How To Clean Your Steering Wheel And Dashboard
The first thing worth mentioning is that materials in your car are different than those your home, so you want to err on the side of caution when cleaning. You dont want the finishes to break down. Start by removing dry dirt and debris from the small seams and crevices. You can use a dry toothbrush or canned air to clean them out, then vacuum, says Gregory.
For additional dirt and germs, a damp microfiber cloth will actually remove 99 percent of bacteria thanks to the unique fiber structure. Its a great item to keep in your car cleaning kit but since youve got dirty hands touching the steering wheel and sweat building up, a little disinfecting could be just what you need. For a synthetic steering wheel, you can wipe it down with a microfiber cloth and a solution of two cups water and few drops of dish soap. You dont even want it to foam up, she explains.;
After the dashboard and steering wheel are clean, treat them to prevent cracks and wear. For leather, you can use Weimans leather wipes , while for interior plastic, vinyl, and rubber, you can use Armor Alls protectant wipes to help fading and discoloration. Theyre some of the best car interior cleaning products out there.
Cleaning And Conditioning Plastic Vinyl And Leather
Within every part of the car detailing and cleaning process, the ripple effect is always at play.
Meaning this; cleaning the fabric and carpeting areas of your car is one thing, but the very next question for most people will be “How to clean the vinyl, leather, and plastic within my car.
For this reason I have added these extra links for dedicated pages for these specific questions.
An Odor Killing Recommendation
Odor problems are easy to take care of with some of the new cleaners on the market. If you need something in a hurry, try Kids N Pets Stain & Odor Remover.
This cleaner use enzymes, a surfactant and denatured alcohol to remove stains and kill odors. The enzymes kill odors by stopping the organic material from decomposing.
So, when your kid or the dog throws up all over the backseat, spray Kids N Pets Stain & Odor Remover. The mess will go away.
Dont use it, and youll be smelling that odor for a long time.
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Cleaning & Treating Your Dashboard & Console
You look at the dashboard and console more than any other area of our cars interior. As such, it should receive special attention.
But thats not the only reason!
The dash and the deck under the rear window also take the brunt of sun exposure. Regular treatment is necessary to keep your dash from cracking and fading.
Caring for the dash and console is easy! Simply wipe them down with a damp towel every time you wash your car, and treat them with a vinyl protectant once a month.
To reduce the effects of the suns rays, use UV Protectant by 303 which is my personal favorite since it creates a nice satin finish.
The easiest way to treat the dash and console is to use a foam applicator pad.;Spray your vinyl protectant on the applicator, not on the dash or console, and wipe it in thoroughly.
Do this and it will go a long way towards preventing overspray on your glass and upholstery.
Dont forget to protect the steering wheel, turn signal levers and the shift boot.
Allow the vinyl protectant to soak in for 3 to 5 minutes, and then buff the dash and console dry with a microfiber detailing towel.
How To Clean The Center Console
The center console gets treated almost exactly like the steering wheel and dashboard, except youll want to spend more time on it with the vacuum. Youll really want to get in there with an attachment, and while you can use your regular vacuum, a small Shop-Vac will help you get into all of the small crevices and cup holders. Plus, its for wet and dry use, says Gregory.
Be sure to work any stubborn dirt out again with a toothbrush or canned air, and clean with a damp microfiber cloth and the cleaning solution above. There are parts of the console that can sometimes be removed and washed separately, as well. If thats the case, do it, says Hartford. In between deep cleanings, I like to use baby wipes to clean small spills and dirt, too.
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Protecting Your Car’s Interior Surfaces
Now that you spent all that time cleaning your vehicle we need to add some protection to prevent UV damage on things like plastics, vinyl, and leather.
Starting with your plastics & vinyl take your choice of interior conditioner/protectant and spay it on a new microfiber towel. After that rub the protectant into all your plastic and vinyl surfaces making sure to evenly apply. If you’re satisfied with how the finish looks, great! If it’s too glossy for you, take another microfiber towel and matte the gloss down until satisfied.
Complete the same process on the leather but with a dedicated leather conditioner/protectant. You want to make sure you don’t use a plastic/vinyl conditioner or protectant on leather because they are two completely different types of surfaces ;
Pro Tip: There are also ceramic interior coatings for your car’s interior! These ceramic interior coatings provide your interior surfaces far greater and longer lasting protection compared to your standard interior conditioner! Just like paint coatings each interior coating is different so make sure to follow manufacturer instructions during application.
Plastic Restore will help you clean grime off your door panels, interior panels, dashboard and any plastic surface. It also cleans any exterior plastic or vinyl!
