How To Deep Clean Car’s Interior & Exterior At Home
Photo by jae park
Cleaning the car’s interior is as much important as cleaning the car’s exterior. Professional detailing of the car requires a lot of money but you can get this job done at your home in a cheap way.
If you do not clean your car’s interior, it can cause serious problems as your trash on your dashboard can get in the way of your driving, dirty and grimy windows do not let you see the outside road or vehicles and it will affect your car’s finish and look as well.
So it is recommended to do the car’s interior cleaning once in a week. Here are some steps which you can follow to deep clean your car’s interior.
Materials that is required:
- 1 Steps for car interior cleaning
- 2 Detailing car by using an old toothbrush
- 3 How to clean car’s exterior at home
- 4 15 best car cleaning tips
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Steps for car interior cleaning
- Removal of important items: Remove all the important and necessary items out of the car so that you can organize them later and so that they could not get in your way. All these items may include books, magazines, newspapers, toys and gym bags.
- Removal of trash: Take all the trash and unnecessary items out of the car and put them in a trash can or recycling container. They may include papers, water bottles, paper cups etc. Clear your car from all the items.
Clean the central console
- Take a rag or a microfiber towel or a soft cloth and apply some household cleaner or all purpose cleaner on it.
- Start rubbing it and cleaning your dirty areas.
- Clean the dashboard area, then steering wheel and then central console. After cleaning all those areas, do not forget to clean gear sticks and inside door pockets.
- Use cotton buds in order to wipe out dirt or grime from hard to reach areas. You can use them to clean buttons.
Clean dashboard buttons
- Take a damp rag or microfiber towel or soft cloth to clean the buttons on your dashboard.
- After cleaning the dashboard with a damp cloth, take a clean rag and then dry it.
You can also wrap the rag around the screwdriver. And then by turning it along the buttons, you can remove all the dust and grime in a better way.
Detailing car by using an old toothbrush
You can use an old but soft bristles toothbrush to remove tough spots from the doors and console. Use brushes in a circular motion to remove all the dirt.
Clean inside windows
- Take a window cleaner and damp a microfiber towel in it. You can also spray the cleaner on the microfiber towel.
- By using this damp microfiber towel, clean your windshield, side windows, rear windows and sunroof.
- Clean all the surfaces in a circular motion.
- Now flip the microfiber towel to the clean side and then again polish your windows so that you can remove any remaining streaks.
- Clean edges and corners very carefully and attentively.
- If you still have some stains left, repeat these steps again until you get a clean surface.
- Do not use the cleaner that has ammonia in it because ammonia can damage your windows.
Clean seats and upholstery
- In order to clean seats inside your car, it is necessary to remove all the floor mats.
- If you have plastic floor mats, take them out of your car and shake the dirt out as well.
- If you have carpet mats, you can vacuum them inside or outside of your car.
- After cleaning your mats, put them again inside the car.
- Now it is the time to vacuum from top to bottom. First vacuum the ceiling of your car and then move gradually to the floor.
- Use appropriate nozzles for each section.
- To vacuum the headliner, seats, and other upholstered areas, use upholstery nozzles.
- Use crevice tools to clean all the crevices inside your car.
- Use dusting brushes to clean hard plastic and vinyl.
- Use floor brushes to clean carpets.
- Push your seats all the way forward or backward to clean the area under your seats. You can use a crevice tool to remove any debris or grime.
- Clean all the leather seats because they require cleaning, otherwise they will dry out or crack.
- Use an appropriate cleaner and soft brush to clean them. You can use saddle soap for this purpose.
- If you have fabric seats, vacuum them and then use any cleaner on them. After applying cleaner, vacuum them for a second time.
- Do not use window cleaner on your fabric seats.
- Use a stain remover and a clean rag to remove stains of candies, chocolates or crayons from your car seats.
Finish your car
- After using so many cleaners on different areas of your car, it may smell bad. In order to get rid of this smelly odor from your car, air out the interior of your car.
- You can also use air freshener in your car so that it can smell good again.
- Now it is the time to put everything back in your car.
- Put all your floor mats
- Move your seats at their normal position.
- Place all your necessary items again inside your car but in an organized way.
