Everybody loves a gorgeous, shiny exterior on their vehicle, but what about the interior, where you spend most of your time?
Keeping the small space this is your car’s interior is important in order to maintain a clean ride inside and out. In this blog, we are going to go through all the steps to properly detail the interior of your car.
The first order of business before you even begin to clean the interior is to remove all of your personal items.
Once you have done that, remove all of the floor mats from the vehicle. If you have rubber floor mats set them aside to be washed when you wash the exterior of your car.
Once you have the car emptied and floor mats removed, it’s time to get to cleaning on the interior!
An important thing to remember is that you want to perform all dry extraction, aka vacuuming prior to introducing any wet cleaners to the interior of your car. This prevents the cleaning fluids from liquefying and dirt or debris that are in the car and further drag them through your car’s carpet and upholstery.
Vacuuming can be accomplished with whatever vacuum you have available, although one with strong suction, such as a shop-vac will work best. It’s best to start on one side of your vehicle and slowly work your way around getting all areas of your carpet and seats. For situations where dirt is deeply embedded you have a few options. You can take a scrub brush and go over the dry carpet and break-up and caked on dirt and then re-vacuum. If it’s still dirty, then further intervention will be needed.
There are a number of spray-on carpet cleaners available, or you can rent (or maybe burrow from a friend) an upholstery cleaner to remove stains and dirt. Make sure to give adequate time to drying your interior if you use an upholstery cleaner or hot water extractor. Positioning a fan to blow over the wet areas is often helpful in speeding up the dry time.
Now that your carpet and seats are clean, it’s time to tackle the dashboard, door pockets and cup holders.
Obviously, vacuum these areas out first if possible. For smaller details like the vents, you can purchase a small detailing brush from the auto store to help brush away and dirt and dust.
Once you have all the loose dirt and grime removed from your car you can begin to apply wet cleaners to the surfaces in your car. It’s extremely important to match the products to the appropriate surface (i.e. vinyl cleaner on vinyl, leather cleaner on leather.) A trick to applying cleaner to your interior is to spray the cleaner into a microfiber applicator pad, rather than directly on the surface. This will eliminate the possibility of overspray on other unintended surfaces. Be sure to pay special attention to areas where your skin touches such as the body of the seats, armrests, headrests, and door handles. These tend to be areas where perspiration, skin oil and salts can accumulate. Wipe the surface with a clean microfiber towel to remove the excess cleaner as well as any dirt.
Now that you’ve cleaned the vinyl, leather and plastic surfaces of your car you can move on to applying protectant to those surfaces. Again, use the proper products for your interior and use the same method of spraying the product directly into the applicator pad. Foam pads work best for this as you do not need and scrubbing ability since you have already cleaned the surface. For conditioning leather surfaces and seat, use a product specifically designed for leather. They contain moisturizers such as mink oil and lanolin that keep leather soft and supple. Wipe the surface with a microfiber towel to remove any excess.