How to Clean a Car Interior
Cleaning the interior of your car may not bring back that heady new car smell, but it will certainly improve the air quality. Washing the windows, getting rid of trash and clutter, and cleaning the carpet and seats will make you breathe easier and could even improve your driving skills.
Professional detailing can be quite costly, but with just a few tools and cleaning supplies that you probably have on hand, you can clean your car interior just like the pros.
How often to clean your car depends on driving conditions, how the vehicle is used, the number of passengers, and how frequently you drive.
Safety is always a priority when it comes to car maintenance. Clean interior windows at least monthly or when grime impedes your ability to see oncoming vehicles. Remove trash and debris from the driver's floorboard and dashboard when it interferes with the vehicle's controls. A thorough cleaning of the car's interior twice a year should suffice. Keep the interior in its best shape to help the car last longer and retain its value when you sell or trade it in.
Gather Trash and Debris
Gather all the trash from the floorboards, cup holders, door pockets, and seat pockets and recycle or dispose of it. Remove car seats, toys, and other items from the car.
Remove and Clean the Floor Mats
Floor mats are often some of the dirtiest items in a car interior. Remove all of them from the car for easier cleaning. Give each mat a good shake or vacuuming before you begin cleaning. Then place them on a tarp or other type of drop cloth rather than on the dirty ground.
For carpeted mats, use a carpet or upholstery cleaner and follow the instructions.
For rubber, vinyl, or silicone mats, use a hose to wash away excess soil. Mix a solution of warm water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a bucket. Dip a scrub brush in the solution and clean the mats. Rinse well and let them air-dry before placing them back in the car and continue cleaning the other areas of the interior.
Clean the Interior Windows and Mirror
Use a microfiber cloth and an ammonia-free commercial window cleaner (ammonia can damage interior plastics) in a spray bottle to remove the haze from interior windows. Make your own window cleaner by mixing a one-to-one solution of distilled white vinegar and water. Lower the windows slightly and start at the top of the window and work down so you will catch any drips.
Clean the Center Console