How to clean car’s exterior at home
Cleaning your car’s exterior once in a week is necessary because it not only keeps the surface new and shiny but it also protects the car’s surface from harmful particles that can damage the surface by eating it away. It is not necessary to get your car clean from professionals but you can also clean it at home. Here is a step by step guide on how to clean a car’s exterior at home on your own.
- A bucket full with warm water
- A sponge
- Microfiber towel or soft cloth
- Ultra absorbent towels
- Wheel brushes
- Car cleaners or wax or shampoo
Spray the wheels
It is better to start cleaning with your wheels. Because they are the dirtiest part as they have a direct contact with road and mud. Due to dirt, your shiny alloy surfaces may look dull. You can use any alloy cleaner such as meguiar’s ultimate wheel cleaner to wash them. You have to spray this cleaner on the wheels and then wait for a few minutes. It will do its work gradually and when dust will brome down, you will clearly see the original color of your wheels. Wash your wheels and then rinse them.
Remove all the loose dirt
You can use a pressure washer for this purpose. Spray water on your car with the help of a pressure washer from top to bottom. You will remove loose dirt from the entire surface in this way.
If you cannot afford a pressure washer, you can get this task done with the help of a bucket full of water.
Scrub the surface
You have removed all the loose dirt and now it is the time to remove grease and grime from the surface.
- Take a bucket full of warm water and add a cleaning solution in it. You can use any soap or car cleaning products for this purpose.
- Take a sponge and dunk it into the water. Now start scrubbing the surface with this damp sponge or a soft cloth.
It will help to remove the toughest stains from the car’s surface. It can also remove iron oxide that is very harmful for your car’s paint.
Rinse the surface
After scrubbing the cleaning solution well on the surface, it is the time to rinse the solution. If you feel like there are still some stains that are present, you can repeat the same process again until you get a stain free surface.
Clean the windows
Now it is time to clean your windows. You can use any window cleaner for this purpose. To wash your windscreen, you can also use bug remover. It will help to remove toughest bugs from insects and your windscreen will look new and shiny.
- Take a microfiber towel and absorb all the excessive water from the windows.
- Spray the cleaner on the windows and give them a good wipe in order to get a shiny look.
You have done all the necessary cleaning but if you want an extraordinary cleaning of your car, and then do not skip detailing of it.
- You can polish your car or you can wax your car in order to give it a glossy look.
- Use detailing brushes and buffers for this purpose. But if you cannot afford these items, you can simply do it with the help of a soft cloth.
15 best car cleaning tips
- Use the right suds
Some people use liquid dish soap to wash their car but it is not good for your vehicle’s finish. It only removes dust, dirt and wax but it damages your vehicle’s paint by sucking oil off the paint’s finish. If you use it again and again for washing purposes, it will definitely damage your car’s finish.
It is better to use a cleaner which is specifically designed for this purpose. You can get it from any automotive shop. After mixing the suds, fill another bucket with clean rinse water. Rinse your vehicle with this water because it will remove all the road dirt from the surface and prevent scratches.
- Pluck the finish:
As your car hurts the road at 100km/h and it becomes a dartboard for any curd that is present in the air. You can see it on a vehicle’s clear coat and it is not easy to wash or remove it. You can remove surface dirt easily but in order to pluck out the embedded stuff, clay-barring is required.
For this purpose, you have to buy a clay-bar kit that includes a lubricating spray along with several pieces of synthetic clay in it. Tear the piece in four different sections in order to prepare the clay. Take out one section in the palm of your hand and rub it over the paint surface in a back-and-forth motion. Now fold the clay and knead it until it turns grey. After tossing it, use another fresh piece and remove all the darts to get a glass-like finish of your vehicle.
- Polish the finish:
Many people confuse car waxing with car polishing. But these two are different ways to get a glass-like finish. Car polishing protects your surface against scratches and it helps to buff the finish to shine. However, car waxing gives more glossy finish and protects this finish from external elements. Many people skill polishing part due to shortage of money but if you want a glossy finish, polish is very necessary for your vehicle.
In order to polish your car, take a pad and apply some polish on it and wipe it on your vehicle’s surface. This process is very gradual and you have to run the polisher at a very slow speed so that you can spread it over the entire surface. Then boost the speed and get a glossy finish.
