very simple. A few hours of your time on a lazy weekday can help make your car a much more pleasant place to be for the rest of the work week.

Don’t forget: the more often you clean your car, the less time it takes! Consider how much time you spend inside your vehicle, and it’s easy to see how that time can go a long way to more pleasant times down the road.

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