Love and protect your cars interior
We all have that one friend that makes you wait while they clear some rubbish so that you can get in the passenger seat right, well yeah, don’t be that friend.
Keeping your interior looking nice is fairly straightforward, but a couple of times a year you should put that extra effort in and give your car a full detail. As with your exterior, its best to clean in a cool and shaded position, this is especially important when cleaning your glass.
Carpets and Mats –
High traffic areas like the carpet and floor mats can trap dirt, debris and whatever else gets tracked inside. A good quality vacuum, some shampoo and an upholstery brush are your best weapons. Remove the mats and shake/brush off the excess dirt and go to work.
Having the right vacuum attachments will make life a whole lot easier and the crevice tool, a dust brush and the upholstery heads are a must.
As you go along the carpet with the vacuum, agitate it with a brush or your hand to loosen the trapped grit. Depending how keen you are, you can also remove the seats with just a few bolts and then you can get in under them properly.
TIP – For debris such as pet hair that has embedded itself deep into the fibres of the carpet, put on some rubber gloves and rub the mats to work the debris into one corner for easier vacuuming.
Once you have removed the bulk of the debris you can move onto shampooing. If you have a wet dry vac then you can go to town. If you don’t, it’s a little bit trickier but you can still get some great results.
Purchase a good quality shampoo or cleaner, there are lots out there to choose from, but we like the Autoglym Interior Shampoo. It works well and smells pretty good too which is a big bonus. You can grab yourself some at Supercheap Auto.
Spray the cleaner onto your carpet, paying attention to any stains and following the manufacturer’s instructions on how long to leave it sit. It’s always a good idea with any new product to test on an inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t stain.
Dampen your brush slightly and start brushing the carpet, be sure to use minimal water. Scrubbing in a straight motion lifts all the grime and grit that the cleaner has loosened. Take a damp microfiber towel and blot the carpet, removing excess cleaner and dirt. Avoid rubbing the carpet as this will drag the debris into the threads. Vacuum the carpet a final time to complete the clean. You can use this method on the carpet and floor mats.
Hard surfaces –
Your dashboard cops the full brunt of the suns exposure and needs some work to maintain and protect it. Start by wiping it over with a damp microfiber towel, removing all dust etc. You can use your vacuum and dust brush head to get into all the nooks and crannies.
Using a good quality (notice we said GOOD QUALITY, cheaper products can leave you with an uneven, wet and slick looking finish) Our go to is the Meguiar’s Quik Interior Detailer, it’s safe for most surfaces and again available for purchase at SuperCheap.
Spray some of the product onto your polishing cloth and spread it evenly over the surface, once the surface is covered, grab a clean and dry microfiber cloth and wipe dry. You can use this method on your dash, door trims, levers, steering wheel etc.
Don’t forget to do your vents! There’s nothing worse than getting in your immaculate and freshly cleaned ride and staring straight into a dusty, forgotten about air vent. Electronic stores have cleaning equipment like small foam swabs and cans of compressed air which work amazingly well to clean your AC vents.
Glass cleaner and a microfiber towel are all you need to have crystal clear glass. Once again, we have mentioned microfiber towels, you will need a lot, so stock up. It’s a good idea to keep them separate, one for glass, one for trim etc, colour coding is an easy way to tell them apart
Follow your chosen glass cleaner’s instructions, but usually it’s as simple as spraying on, wiping with the dry towel. Keep turning the cloth to a dry part to polish the glass to get a streak free finish. Follow the same process for mirrors and exterior glass and be extra careful not to get the glass cleaner on your other surfaces.
If your car has leather interior, extra care needs to be taken to clean and condition your leather.
Get yourself some cleaner firstly, ad a good quality leather cleaning sponge. If the leather is heavily soiled you may need a leather brush also. Follow your chosen cleaner’s instructions and work on one section at a time, lathering and scrubbing with the sponge. Once the section is cleaned, wipe over with a damp towel to remove the excess soap and dirt.
Allow your leather to dry and then apply a conditioner using a foam applicator. Let the leather soak up the conditioner for a few minutes and then wipe off excess with a cloth, do not forget the last past, get that excess off!
There is a large range of products such as spray on fabric guards at stores that can help prevent stains and protect your surfaces, do your research and find on that suits your vehicle and your needs.
Stain Removal –
Knowing the basics will help those initial stains becoming permanent.
A few tips when removing stains –
Blot, don’t rub. Getting the bulk of the stain as soon as possible is key, leave it too long and the stain will set for good. Using some paper towel or something similar will help pick up the bulk, a vacuum is also good for lifting much of the contaminant that would stain further if moved.
The goal is to remove as much of the contaminant as possible before you attempt to clean the stain.
When you are happy that you have gotten as much as you can up, attack it with your stain remover. Soak the stain (following the instructions of course) and then blot off with a clean towel.
You may need to repeat the process to fully remove the stain.
As with the exterior, cleaning your car should be enjoyable and therapeutic, not a chore. Take a few extra minutes to hook into the interior and you will be amazed how much better it feels to drive.
Love your car and it will love you back ✌️