With simple maintenance, your car will look and feel fresh and new for a long time. Here are our top tips for keeping your car clean and healthy.
Clean the Inside of Your Car
Here are the basics of what you need to do to clean the inside of your car:
- Throw away garbage and loose items
- Remove the mats and hose them down
- Vacuum the interior: Floors, seats, etc.
- Wash all smooth surfaces
Keep it Simple
If your car is spotless on the outside, it should be clean on the inside as well. It’s not necessary to spend hours cleaning it every time, especially if you maintain it regularly. The best thing you can do is clearing out the garbage and shaking the mats every now and then, and work more thoroughly when needed.
You’ll Need This for Internal Cleaning
You can buy all sorts of equipment for car washing, which in many cases will make the job easier. But more often than not, it’s best to keep it simple. You can manage perfectly fine with a vacuum cleaner, some microfiber cloths, a window spray, and a bucket of warm water.
For tough stains, spill or dirt it might be correct to use strong detergents. Keep in mind that detergents should match the fabric, and read the operating instructions carefully before you start. For example, leather seats have their own cleaners to preserve the leather.
How to Clean Your Car Internally
Start by clearing away garbage and loose items that shouldn’t be in the car. Look under the seats to find paper and other things that may have fallen between the seats, and don’t forget about the trunk. Remove any loose objects to make the clean-up easier.
Wash the Mats
Carefully remove the mats and shake away sand and gravel. Wash the mats with a hose and soap, and leave them to dry while you work. Condition the mats regularly and replace them when they are worn-out.
You can either use your household vacuum cleaner or a vacuum cleaner for the car that connects to the 12v outlet. The latter is a bit more practical, but not essential. Start by vacuuming the storage compartment of the dashboard, doors and center console. Vacuum the seats thoroughly, making sure dust and gravel is picked up. Lastly, vacuum the entire carpet. This is a never-ending job, so you decide when it’s good enough.
Wash the Surfaces
It’s a good idea to start with the dashboard against the windshield and work your way down. Use one cloth for washing and another for wiping. Don’t forget knobs, switches, and instrument panels. Move the steering wheel out of position to clean it properly.
The car windows can be a bit tricky, just like the windows inside your home. It can be difficult to clean the windows without leaving streaks. If you smoke or the air is filled with pollen or pollution, your windows will build up a layer of dirtiness that’s hard to get rid of.
When cleaning your car, leave the windows for last. Park your car in a shaded area, and only clean the windows when they are cool. Use clean water, microfiber cloths, and a glass cleaner that’s made purposely for automotive use. Household window cleaners are usually ammonia-based and might damage the tinting.
Rear and Front Windows
Start with the rear and front windows – the size and angle of these windows make them the hardest to clean. Swipe up and down or left to right, and not in a circular motion as this leaves streaks. If you’re having trouble removing bug spatter, try using a little bit of baking soda on the spots. Lastly, don’t forget to clean the wiper blades.
The side windows are easier to clean, but people tend to forget about the top where the glass slides into place. Remember to roll down the windows and clean and dry the top properly before closing them again.