Your car’s interior is where you spend most of your time. It is a matter of cleanliness and even hygiene. For those weird and funny smells to dirty seats, there are plenty reasons for you to clean your car. While mild cleaning will take care of the basics, a comprehensive cleaning is necessary once in 3 months at least. Not only is it about having clean corners, but also about enjoying the ownership of your car. Here is our step by step guide to cleaning your car’s interior.
Things you will need –
1. Vacuum cleaner
2. Cleaning brush
4. Soap and water mix
5. Dashboard cleaner and protect-ant
6. Upholstery cleaner
7. Glass cleaner
8. Microfiber cloth
10. Paint brush
If you have any soiled clothes, bags, food packs left in the car, it is time to remove it. Vacuum the entire car before you start with the cleaning process. Remove the floor mats, air freshener or anything that you leave hanging inside the car when you begin cleaning. Don’t forget to vacuum the trunk as well. Use the fabric extension on the vacuum cleaner to avoid scratches. For the areas which are hard to reach, use the blower to remove the dust that would have accumulated.
Apply the dashboard cleaner and leave it for some time, use a dry cloth to wipe if off later. Use a paint brush to clean the crevices. Use a cloth to clean the instrument cluster and the digital display. Make sure you handle the dashboard gently to avoid damaging any control buttons. Have a look at our detailed guide on cleaning the dashboard.
Vacuum the seats and then move onto the carpets. If you have child seat, remove it and clean it separately. Use the upholstery cleaner that is compatible with the material like fabric cleaners and leather cleaners in the market. Clean areas like the V between your thighs where your phone, food packs, coffee cup would be resting temporarily. Follow our guide on how to completely clean your upholstery for best results.
Make sure all the storage bins have been vacuumed and the dust is removed. Use a tooth brush and dashboard cleaner to clean the plastic on the doors. If you have leather wrapped door, make sure to use a leather protect-ant later. Check the power window switches, door lock and rubber lining for any cracks or damage. Make sure you apply a rubber protect-ant to prevent the rubber lining from drying up and cracking, which will have to be replaced. Also clean the scuff plate with a wet cloth and get rid of any dirt there. If you have puddle lamps, make sure you check them as well.
The best way to clean the carpet is with a brush. Scrub the carpet with a brush to remove the dirt and dust that may have settled over time. After that using the vacuum cleaner will be most effective. Don’t be too hard with the brush or you will end up tearing the carpet itself. Apply a mix of mild shampoo and water on the stain and scrub gently to remove them. For the areas which are already wet, use a high absorbing cloth and let it soak the water from the carpet. Use a hair dryer or a blower later to dry the spot. Also remove the floor mats and wash them separately. Rubber floor mats are the easiest to wash and clean, whereas all weather mats absorb better.
Using the dashboard cleaner, clean the vinyl and plastics bits on the car including the roof and the side panels. Spray some cleaner on the plastic surface and leave it for some time. Let the cleaning agent work on the dirt and grime and loosen it from that spot. Using a dry cloth, wipe the surface removing the dirt along with it. If you have a fabric or leather roof, make sure you use a corresponding cleaning agent. Also use a cotton swab or a cloth to clean the centre light and switch.
Windshield and Windows
Once you have thoroughly cleaned and inspected the interiors of your car. The last thing on the list should be glass areas. This includes the front and rear windshield, window glass, the ORVMs, and the interior rear view mirror. Apply the glass cleaner on the glass area of your car and let it soak on it. Since glass cleaners are concentrated, there won’t be any foam to wipe. Now using preferably a paper towel or a newspaper, wipe the glass area starting from the edges into the centre. Make sure there aren’t any scratches or lines. Apply moderate pressure while wiping to make it squeaky clean. You need to clean the glass from inside as well as outside.
Wash one section at a time and rinse it. Make sure you keep a look out for any rust that would be developing at the corners or under the carpet, use a rust preventer immediately to avoid any further damage to your car. If you do not wish to invest in car specific cleaning agents, general home washing products will also do the job. Do invest in the protect-ant though, especially for leather and plastic. You could also have it professionally cleaned at a premium if it’s been exceptionally dirty. Share your car cleaning experiences with us and let us know the products that you use. For cleaning the exteriors, refer to our guide on how to wash your car like a professional.