How To Clean Car Interior: Get the Sparkling Interior

Are you just about fed up with the relentless dust, dirt, and debris that seem to be permanent residents in your car’s interior? You’re not alone. Let me let you in on a little secret – an average vehicle can house up to 700 different types of pesky germs! Stress no more though. Learn how to clean car interior and revive your car’s glory!

This step-by-step guide is designed with simple yet effective methods for deep cleaning your car just like how a professional detailer would tackle it. Ready for a ride that feels as fresh as when it first rolled off the lot? Buckle up, together we’ve got this!

Key Takeaways

  • Cleaning your car starts with some key tools. You need things like trash bags, upholstery cleaner, and a handheld vacuum.
  • There are steps to clean each part of the car’s inside. Start by taking out trash and mats. Then work on seats, windows, cup holders and more.
  • The last parts to clean are the carpets and door panels. Use a vacuum for the carpets and a cloth for the panels.
  • Deep cleaning is an extra step. It includes treating stains and cleaning hard places in your car.

Essential Supplies for Cleaning Your Car’s Interior

Let’s gather the tools and items you’ll need to clean your car’s interior. You will need:

  • Trash bags: Use these to collect and remove trash and debris from your car.
  • Upholstery cleaner: This is for cleaning cloth seats, carpet stains, and fabric parts.
  • Handheld vacuum: A vacuum helps clear out dirt in hard-to-reach areas.
  • Glass cleaner or glass cleaning wipes: These make windows clear and shiny.
  • Microfiber cloth: It leaves a streak-free finish on glass surfaces.
  • All-purpose cleaning spray: This takes care of dirt on most surfaces in your car.
  • Compressed air: Use it to blast out dust from small spaces like vents.
  • Deep-clean brush set: Brushes can scrub tough stains or dirt off surfaces.
  • Dish soap: Mix this with warm water for a homemade cleaning solution.
  • Warm water: This helps wipe away fresh spills or soils before they set in deeply.
  • Disinfecting spray: It kills germs on high-touch spots such as door handles.

Step-by-Step Guide to Clean Your Car’s Interior

To effectively clean your car’s interior, first carry out a quick sweep and trash removal to get rid of any visible dirt and debris. Next, remove the floor mats and car seats for detailed cleaning – this can involve vacuuming, scrubbing or even washing depending on their material.

Once that’s done, turn your attention to the windows; using a glass cleaner and microfiber cloth, thoroughly wipe in order to leave them looking crystal clear. After the windows are spotless, dust off the dashboard and console with an all-purpose cleaner before tackling cup holders which might require more specialized cleaning agents due to sticky spills.

Your steering wheel as well as door handles should be wiped down next using disinfecting sprays since these areas are high touch points which easily accumulate bacteria. Lastly, vacuum and shampoo your carpets then wipe down door panels to bring back their shine.

This step-by-step guide will give you a sparkling clean interior every time!

Quick Sweep and Removal of Trash

I always start cleaning my car with a quick sweep. It’s easy but helps a lot.

  • First, I grab a trash bag.
  • Then, I pick up all the trash and debris.
  • Every little bit counts, so I look under the seats too.
  • Next, I take out the floor mats.
  • I shake them outside to get rid of dirt.
  • For tough spots, I use upholstery cleaner or warm water and dish soap.
  • The last step is to wipe off dust from hard surfaces.

Removal and Cleaning of Floor Mats and Car Seats

Let’s start by taking a close look at your floor mats and car seats. They often get the most dirt. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Take out your floor mats from the car.
  • Shake off the loose dirt and debris.
  • Use a handheld vacuum for removing leftover dust on the mats.
  • For carpeted mats, use an upholstery cleaner to dissolve stubborn spots of grime.
  • If you have rubber, vinyl, or silicone mats, a dish soap and warm water mix will work fine for cleaning.
  • Scrub tough spots with a stiff – bristled brush.
  • Rinse them clean with a garden hose and let them dry fully before putting them back in the car.

Cleaning the Windows

I love to keep my car windows shiny and clear. Here is how I do it:

  • First, I grab my glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth.
  • I start by wiping the top edges of the windows.
  • Next, I spray some glass cleaner on the cloth.
  • Then, I wipe the windows using small circular motions.
  • After cleaning, it’s time to dry them well. This stops streaks and water spots from showing up.
  • To keep my ride looking its best, I clean my windows regularly!
  • Before any wash, a good rinse helps get rid of dust and dirt first.

