You love your coffee, pets, and children. But they can wreak havoc on your car’s interior. In addition to creating an eyesore, a dirty interior can lower your car’s resale value and accelerate its depreciation. Ideally, it is best to clean up a mess when it first happens to prevent stains and mildew growth. However, the saying “better late than never” certainly applies to your car’s interior, too. From getting protective seat covers to vacuuming and using cleaning products, here’s how to get your interior sparkling clean.
Get Seat Covers
Since debris can easily get stuck in the seams of your vehicle’s seats, one of the best ways to keep the interior clean is to use a seat cover. There are many types of covers available on the market today. Many, like leather and cloth, are designed to match the seating materials in your car. If you want a softer seat, consider a cover made of neoprene. Neoprene is a great choice for people who want a hardier seat cover. It is water resistant and comfortable, making it a great option for cars that get dirty easily. Along with shielding your car’s original seats from harmful UV rays, these covers also protect your car’s interior from damage caused by UV rays, which can drastically shorten the lifespan of seating materials.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to keep a car’s interior clean is vacuuming. From getting under the floor mats to getting the grime off the dashboard and seats, a vacuum removes dirt from places that are otherwise hard to reach. For the ultimate clean interior, use a high-powered vacuum with a long hose and assorted attachments. This ensures that all crevices get sufficiently cleaned. A good tip, regardless of whether you are using a vacuum at home or using one at a car wash, is to shake the car mats out first. This removes dust and dirt, which makes the mats easier to clean.
Clean the Dashboard
Since you look at your car’s dashboard every day, you might not realize how grimy it has been getting. But dust and dirt can quickly and easily accumulate on the dashboard. To do a preliminary cleaning of the dashboard, use a vacuum with a small attachment to get rid of dust. You can even use a soft cloth to go over the surface if it’s still dirty. After cleaning the surface, apply a protectant to prevent peeling, cracking, and fading. A protectant will also keep harmful UV rays from damaging the car’s interior. Along with the dashboard, follow the same steps to clear your car’s steering wheel.
Clean the Windows
Paw prints, fingerprints, and other smears can stain the windows and attract dust, making them even dirtier. Before starting this cleaning process, make sure that the glass cleaner you get is suitable for your car’s windows. Tinted windows, for instance, require special glass cleaner. If your car has a defroster, make sure the glass cleaner is safe for use. Some cleaners, particularly ones that contain ammonia, can damage the components that heat the windshield. Finally, look for water-repelling properties in a glass cleaner. This effectively removes prints on the window and prevents streak marks.
Organize the Trunk
While people focus on the cabin, they sometimes neglect to keep the trunk clean. Over time, unnecessary items can pile up in the trunk. But this weight adds up, and it can affect your car’s fuel economy. Furthermore, items in the trunk that contain liquids, such as coolant fluid, can leak and be very difficult to clean up. Although it’s a good idea to remove unnecessary items from your trunk, always keep an emergency safety kit handy.
Care for Your Upholstery
Along with these general maintenance tips, it is important to clean your car’s interior based on its interior fabrics. If you have cloth seats, for instance, you’ll need to use different products than a car with a leather interior. If your car’s interior has a fabric upholstery, you’ll want to use carpet cleaners or upholstery cleaners. Both complement the surface-level cleaning that vacuuming provides. However, they penetrate the surface of your car’s interior to provide a deeper and more thorough cleaning of the carpets and seats
If your car has leather seats, use only products designed for cleaning leather. As with fabric upholstery, start by vacuuming the interior to remove surface-level dirt and debris. Using a formulated conditioner and cleaner restores the leather’s shine. It also protects it from future damage caused by the sun and stains.
Over time, the stains, spills, and pet hair in your car’s interior can take a toll. Not only do they make the interior look unattractive, but they can also affect your vehicle’s resale value, too. Keeping the trunk clean, which is often overlooked, can even improve your car’s fuel economy. By vacuuming, using seat covers, and cleaning with the right products, keeping the interior clean is easy and rewarding.