Tips for Better Car Interior Cleaning


When we reflect on the task of cleaning our cars, we too easily picture just the cleaning of the vehicle’s exterior. But what about the interior? It’s one thing to see a nice-looking car from the outside, but quite another to open the door and get into a dusty, smelly, trash-filled interior. We certainly wouldn’t be happy to pay a professional detailer if that’s the kind of service they were offering.

So, how can we improve the experience of cleaning the car’s interior? What are some tips that the professionals swear by? Let’s get started.

1. Start with Good Products

The first thing you have to do is get the best car interior cleaning products. This includes simple things like disinfecting cleaner, microfibre towels, and odor remover, to more complex items like carpet cleaner, leather conditioner, fabric protector and more. You’ll also need to get your hands on the right kind of hardware, starting with powerful but easily portable vacuum cleaners. For the vacuum, we recommend a model that offers at least 5-hp of power. It might not be the biggest in terms of volume, but it’ll get the job of cleaning the interior done well.

2. No Ammonia

The big enemy when cleaning the interior of your vehicle is ammonia. It’s especially important to keep ammonia away from the infotainment screen and other controls. This is why using household cleaners that may contain ammonia is a bad idea. Get car-friendly products that clearly have zero ammonia.

3. Build Good Cleaning Habits

Family cars are the most easily wrecked by days and weeks of meals on the go, snacks, after-school and after-sport food and drink being eaten in the car, and so on. The trash can really start to pile up if you don’t deal with it. We suggest implementing a new family rule that everyone in the car has to take with them at least 2 pieces of trash every time they get out of the car for anything. This will help ensure that the net amount of garbage exiting your car should exceed or come close to exceeding what people bring in.

4. Use Simple Ideas

You might think you need a fancy gizmo to do a deep and proper clean of a tough-to-reach spot like the bottom of your cup holders. If you have the habit of putting your cold soft drinks or morning iced coffees in there, then condensation drips down and leaves moisture and residues in the cup holder. There’s also the chance of small spills and drink run-off getting stuck down there. Do we need the gizmo, then? Absolutely not! All you need is an unwanted sock.

Your old socks can be the perfect tools with which to clean the cup holders. Put the sock on your hand like a puppet and just dive right down there. A hand/fist is about the right size and shape to get to the bottom of the cup holder and give a good wipe and clean. After cleaning, you can just throw away the sock. This is just one example of simple ideas of how you can get professional results even without traditional equipment.

5. Agitate the Carpet Before Vacuuming

Finally, a quick tip for dealing with mud dried into carpets. Take a stiff-bristled brush to the muddy area and scrub like crazy for a while before you go at it with your 5-hp vacuum cleaner. Why? Even strong vacuum cleaners can’t dislodge the deepest embedded dried mud. Agitating it with the brush loosens the deeper particles, and static electricity helps bring them to the surface. After that, it’s a piece of cake to vacuum up the rest.