When you detail your car, you give it a thorough cleaning that hones in on hard-to-clean spots and scrubs even the hardest-to-reach locations on the vehicle. To avoid scuffing up the freshly-cleaned exterior of your vehicle, detail the inside of your car first. Once you’ve finished detailing your car, the result will be a smart, clean car in showroom condition.
The whole process should take between 4-8 hours to complete, so plan to set aside a full morning or afternoon to detail your car.
1: Remove trash and personal items from the car’s interior. Go through your car and pull out any fast food wrappers, soda cans, old magazines or papers, and any other junk that’s piled up since the last cleaning. Look under the seats and between seat cushions for trash that may have slipped out of sight. Deposit all of these items in a trash can.
- Also pull out any items in the car that, while not junk, will get in the way of the cleaning. These may include water bottles, first-aid kits, child car seats, bags and clothing, and other assorted personal items.
2: Vacuum the interior of the car with a wet/dry vacuum. Pull up the floor carpets and vacuum dirt and grime off of them with the vacuum cleaner. Then, use the vacuum’s broad heads to clean the floor beneath the carpet. Finally, use narrow heads to vacuum up debris stuck between the seats.
- A wet/dry vacuum is the best tool for the job since it exerts plenty of suction power and comes with a variety of heads that will allow you to vacuum the carpets, doors, door handles, cup holders, and other surfaces within your car. Rent or buy a wet/dry vac at a local hardware store.
3: Clean the interior windows with a window-cleaner spray. Open the doors to your car and spray each of the interior windows with 5-6 generous sprays of a commercial window-cleaning solution. Also, spray the interior of the rear window and windshield with the cleaner. Use a clean cotton rag to wipe the solution across the window surfaces to clean them.
- Then, use a second clean, dry rag or microfiber towel to dry the interior windows. Be sure to thoroughly dry the windows to prevent streaks from forming.
- Avoid cleaning car windows in direct sunlight, as the sun can heat up the oils on the window and cause them to spread during the cleaning process. Cleaning windows in the shade will make it easier for the rag or microfiber towel to absorb the oils.
4: Wipe inner door sections and the trunk with a rag. Spray an all-purpose cleaning solution onto a clean rag and clean off the interior plastic and metal surfaces of your vehicle.This includes the dashboard, steering wheel and column, and center console. Avoid spraying the cleaning solution directly onto the car interior. Instead, whenever the cloth starts to dry out, spray 4–5 more squirts of cleaning solution directly onto the cloth.
- Once you’ve scrubbed the interior surfaces of the car’s cabin, pop the trunk and scrub out its interior surfaces with a clean rag or sponge.
5: Clean dust out of interior corners with cotton swabs. Many areas within your car’s interior will be too small for your vacuum cleaner and rags to reach. Rather than leaving them dirty, grab a handful of cotton swabs and start cleaning out the nooks and crannies. Dry cotton swabs should easily pick up most of the dust and dirt that’s worked its way into small crevasses in the vehicle’s dashboard and seats.
- Try using wooden skewers or chopsticks to pry out objects that have become wedged in extremely hard-to-reach places.
6: Clean the vehicle’s seats with a leather cleaner or shampoo. If your vehicle has leather seats, purchase a leather cleaning spray at an auto supply store. Follow the directions on the package and apply the leather cleaner to the seats. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe the leather seats clean with a clean, dry cotton rag.
- If you have cloth seats, spray them with a foaming aerosol cleaner. Let the spray sit for about 30 minutes and vacuum the fabric seats clean to remove dust and dirt.
- You can also purchase leather cleaning wipes or spray at a large supermarket. Auto supply stores should also sell foaming aerosol cleaners for cloth seats.
- Never use a cleaning product not intended for leather on leather seats.
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