Dusting the Dashboard and Console

Keeping your car’s dashboard and console clean is key. Here is how to do it:

  • Start by removing all dirt from the front panel, dashboard, and console.
  • Take a microfiber cloth or a handy vacuum for this task.
  • The aim is to erase dust, dirt, and grime that may gather in these spots.
  • With an artist’s paintbrush sprayed with furniture polish, reach into air vents.
  • This can scoop out pesky particles that hide in the tiny spaces.
  • Over time, UV damage may fade black plastic areas such as interior panels and dashboards.
  • Clean and restore faded plastic using the right cleaning products for impressive results.

Cleaning Cup Holders

Dirty cup holders can make a clean car look bad. They often collect dirt, dust, and old coffee drips. It’s important to clean them well. Let’s talk about how to do this.

  • First, pick up any trash or debris from the cup holder area.
  • If your car has plastic cup holders that come out, take them out.
  • Put these plastic cup holders in warm, soapy water.
  • For fixed cup holders, you will have to clean them in the car itself.
  • Get a small brush set that you can use for cleaning small areas.
  • Dip the brush in warm, soapy water and scrub all parts of the cup holder.
  • Make sure to brush off any stuck – on dirt or grime in the cup holder.
  • After brushing, wipe down the cup holder with a damp cloth to pick up any loose dirt.
  • Dry the area completely with a clean microfiber cloth or paper towel.
  • To keep your car cleaner longer, try not to eat or drink in your car too much.
  • Also, it’s good to use protective car seat covers and kick mats if you have kids or pets in your vehicle.

Wiping Down the Steering Wheel and Door Handles

We can’t forget the steering wheel and door handles. These two spots get touched a lot. They need a good wipe down. Here’s how we do it:

  • Get a soft cloth and auto cleaning spray.
  • Spray some cleaner on your cloth.
  • Wipe down the steering wheel well.
  • Be sure to clean all the buttons and lights on the steering wheel too.
  • Next, wipe all door handles inside the car.
  • Don’t leave out the handles of the back doors if your car has them.
  • It’s also vital to clean any touch screens or controls near the gear stick.

Vacuuming and Shampooing the Carpets

Cleaning the inside of your car is not all. You must also vacuum and shampoo your carpets. Here’s how:

  • First, clear any stuff that might be on the carpet.
  • Next, use a handheld vacuum to get rid of dirt and debris.
  • Make sure you reach all parts, even under the seats.
  • Now you are set for shampooing. Use a good product like BISSELL Little Green Multi – Purpose Portable Carpet.
  • Spray some on the carpet and use a brush to scrub it in.
  • Dry the carpet with a microfiber cloth when done.

Cleaning the Door Panels

Cleaning your car door panels is a big part of keeping your car’s interior clean. Here’s the best way to get it done:

  • First, grab all the cleaning gear you need. This includes an upholstery cleaner, a microfiber cloth, and an all-purpose cleaning spray.
  • Next, use the upholstery cleaner and the microfiber cloth to wipe down your door panels. You’re aiming to remove grime and dirt so take your time.
  • For stubborn stains or marks on the door panels, break out your all – purpose cleaning spray.
  • Take care not to skip spots when you clean the door panels.
  • The aim is to keep your car’s interior fresh and clean. Regular cleaning of the door panels helps maintain this.
  • Get into a habit of regular maintenance to protect your car’s interior shine.

Deep Cleaning Techniques

A car dashboard being cleaned with various cleaning supplies.

Deep cleaning is the next level in car interior care. Start by treating stubborn stains. Use a specialized automotive gel to treat each stain, working it into the fabric carefully.

Clean hard surfaces like your dashboard and console with warm water and mild dish soap, ensuring no residue is left behind. Don’t forget about small spaces – use compressed air or a toothpick to dislodge dirt from crevices in your console and doors.

Finish off deep clean by applying protectant to plastic and vinyl surfaces for added shine and protection against fading or cracking under sun exposure. For fresher cabin air, consider changing out your vehicle’s air filter too!

