Your car might look pristine on the outside, but it can be surprisingly hard to keep it spotless on the inside, especially if you drive long distances or often have snacks and drinks along the way.
Luckily, cleaning a car interior doesn’t have to be too much of a challenge – you just need to be methodical about it.
- Collect your materials
Get everything you need together in one place – wet cloths for cleaning, dry cloths for polishing, plenty of fresh water for rinsing, and whatever cleaning fluids you prefer to use.
You mostly won’t need much more than soapy water, but if you prefer to use polish on the surfaces inside your car – especially if you’re concerned about water getting into the electrical circuits – then choose the products you like best.
If you’re using water, wring out your cloth so it is damp rather than wet, and use the hottest water you can comfortably touch, as it will help your surfaces to dry out faster.
- The dry clean
Before anything gets damp, clean out everything you can that’s dry – which starts by taking out any rubbish that’s accumulated in your vehicle.
It’s a good idea to empty side pockets and the glove compartment too, even if you put the contents back in once the cleaning’s done.
- Under the rug
Don’t cut corners where the footwell mats are concerned – take them out and clean them separately, and also clean under them inside the car.
A good vacuum will pick up most of the sand, dried mud and so on that may have built up on the floor of your car, and you should only need to actually wash the carpets quite infrequently, unless you go off-roading or have animals in your car.
- The wet wash
Avoid completely soaking your car’s interior, unless there’s a really stubborn stain or ground-in dirt to remove – and as mentioned above, be wary around any parts where there might be electrical circuitry.
Car sponges, perhaps unsurprisingly, are a good option as they can hold enough water to clean the soft furnishings in your car’s interior, but are also absorbent so they will help to dry it out as they go along.
It’s a good idea to clean your vehicle somewhere secure, so you can leave the doors or windows open afterwards until it has dried out.
- The polish
Finally, it’s time to get that gleaming spotless finish. Go over the dashboard and other hard elements of your car’s interior, wiping away any dust and restoring the shine with some polish or a moistened cloth.
Clean the windows inside and out to a streak-free finish, and do the same with the mirrors and any screens on the centre console or on DVD players in the rear seats.
Let everything dry, and replace the foot mats – and add a pleasant aroma using a good quality air freshener for the finishing touch.
Everything should be left looking shiny and bright, and with occasional dusting and polishing, you can avoid having to do a deep clean for even longer in the future.