According to AAA, the average American driver spends about 17,600 in their car.
That's 290+ hours in a year...longer than a whole 12 days! And that’s assuming you don’t travel anywhere on weekends, which we all often do.
With that much time in the car, it’s inevitable that our car interiors are going to show some signs of being lived in. No doubt they are going to get dirty fast.
If you need to do some spring cleaning on your ride, here are some tips to help get your car back to the nice clean state it used to be in before you spent all that time inside of it.
As you begin to clean your car’s interior, think of these 8 helpful tips:
1. Remove the floor mats.
To give your car the fully manicured treatment, you’re going to need to hit all of its nooks and crevices. An often-overlooked area is underneath your floor mats.
If you haven’t lifted them lately, don’t be surprised to find dirt accumulation, small rocks, and even some salt from those harsh winter months. It’s incredible how these particulates collect under the floor mats, but believe me they do.
Plus, if you have the mats out of your car, you can vacuum or even shampoo them with much more ease.
2. Use a stiff Nylon brush to prep your carpets before vacuuming
You know that snow brush that just sits in your car for most of the year, without much to do? Well put it to use when you clean out your vehicle.
Use the bristles to brush through the upholstery of the car. This can penetrate the fibers to loosen up and remove any debris that has been pushed deep into the fabric and resists the vacuum.
3. Use the crevice reaching vacuum attachments.
When you start vacuuming, take the time to find the right attachments to make the vacuum most effective. Especially use the crevice attachment. It’s wide, yet slender, hose tip helps to focus the suction and get underneath the car seats and between them.
4. Get a compressed air cannister. Like the one you’d use to clean your keyboard.
While you are picking up the big debris that is littered about your car, you’ll notice the tiny dust that occupies the crevices in the cup holders, interior door handles, and around the transmission shifter. Use a compressed air cannister, like the one you use to clean your computer keyboard, to blow the small materials away and get the surface ready for a good wipe down.
5. Putty Is Your Friend
When it comes to cleaning the vents of your car, or any other difficult to penetrate area, look to the unconventional tool that is putty. While kids might think your stealing from their toy box to play, you’ll be able to push the putty into carpets, vents, and other miniscule areas to trap the dust, mud, or grim and leave your car looking fresh and new.
That, and you might have a bit of fun doing it.
6. Deodorize your vehicle.
It may be enough to simply add an air freshener to your vehicle and call it a day, but sometimes the stench of fast food and other over powering odors may have set up a seemingly permanent residence in your car. There are ways to combat the smells instead of simply covering them.
You can sprinkle some baking soda on the seats and carpets of your car. Baking Soda naturally lifts odors and absorbs them. After a few hours, or overnight, vacuum the seats and floors of your car to remove the baking soda.
If you need to really add some odor absorbing power to your car, purchase a charcoal odor absorber and place one under the seats of your vehicle and one in the cup holders. Charcoal is a really good odor absorber and will soak up the stink, fast.
If you haven’t replaced your cabin air filter, look into doing so. It can go a long way in the quality of air that you smell in your car.
7. Use A Wand to Magically Clear Up Your Windshield
While you’re shining up the windows in your car, don’t forget to add a streak free shine to the piece of glass you spend the most time looking through, the wind shield.
It can be tiresome to wipe your windshield down from inside the car. Inevitably you end up missing spots, and then when you drive you are completely distracted by the foggy patches.
To get an even and thorough cleaning with half the effort, use a wand with a microfiber bonnet to get the clear view that your windshield deserves.
8. Cup Holder Clean Up
Fewer parts of a car seem to accumulate crud faster than the cup holders. Whether they are full of crumbs, change, or wadded up straw wrappers, the cup holder seems to be a magnet for automobile filth.
And that’s before we address the syrupy miss that permanently dwells there, or the coffee stained ring.
To get these areas clean, don’t be nervous to use a little soap and water to soak the area and loosen up the dried on left over beverages. Then take a cloth and wipe the area clean. You may have to give it a couple passes to really get the edges clean.
Once that’s done consider buying cup holder liners. It’s much easier to take them out and wash them in the sink.
These tips will help you get your car back to the clean happy space you loved when you started driving it, and get you ready to tackle cleaning the exterior.
Now that the inside of your car looks clean, pristine, and show room ready, it’s time to make the outside match. Here are 9 Tips for Cleaning the Exterior of Your Vehicle.