These days, we spend so much time in our cars that we start to think of them as a second home. Keeping the inside of your car neat and tidy not only makes the daily commute pleasant for you and your passengers, but it can also help maintain your car’s value. Here are some tips for keeping the inside of your car looking factory-fresh.
If it doesn’t belong in the car, take it out
Before you do anything else, take everything out of the car. Clean out any trash, take your gym bag and the extra change of clothes you forgot about into the house, and look under and behind the seats for your kids’ toys and any loose change. Now, the real fun begins.
Vacuum the interior
Using a Shop-Vac or a household vacuum with an attachment, vacuum the seats and clean out all the little nooks and crevices around the floor of your car. You can also do a quick once-over on the ceiling if it needs it. (Don’t go too crazy here, though. If the ceiling needs further cleaning, consult a professional to prevent damage.)
Clean the dashboard and steering wheel
Using a quality leather cleaner, such as automotive products from Scotch Guard or Turtle Wax, spray a little cleaner onto a clean, soft cloth and wipe the dust and grime from your dashboard and steering wheel. Use a Q-Tip to clean the smaller, hard-to-reach areas.
Wash the seats
Cloth seats: We recommend doing this on a warm, sunny day when you don’t need to use the car right away, so the seats will have time to dry. Use a specialty fabric solution or create your own by combining 1 cup dish soap, 1 cup white vinegar, and 1 cup club soda in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the seats, and use a stiff interior brush (not a carpet brush – too rough) to bring up any dirt, wiping it away with a microfiber cloth. Once you’re finished, vacuum again, and let the surface dry.
Leather seats: You want to keep your leather seats soft, so use a specialized leather cleaner and conditioner. Spray the cleaner onto the seats and follow the directions on the bottle. Wait for your seats to dry, then apply a conditioner to keep the seats well-moisturized.
Wash the floor
Take the floor mats out of the car and power wash them, or scrub them with a baking soda solution. Cloth floor mats can be thrown into the washer, with regular laundry soap and a spray of stain remover if needed.
Hang the floor mats hang up to dry, and use a carpet cleaner to deep clean your car’s floor.
Follow these simple steps regularly, and keep your beloved car looking fresh and new for years to come!