- Use synthetic wax for mirror finish:
Some people use polish but they are unaware of the fact that car waxing is as important for car’s finish as car polishing. You can use carnauba wax or synthetic polymer waxes also known as paint sealant and it includes Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax. They help to produce a deep, warm shine and they are very easy to apply as well.
You can use the wax by applying it on the foam applicator and then on the surface in a circular motion. Then use a microfiber towel and use it to wipe off the haze.
- Suck the dust in a right manner:
Some people clean their car’s interior by shampooing their carpets first which is a wrong way to clean a car. You can make your car even dirtier in this way. It is better to start at the top and then go to the downwards. It is recommended for you to vacuum the headliner first then cleaning dash, then console and then door panels. After cleaning all this, clean glass and nooks and crannies. Use a detailing brush to clean dust from hard-to-reach areas.
- De-stink the interior:
Buy an aerosol can of Dakota Non-Smoke and spray the headliner, seats, on door panels and carpet by holding it 12 to 14 inches away from the fabric. It will help to neutralize any bad odor or smoke. After spraying it, switch your car system to recirculation mode and turn the fan to a high speed. You can use a tissue near a blower motor and then spray it into the opening. Close all the windows during this process.
- Clean the leather:
If your car’s interior is made up of leather then you should buy a leather cleaning kit to clean your leather. Before removing stains from the leather, apply conditioner on it first. Rub the ink lifter on it after wiping it on pretreated leather. Wait for 30 seconds and then wipe it with a clean cloth. After it, use leather cleaner and leather protection cream on it.
- Clean out the junk:
If you slide your car’s seat forward, you will shockingly find your lost things such as a mobile phone, pen, pencil or several other things. You must clean all the trash and dust or dirt. Vacuum your seats, then remove floor mats and vacuum carpet. You can use brush attachment to clean dash and door panels. Vacuum all the handy door pockets as well.
- Deep cleansing of carpet and upholstery:
When you vacuum your carpets, most of the dirt removes in this way but some dirt remains on its surface. In order to clean the carpet perfectly, you should buy a carpet cleaning machine that helps to remove deep dirt from the fibers of the carpet. You can also clean cloth seats in this way. This machine sprays water and cleaner on the carpet and then sucks the dirt into a reservoir. If you cannot afford buying this machine, you can rent it out from the rental center or use a spray-on cleaner with a scrub brush as an alternative.
- Scrap off the annoying stickers:
All your stickers may hold a great importance but they look very annoying and disturbing and you should get rid of them. If you pull them at a 90 degree angle you can easily pull them off. They might leave a gummy residue behind when you pull them off but do not worry =. You can clean the surface by covering your dash with an old towel and dabbing on a degreaser. Then you can easily scrap and wipe it off from the surface.
- Wash top edges of the windows:
When you roll your windows partially, you may see a line of grime. Have you ever noticed where these lines came from? They come from the dirty top edges and there is a need to clean them as well. It will take a few minutes to wash them. You can also wash them while washing your entire vehicle. You can also clean them by using a cleaner and a clean rag.
- Clean air vents:
They are a main source of dirt and you need to brush them as well while detailing your car. You can also use any paint brush for this purpose or you can buy detailing brushes if you can afford them. Brush the crevices and clean them with the help of the brushes. Wipe the brushes with a rag and in this way clean all the crevices one by one.
- Clean nooks and crannies:
Trim lines also require detailing. In order to clean nooks and crannies, use a cloth and wrap it around the old screwdriver and spray an all-purpose cleaner on the cloth. Move this cloth in the trim lines to remove the dust. Go around all the buttons in this way and controls as well. Keep refreshing the surface of the cloth until you have done.
- Clean under the hood
Open your car from the front and check your engine whether it needs cleaning or not. This part requires cleaning as well so you cannot ignore that part. You can use any cleaner or cola soda to clean that area. It will remove dust and dirt as well as it will help to remove rust or corrosion marks on the battery.
- Wash the tires and wheels
Do not skip tire cleaning as it plays an important role in giving a fresh look to your car. You have to wash wheels, rims and recesses. Use any degreaser for this purpose and let it stay on the surface for 3 to 5 minutes. Then use water to wipe away all the dust, dirt and grime.