Ever wondered how to thoroughly clean the interior of your car? Now we’ve left winter behind us, it’s the perfect time to get your car ready for spring. The harsh weather can often leave your car’s exterior in desperate need of a good old clean, but it’s all too easy to neglect your car’s interior – which can be a major factor when selling your car on privately. Regularly cleaning your car interior keeps stains to a minimum and can have a lasting effect on the overall value of your car, which is why we’ve compiled the best tips for interior car cleaning.
Read on to discover our list of all the best methods on how to spring clean your car interior to make it as fresh as the first day you drove it away.
1. Tidy up loose items first
To make cleaning your car interior easier, first you need to tidy up the contents of your car. Over time wrappers, mud, dust and debris may accumulate. In order to reach the dust that’s collected over the last few months, empty all the rubbish from the back of your car, as well as the boot. Once it’s out of the way, you can get down to the real cleaning.
2. Vacuum top to bottom
The next step is to eliminate any left-over crumbs, dust or mud that can collect in the foot wells and on the seats. Remove the floor mats and be sure to move the driver and passenger seats all the way back to thoroughly clean the front of the car and all the way forward to get to the back. It’s easy to miss the little crevices, but a good vacuum cleaner with an appropriate nozzle should do the trick. Dust that accumulates on the dashboard can be removed with a softer brush attachment, so that you don’t risk scratching any consoles or buttons. If you want to completely eliminate all dust on the dashboard, baby wipes are great at picking up dust in the harder to reach areas. Once you’ve dusted the dashboard and vacuumed the entire interior, try beating the seats with a tennis racket or something similar, to remove any ingrained dust.
When it comes to fabric upholstery, a household carpet stain remover will be effective in removing any remaining drink stains. When it comes to greasier stains, a small amount of paint thinner on a cloth will come in handy to lift the stain, without damaging the fabric upholstery. Follow this up with a little salt to absorb any excess liquid, and vacuum the stain away. If, however, you’ve found pen ink on your upholstery, use a small amount of hairspray to lift the stain, and follow up with salt to absorb the excess as above. Your fabric upholstery may not necessarily have any stains but if it smells a little musty, a household powdered carpet freshener used whilst you vacuum will be just the trick to keep your car interior smelling fresh.
4.Don’t forget the floor mats
One of the great things about floor mats is that they’re removable, which means you can give them a really deep clean. Using a clear shoe wax on plastic floor mats is a great way to obtain a finish that leaves your mats looking brand new. You’ll need to be prepared to let them dry for as long as they need – so having some spare mats may come in handy.
5. Car upholstery cleaning
Upholstery cleaning methods may vary depending on whether your car interior features leather, vinyl or fabric. You’ll need to invest in the right cleaning products that won’t damage your interior. If your car interior features leather seats, then gentle vacuuming with a soft brush attachment, wiping down, and treating with a specialised leather cleaning product will make sure that the material doesn’t get scratched or damaged. Treat your steering wheel with leather cleaning products sparingly, as this can make the steering wheel grip a little slippery. Leather generally requires maintenance every 6-8 weeks. Plastic and vinyl require a little less delicacy, but using the right cleaning products is still important. You can find dedicated vinyl cleaners that will both clean and protect your car’s interior from potential scratches or scuffs. It is important to use a rag or cloth rather than a sponge, as you want to avoid getting any of the upholstery too wet. Limit the amount of product you use, and move through the upholstery gradually. Finish on the dashboard by giving it a quick spray and rub down, being careful to avoid electrical components on the dashboard.
6. Wipe down the windows
Cleaning the windows with ammonia free cleaner will remove any smudges or handprints and prevent fogging from occurring as easily. When wiping the interior rear window, don’t put too much pressure on the defogger grid as this can be easily damaged with harsh chemicals. Spring cleaning your car will make all the difference once complete. Incorporating all of our tips for cleaning your car will get you ready for spring in no time, so you can just sit back and enjoy the drive.