How to Clean the Interior of Your Car

October 11, 2020

Many people take their cars to a professional detailer for cleaning. This is a service that can set you back $200-$500; a figure that you may not be willing to part with easily in these tough economic times.

With the right ingredients and process, you can get your car looking spotless and save yourself a quick buck!

If you’re ready to stop wasting money on detailers, the following is a guide to cleaning the interior of your car!

Cleaning Materials

Before you start the thorough cleanup of your vehicle’s interior, you must first ensure that you have all the tools of the trade at your disposal. If you don’t have them at your home already, you might have to buy the following cleaning equipment from the neighborhood store:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Wiping and polishing tools-rags
  • Brushes and applicators
  • Chemical cleaning agents

Before using any cleaning agents and chemicals on your car, make sure that they are meant for the areas of interest to avoid damaging your car seats or carpet. If you’re not sure, you can test them on an inconspicuous area and check if it leaves any stain or blemish.

How to Clean Your Car’s Interior

Once you have all of the above equipment in place, it’s now time to get down to business. Luckily, the process is relatively straightforward if you have the time. Follow the guide below to clean the different areas inside your car:


The inside of your windshield can get dirty because of dust from outside and get lodged on the glass when it mixes with the vapor from inside, protect your car from dust using a car cover. This leaves a nasty residue that can reduce visibility.

Use a soft cloth (chamois) sprayed with an alcoholic glass cleaner to wipe off the stains on the glass. Use two pieces of cloth; use one to apply the cleaning solution then wipe off with the other to avoid streaks. Spray the cleaner on the cleaning cloth so that it doesn’t get on the upholstery.

Seats Covers and Carpet

Car seats and carpets are prone to getting dirty! For every food, drinks, and fluids that you bring inside the car, all the crumbs, spills, and dirt end up on the seats or the carpet. If this goes on for a while in a car that is rarely cleaned, things begin to get stuffy.

To clean this, vacuum the upholstery on your seat and carpet using the appropriate attachment for the task. For instance, use a crevice tool to get into corners and between seats, and a steam cleaner to lift stains off the upholstery.

You can alternatively use a soft piece of cloth dipped in a mixture of water and dishwashing soap to lightly scrub off the stains. Be sure not to dampen the cushions as this can encourage mold growth and make your car stuffy.

Searching for the ideal seat cushion for car? Shop online and find your best.

Touch Screens

Infotainment screens are a common feature in cars today, and these require a lot of delicate cleaning. You want to use a microfiber soaked in isopropyl alcohol to wipe off any dust and fingerprints on the screens gently.

Avoid using an ammonia-based window cleaner as it can leave behind anti-glare, as well as anti-fingerprint coatings.

Hard Surfaces

Find a cleaning solution with at least 70% alcohol content! It will not only clean the hard surfaces inside your car but also reduce the chances of the Covid-19 getting inside your car. Take a clean paintbrush or a toothbrush and dampen it with soapy water.

Use this to scrub clean the cup holders, vents, and seams. Apply a little bit of alcohol to a microfiber then gently go over the hard surfaces again. Avoid using a paper towel for this. It leaves a trail behind.

Leather and Vinyl

Vinyl and leather are usually treated with a coating to protect the material underneath. The coat requires gentle cleaning. Take a soft piece of cloth and slightly dip inside saddle soap and water then gently wipe the material. Follow this up with a conditioner on the leather to prevent it from drying out.

Don’t use any cleaning reagents with hydrogen peroxide or bleach in their makeup. Also, steer clear of commercial detailing sprays that leave the dashboard looking glossy or wet. This is because it can create glare.

Final Thought

The next time you want the interior of your car cleaned, forget about taking it to the detailer. Just roll up your sleeves and follow the guide above to get your car looking spick and span. It will save you a lot!

Tatjana Faplo
I am a professional writer and editor with a rich history of writing experiences. In the past, I've worked for glossy magazines, branding agencies, creative institutions, architectural and design firms, nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and health foundations.

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