I always feel that my car interior, in a weird way, represents who I am.
You may not know this, but an average car’s interior has 283 different bacteria species every square centimetre!
After years of cleaning cars, I have compiled these 8 easy steps to follow so your car interior is gleaming!
Step 1: Take Out The Trash
As Marie Kondo would say, all of the trash in your car is not sparking joy!
Dump all of the stuff you don’t need, but keep a container aside for the stuff you do need.
Remove all of the spare change in the cupholders and the rego documents inside the dash!
Step 2: Whack It Like You Mean It
Have some pent up rage? Whack those floormats on the ground!
For cloth mats, vacuum thoroughly.
To remove any troublesome stains from cloth mats, scrub some detergent water with a stiff bristle brush.
Get some degreaser out if you see some shocking grease marks. Allow the degreaser to set in for 15 minutes before you scrub hard.
If you have rubber mats, then scrub with some mild detergent.
Make sure you hang them up to dry until they are drier than the Great Sandy.
Step 3: Vacuum Hard
Use the crevice tool of your car vacuum to really get in between the spaces of your seats.
My personal recommendation for the best kind of car vacuum is a steam cleaner, which can dislodge grime easily.
For something budget-friendly, look into the Black+Decker Lithium-ion dustbuster Pivot.
The best lightweight car vacuum we came across is the Hoover BH52160PC, though it won’t come cheap!
Step 4: Get On The Floor
If your floor is made of smooth vinyl or rubber, then use some mild dish soap water and a soft rag to wipe it down thoroughly.
Carpeted floors are a little trickier because too much water can get it mildewy.
Only apply a little detergent water on stains and use a wet and dry vacuum to suck it up.
If you don’t have one, use a dry rag to suck up as much water as you can.
You can also bring out your blowdryer or sprinkle some salt to draw out the moisture.
Step 5: Take A Seat
Vacuum car seats gently.
Use cleaners that are specifically made for the fabric your car seats are made up of.
Please don’t use generic soap or dishwasher liquid, or your seats will get stained!
For absolutely unavoidable circumstances on fabric seats, take two buckets of water – one hot and the other cold. Dump some laundry detergent in the hot water bucket. Use a rag to remove any stains. Once you’re done, use another rag in the cold water bucket and remove the excess soap.
Don’t feel shy to bust out the blow dryer again to get the seats dry.
Wiping stains of leather seats is a little more complicated.
If you can’t find a leather cleaner, then simply apply a very diluted (and we do mean very diluted) solution of dish wash water to the seats.
Make sure you don’t apply too much water, as it will seep into your leather and leave a stain!
Step 6: Nothing Like Stained Glass
Let’s get to the inside of your windshield and car windows.
First, lay some towels on your dash so that no soapy water spills onto your dashboard.
Get the glass cleaner out and wipe it down thoroughly.
For a deep clean, apply a little vinegar water on some scrunched up newspapers and see the magic!
Step 7: The Great Wipedown
Use a soft microfibre cloth that has been dipped in JUST water to wipe the top of your dash, the armrests, steering wheel and gearbox.
You can even use anti-bacterial wipes if you really want to play God!
I also use a toothbrush to really dust the console buttons, air vents and cupholders thoroughly.
Never use soap on top of the dash as it can seep into the vinyl.
The hot Aussie sun will cook the vinyl and crack it if there is soap inside.
If you really want to get the sun reflecting off your steering wheel, use a Magic Eraser.
Step 8: Finishing Touches
Move onto the final touches for your car interior.
Ciggy smoke, pet drool and french fries have smells that linger.
Take a sock and dump some baking soda in to absorb stray odours.
Tie the top of that sock and hang it on the rear view mirror for a little bit.
Don’t Wait To Clean
Once you’ve followed these steps, you’ll start feeling like your car is safe for the streets again!
If you thought your home was dirty, Canadian research says your car interior has 17,000 times more bacteria than your entire home!
So you never have to feel lonely again during those long drives! I guess…