7 easy steps to cleaning the interior of your car

You spend lots of time in your car, right? So it's only normal for dirt and grime to get trapped in it. Here are seven steps to cleaning the interior of your car simply, cheaply and thoroughly.

7 easy steps to cleaning the interior of your car

1. Gather the necessary supplies and equipment

To properly clean the inside of your car, here's what you'll need:

  • Vacuum cleaner with a hose and attachments.
  • An electrical extension cord (in case your vacuum cord isn’t quite long enough).
  • A garden hose (for plastic floor mats).
  • Paper towels or lint-free rags.
  • Ammonia-free window cleaner.
  • Vinyl or leather cleaner and protector.

2. Empty your car

Empty your vehicle of all your trash, recyclables and unnecessary belongings.

  • Then take everything else you want to keep in your car, and set them aside so you can clean all the surfaces.
  • Take out all your floor mats.

3. Run the vacuum

Vacuum the floorboards, under the seats (slide seats all the way forward and all the way back to get all the debris), around the pedals, all upholstery, rear back window and the dashboard.

  • Make sure to get into any cracks and crevices (like your dash, door panels and pockets) by using your vacuum attachments.
  • Vacuum the floor mats. If they're dirty, hose them down with a garden hose and let them dry.

For a deep cleaning
If you want to really clean your carpets and upholstery, buy or rent a carpet-cleaning machine.

  • It will get at the dirt that has settled deep into the fibres of your carpet and seats.
  • It sprays the carpet with a solution and then sucks up any dirt and grime.

4. Clean all leather and vinyl surfaces

Spray vinyl or leather cleaner onto a cloth or paper towel and wipe all the vinyl or leather surfaces.

  • Start at the top and work your way down.
  • When the entire rag gets dirty, switch to a clean cloth.
  • If you have leather upholstery, your best bet is to buy a leather cleaning kit.
  • Buff vinyl or leather surfaces with a clean, soft cloth.

5. Wash windows and plastic parts

Spray a little window cleaner on a cloth and clean your windows, dashboard and plastic parts.

  • When you are washing your windows, roll them down so you can clean the top edges.
  • Buff your windows with crumpled newspapers until all streaks are gone.

6. Clean in the cracks and crevices

Wrap a cloth around an old, worn screwdriver, spray it with an all-purpose cleaner and then move it gently along the trim lines of your car to pick up any dust and gunk.

  • Go over all the buttons and controls as well.
  • Wipe away dust with a rag or paper towel. Sweep the dust out of the cracks with a detailing brush. Catch all that crud right away with your vacuum.

7. Replace everything and deodorize

Put everything (dry floor mats and items for your car) back inside your car. The last thing to do?

  • Spray an odour eliminator product to get rid of any funky smells that remain.
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