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Keeping a Car’s Interior Clean

Cleaning our cars, inside and out, is a task that must be scheduled into the diary.  We make sure that the mechanical servicing is carried out regularly on time, as it’s an essential requirement for the reliability and roadworthiness of the vehicle.  If we like mechanical servicing to keeping the inside of the car in good shape, then cleaning and maintaining a vehicle’s interior and its bodywork also keeps the car in top shape for travelling.  A vehicle with a clean interior is so much nicer to travel inside, and your travelling companions will appreciate the way it looks, smells and feels.

If you live a busy life and find it difficult to find the time to clean and maintain the inside of your car, a good rule of thumb might be to do the interior cleaning whenever the car goes in for a mechanical WOF or a service.  At least this way you’ll be cleaning the car’s cabin and boot space properly once or twice a year.  Is that enough?  Probably not, but it’s a good place to start and something for you to work towards.

The purpose of cleaning your car’s interior is to keep the surfaces free from dust, grime and dirt.  This includes the dash and interior panelling, the carpets, and the seat upholstery.  Essentially, every surface of the vehicle’s interior needs to be cleaned, even the boot space.

After cleaning, any leather, wood or vinyl surfaces, they need to have a polishing layer applied, which is necessary to protect and maintain the surface’s integrity and lustre.  Any tears or rips in the upholstery can be repaired and fixed.

What is a good interior cleaning process?

Start by taking out any loose items that are inside the car.  Remove any rubbish.  You can use a vacuum cleaner to suck up the small, loose dust and rubbish on the car’s carpets and seats.  The vacuum cleaner head is a good shape for getting underneath the seats.  Don’t forget the boot, either.  The brush fitting works brilliantly over the fabric seats and the carpets.  You can also use the soft brush attachment on the dash fascia.

After vacuuming out the car’s interior, it is then necessary to attend to any stains and spills with a cleaning solution.  Leather and vinyl seats, also hard dash and door panel surfaces, can be wiped with a cloth that has been dampened with a solution of warm, soapy water.  Wipe down the steering wheel.  These surfaces can then be dried with another soft cloth, and you can even leave the car doors open for a while to let the fresh air run through the interior. Don’t forget to clean the seat belts while you’re at it.  You can follow this by vacuuming and cleaning the interior carpets

Leather, vinyl, plastic, and veneer surfaces are now ready to be buffed nicely to a shine with a soft dry cloth and furthermore protected with a suitable conditioner or polish.  Glass windows, the rear view mirror, and the driver’s display (digital or analogue) are best cleaned with a damp cloth, and then soon after dried fully with a scrunched up piece of soft newspaper or tissue paper.  Doing this ensures that no streaks or dust is left on the glass or displays with the final wipe down.

Now, remove the dashboard’s dust and grime with a damp dusting cloth.  After dusting, use a slightly damp microfiber cloth to remove any grime and fingerprints.   It’s amazing how well cotton swabs can to get into small spaces around vents and knobs.  It’s now time to clean the centre console, which is a common place for coffee and ice cream spills.

Finally, clean the door panels, handles and switchgear.

Hey presto, you’re good to go.  At this point it can also be nice to place an air freshener/fragrance sachet inside the cabin to last till the next cleaning session.