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Properly Clean a Car’s Interior

Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Image Courtesy of Flickr

A clean car interior is just as important as a well maintained exterior. A well-kept interior will help preserve the resale value and good look of your vehicle. Also, you and your passengers will be more comfortable for both short and long distance drives. Follow these steps to keep your interior clean.

Remove Trash

While you should always try not to let trash or unnecessary items build up in your car, the first step in a thorough car interior cleaning is to go through the entire car and make sure it is tidied. Stow anything you need in the car, like maps and paperwork, in the appropriate consoles. Take out the floor mats and check beneath for stray trash before moving on to the next step.


Both household vacuums and the industrial vacuums found at a car wash work fine for this step of car interior cleaning. Start by vacuuming the floor of the car, being sure to reach the extension attachment under the seats and behind the pedals. Switch to the soft bristled vacuum attachment and clean any dust or debris from the vents and speakers in the front and back seats. This same softer attachment should be used on the seats, especially if your interior upholstery is done in leather, which is more delicate than regular fabric.

Spot Cleaning Upholstery

After the vacuuming is completed you will be able to see places on your car’s upholstery that need to be spot cleaned. Prior to applying any cleanser to interior fabrics read any and all instructions or warnings to ensure you won’t endanger the color or texture of the upholstery. Once you are sure the upholstery cleanser you have chosen is safe, apply it to any soiled spots on the seats, doors and carpeting. Scrub it in well and allow it to soak in. Wet a clean cloth with warm, clean water and scrub again to remove any excess cleanser.

Interior Plastic & Dashboard

Use a slightly damp microfiber cloth or specialty wipes to clean dust and dirt off of all of your car interior’s hard plastic surfaces, such as the dashboard and center console. A detailing spray can be used to restore the shine and luster to the interior surfaces. Be sure to carefully dry the polished plastic to prevent streaking.

A clean car interior is more comfortable to be in and helps preserve the value of your vehicle. Clean the interior regularly to prevent interior wear and tear.