When was the last time you cleaned the interior of your car? If you live in the city, it is likely that you would spend a great amount of your time in your car to commute as well as being stuck in the classic rush hour traffic. You should clean the interior of your car at least once a month. Your car is like your mobile home and it only makes sense to keep it nice and clean! (You don’t want those tiny roaches surprising you while driving!)
Plus, cleaning your car at home is more affordable than sending it to the professionals for detailing! We have six easy steps here to help you clean the interior of your car at the comfort of your own home.
Step 1: Clear the trash
Start by clearing out the obvious trash in your car. Take out those receipts, water bottles and wrappers you’ve been telling yourself “next time” every time you see them. Do you know that cockroaches feed on garbage? While you’re at it, this is a great time to declutter and reorganise the things in your car. Remember to separate your recyclables and non-recyclable trash and throw or recycle them accordingly.
Step 2: Shake those floor mats
Before vacuuming, take out the floor mats of your car and give them a good old-fashioned shake (as much as possible) to get rid of the dust and dirt. You can use a medium-stiff brush to break down the stubborn dirt and debris. For plastic floor mats, you can hose them down with your garden hose and hang them to dry. But if you have carpet mats, you can vacuum them outside of your car and spray the carpet cleaner on any stubborn spots and leave them to dry.
Step 3: Vacuum your car
By the time you finally decide you should wash the interior of your car yourself, you know there’s no way around this. It must be done. Your car has been collecting enough dust! And we’re going all out here, vacuum from top to bottom. Yes, that means the ceiling of your car, the back and front seats, the trunk. And don’t forget the crevices and seat pockets (use the smaller nozzles for this one).
Remember to push back the seats to access the narrow spaces or hard to reach areas.
Step 4: Clean your seats
For fabric seats, you can try this homemade solution to remove the stains on the seats. Mix two cups of water, a cup of vinegar and approximately a tablespoon of dish soap in a spray bottle. ‘Attack’ the affected areas and let it sit for 15 mins. Wipe the surfaces clean with a wet cloth and let them dry.
Leather seats need extra care so you’ll need to be pay more attention to them. A good leather-cleaning product should be able to do the job. If you are trying out a new cleaning product, try it on a small area first. Use a soft brush or a towel to work the cleaning material into your seats. If you’re using a towel, remember to flip it often to ensure you are using the clean side. Wipe down the seats with a microfiber cloth. As mentioned earlier, leather seats must be conditioned and always kept clean or else they would crack and dry out. After your seats have dried thoroughly (this could take hours), apply a leather conditioner on your seats. Alternatively, you can make your life easier by using a 2-in-1 wash and condition product.
Step 5: Don’t forget your front panel, dashboard and console
The first sign that you need to wash your interiors would come from the fine dust on your dashboard. Yet, most car wash centres merely vacuum your interior without wiping down these areas. Make sure you’ve vacuumed these areas before applying a cleaning product. You can use household cleaner or just glass cleaner and a rag for this (or a microfiber cloth if you have one). Wipe down your dashboard, center console, gear stick, steering wheel as well as the inside door pockets, working your way from the cleanest to dirtiest areas. (Save the nasty ones for last).
If you have the time, you can also use an old toothbrush to do detailing on your car on tough spots such as the leather grain on interior doors and the steering wheel. Brush in circular motion to get rid of the dirt.
Step 6: Keep your inside windows squeaky clean
While you’re at it, why not go the distance and clean the inside window as well? Use a microfiber towel to remove tough stain and avoid streaking. You can use a window cleaner for this but be cautious if you have tinted windows. Window tints are just thin sheets applied to the inside of your windows and are easily damaged by cleaning products, especially those that contain ammonia. So, remember to use ammonia-free cleaning products as they are more suitable for cleaning tinted windows.
Pro tip: Spray the cleaner on your cloth instead of the glass itself to reduce streaking
One last tip, open all your doors and roll down the windows to air out the car from the cleaning products after you’re done. You can also opt to add an air freshener to make sure your car smells nice all day long.
That’s it. Six simple steps to clean your car interior like a pro! Not only would you get a squeaky-clean car, but it is also a great workout to meet your exercise quota of the day.
But if you really do not have the time, check out Taste Up Concept on cari@unifi to give your car a wash!