Treating Stains

Stains can spoil your car’s interior. Here are the easy steps I follow to treat them:

  • I spot a stain on my car seats or carpet.
  • I quickly grab my BISSELL Little Green Multi – Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner.
  • I use it to target the stain right away. This stops the stain from setting in deep.
  • Rubbing alcohol is what I use for ink stains.
  • For oil or grease stains, I find that baking soda works great.
  • If the stains are hard to clean, distilled white vinegar helps me out.
  • After treating the stain, I always rinse with warm water to remove any soap left behind.
  • Finally, I dry it well so no mold can grow.

Cleaning Hard Surfaces

I really like the part when hard surfaces come to life again. Cleaning them is not as hard as you may think. Here are some easy steps to follow:

  • Start by taking a microfiber cloth.
  • Wet it with warm water and mild dish soap.
  • Wipe all hard surfaces including the dashboard, front panel, and console.
  • Make sure to sanitize high – traffic spots with disinfectant wipes.
  • For stubborn stains, use an automotive gel cleaner.
  • Use a soft brush or sponge to avoid causing scratches.
  • Rinse surfaces with clean water and dry with another microfiber cloth.
  • Apply silicone protectant for a shiny finish.

Focusing on Small Spaces

I know small spaces in your car can be tough to clean. They collect dust and dirt in a way that’s hard to get at. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Use an old toothbrush or a small brush set made just for car cleaning.
  • A handheld vacuum comes in handy for sucking up dust and debris from tight spaces.
  • If your vacuum has it, use hose attachments to reach nooks and crannies.
  • Compressed air is helpful to blow away dust packed into small crevices.
  • Finally, wipe down any exposed surfaces with a microfiber cloth.

Adding a Protectant

Don’t forget to give your car’s interior a layer of protection. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Get your hands on a good protectant. Torque Detail’s products are great options. They were made by a Certified Detailer, so they work like magic.
  • Wipe down all surfaces in your car with this protectant. This includes the dashboard, door panels, and console.
  • Don’t rush the process! Let the protectant soak into each surface for about five minutes.
  • Now, use a soft cloth to wipe off any extra protectant that hasn’t soaked in.
  • Finally, enjoy your shiny car interior! It will not just look better but also stay clean for longer because of this protectant.

Changing Air Filters

Keeping the inside of your car clean also means taking care of things you can’t see, like air filters. Here is how to do it.

  • First, you need to find where the air filter is in your car. It’s usually under the hood or behind the glove box.
  • The next task is to take out the old air filter. Be gentle so you don’t break anything.
  • Now look at the old filter closely. If it’s full of dirt and dust, it’s time for a new one.
  • It’s time to insert the new air filter now. Make sure it fits just right.
  • Next, you have to put everything back in place.
  • Repeat this process every 12,000 to 15,000 miles to keep your car smelling fresh.

Professional Tips for Keeping Your Car’s Interior Clean

Clean your car often to prevent dirt from building up. It’s an easy task that anyone can do at home about once a month. You save money this way too. Professional detailing for big cars costs up to $100!

Always have the right cleaning tools on hand: trash bags, upholstery cleaner, handheld vacuum, glass cleaner, microfiber cloth and more. These tools make your work easier and give you pro-like results.

Start by getting rid of any trash in your car and put it all in a trash bag. Then take out the floor mats and children’s car seats so you can clean them well. This also makes it easier for you to reach every nook and cranny.

Next up is window cleaning! Use a good glass cleaner with a soft cloth for sparkling windows without streaks or smears.

When caring for leather seats, use products made just for leather like Furniture Clinic Leather Cleaner or Furniture Clinic Leather Protection Cream.

Keep dirt off carpeted mats by vacuuming regularly and treating stains as soon as possible with an oxygen-based bleach solution. If they get too dirty though, replace them with rubber or silicone ones which are easier to clean.

Remember these tips next time you clean your car’s interior! Your ride will look so much better when kept neat and tidy — like brand new even if it isn’t! Clean cars make driving more enjoyable too.

Not only that but keeping your car clean makes it last longer saving you more money down the road.

How Often Should You Clean Your Car’s Interior?

You should clean your car’s interior every week. This is a good rule if you use your car a lot. For a deep clean, do it two times in one year. The best times are spring and fall. This will help get rid of salt, dirt, and other stuff that can harm your car.

A clean car is not just about looks. It also helps kill germs and viruses to keep you safe.


You now have all the steps to clean your car’s inside part. You will see how it shines after cleaning. So, start today and make your car shine like new again!