A happy car is one that is clean. Your car is deserving of happiness.
It’s therapeutic for some (raises hand), and it’s a necessary evil for others. Cleaning the inside of your car is important maintenance that isn’t difficult to undertake, regardless of which end of the spectrum you fall on. The most difficult thing is making the decision to do it.
Are you prepared to learn how to clean a car’s interior?
Genesis Car Valeting will show you how to clean a car interior step by step, as well as provide you with tips and tactics that expert detailers use to make your car’s interior look brand new. For more information, go here.
Cleaning the interior of your car not only helps it retain its market value, but it also makes it safer, lasts longer, smells better, and, above all, makes driving—and idling—more enjoyable.
Once you have the correct products and methods, it simply takes a few hours. I’ve compiled the key procedures, along with a few tips and tactics, to take things to the next level of clean, based on over 25 years of car cleaning and six years of professional detailing, not to mention my extreme level of OCD when it comes to cars.
It must be emptied
Yes, I’m serious. Remove all of the items from the vehicle. It’s remarkable how much stuff is rolling around in the car, from floor mats to ice scrapers, tow ropes to emergency kit packs, child seats and kids’ toys. To properly clean every corner in the vehicle, everything must be removed.
Suck it up
Once the vehicle is empty, vacuum away all of the dirt, filth, and Goldfish crumbs that have accumulated in all of the nooks and crevices.
Because dust busters and hand-held vacuum cleaners lack the suction power of a shop vac, they aren’t ideal. Any shop vac with a few horsepower, as well as accessories like a dusting brush, crevice tool, and floor brush, would suffice.
Begin at the front and work your way back, starting at the base of the A-pillars and ending at the back of the vehicle. Work your way around the vehicle to the other side, always traveling from top to bottom.
Use the dusting brush to vacuum the dashboard and center console to capture the majority of the loose dust and crumbs, but do not use this attachment on screens. Yes, vacuum the dash before wiping to remove large dust particles or crumbs. It’s more effective than the rag you’ll be using in the next phase. To avoid scratching or marring anything, use the vacuum gently and never press down. This is sucking up dust and crumbs, not wiping.
Next, clean the seats with the crevice tool to remove all dirt, dust, and crumbs from the gaps. Gently peel apart the material at the seams with your fingers while opening the crevice for the vacuum to pick up every last crumb.
Before proceeding on the carpeted floor, make sure the front seats are at their highest forward and backward seating positions. You can see every nook and corner this way (a headlamp will help provide more light for those hard-to-see spots). Vacuum under and around the seat, seat tracks, and other plastic coverings where grime and crud likes to form with the crevice tool. Then use the floor brush to clean the large swaths of carpet.
When vacuuming the back seat or rear cargo area of SUVs, minivans, or pickup trucks, make sure to adjust all of the seats and open all of the storage cubbies. Crumbs enjoy hiding in these dark corners.
Wipe it down
It’s time to clean and protect the plastics, vinyl, and leather parts of the vehicle’s interior once all the crumbs and grime have been removed. All that’s required is a clean microfiber rag and a cleaner/protectant that leaves no sheen or sticky residue.
Don’t just go to the store and buy whatever you see. 303, AMMO, Meguiar’s, Wizards, and Griot’s Garage products, in my experience, perform the best job without leaving oily residue or hurting the plastics or vinyl.
Use a clean microfiber rag, leather sponge, or your hands to apply a specific cleaner/protectant from one of the above brands to leather.
A clean microfiber rag (or high-end paper towel in a pinch) dampened with an ammonia-free glass cleaner such as Sprayaway Glass Cleaner or Stoner Glass Cleaner will leave windows streak-free and clear inside and out. Keeping your windows clean is important since it enhances your eyesight, making driving easier and safer.
Dust and muck are likely on the air vents if the vehicle hasn’t been cleaned in a long time. To clean these vents, use a Q-tip or a cheap vent brush attached to the end of a vacuum. The vents are comprised of plastic parts that can shatter, so be gentle.
So clean, so pure
After wiping off all of the surfaces, it’s time to reinstall the mats and other necessary materials in the vehicle. This is the time to assess what is truly required in the vehicle on a daily basis. Remove the snow scraper in the spring and store it in the cargo hold or beneath the back seat. In the spring, summer, and fall, it becomes a needless projectile in the event of an accident.
Depending on how many children, dogs, or passengers are in the car, your mileage and cleanliness may vary. After a full clean like this, bi-weekly cleaning should enough to maintain your car’s interior clean and make driving more pleasant and enjoyable.