How To Clean The Floors
Finally, its time for the floors. Clean car floors make a huge difference in how clean your car looks. Start by removing the mats and sliding your seats forwardjunk tends to build up behind them. Go over the mats and carpet with a brush-free attachment, according to Family Handyman. Now bring that vacuum inside for these other genius uses for a vacuum cleaner.
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Brush Out Any Pet Hair If Necessary
If you have pets and allow them in your car, your car interior most likely has at least a few strands of hair floating around. These tiny pieces of hair can easily get stuck into fabric and carpeting, which means youll likely need a tool to help brush it out. Use pet-specific hair removal brushes or rubber brushes to comb it out.
Pro Tips To Clean Your Cars Interior
- If you live in a part of the world that receives significant winter weather, its best to leave the deep cleaning for spring. Vacuum and remove trash from the interior, but a deep clean will be ruined the first time you step into the car with sand or salt on your boots.
- Make sure you like the smell of an air freshener before installing it and leaving it in your car. Theres nothing worse than an overpowering smell that youre not fond of.
- While youre cleaning the inside of your trunk, be sure to check underneath the shelf where the spare tire might live. Clean any leaves or dirt, inspect for any possible water damage , and check the air in the spare tire to make sure its properly inflated.
- For extreme detailing, Q-Tips can help get into tiny nooks and crannies.
- While cleaning your cars interior, its also a good time to sort through your glove box documents and make sure you have everything up to date.
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How Do You Get Stains Out Of Cloth Car Seats
First, read the short User Guide that comes with the Bissell SpotClean. This machine is great for car seats, car floors, stairs in your home, carpet, rugs , and even furniture.
You can find a great tutorial for how to clean a couch at home too.
But some upholstery, like furniture with velvet fabric, cant be cleaned with a power cleaner. So, check the user guide before using this cleaner on anything.
How To Clean Car Upholstery: What Would Darren Do
Today’s world is a world of free and endless information.
This is both the good news and the bad news. Many people like yourself become stuck due to way too many opinions and you find yourself frozen in anxiety trying to figure out which opinion to follow.
For this reason many of my long term followers that trust my decades of experience simple want to know what I would do. So I will start there if you think you are one of those people.
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Q: Do I Really Need To Use Dressing Like Armor All On My Car Interior
A: Its not absolutely required, and we understand those who hate the sheen that often comes with dressings. However, these products are not just designed to shine up the car, they also have built-in protection against elements like UV rays that could damage or degrade your interior throughout time.
What Not To Use To Clean Your Car
Both Kelley Blue Book and Consumer Reports advise against using hydrogen peroxide and bleach. Both chemicals can put a welcome end to the coronavirus, but they will also cause damage to the vinyl and plastics used in most modern vehicles today, writes Kelley Blue Book on their site. Under no circumstances should you use any ammonia-based cleaning products. If you find yourself without any cleaning products, using soap and water will work fine. Now that you have the cleanest car interior, check out these weird car features you may not have known you had.
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How To Clean Fabric Upholstery
The spills and messes in your car can embed in the fabric of your upholstery if left for too long. When you make a mess, its best to treat it immediately to help prevent stains and odors from taking over the interior of your car.
To clean car upholstery, start by spraying your upholstery with the following homemade all-purpose cleaner, making sure to work on one area at a time.
Using a nylon brush, scrub the upholstery gently, but firmly to ensure that you remove all the grime and stains. Next, with a microfiber cloth dipped in warm water, run it gently over the upholstery to pick up dirt.
Rinse the cloth as you collect dust, so you dont spread it around further. Once the area is clean, use a new rag to dry off the upholstery.
If your seats are made of a microfiber fabric, it can be a little more challenging to clean, as you dont want to get the surface too wet. Cleaning a microfiber car seat is just as easy as taking care of other types of upholstery, you just need to watch the amount of moisture you apply to the seats.
You can use a DIY microfiber cleaner that minimizes water exposure to your seats but gets them bright and clean by checking out a few of our recipes in the link.
To get the dirt and grime out from the seams of your upholstery, use an old toothbrush to clean the area. Finally, spray the upholstery with a fabric protector to help repel future stains and water.
- 1 cup of boiling water
These Car Cleaning Tips Will Get Your Car Looking New Again Or At Least New
Growing up with a dad and brother who were both motor heads, I learned to have pride in the car I drove. I learned to pull out all the gear in the backyard and get the outside to shine, down to the tires and lights. I painstakingly washed every inch by hand. Id spend an hour or more detailing the interior.
Then I had kids. And I made the mother of all car mistakes: I fell for a sweet deal on a dream car. There was only one hitch: ivory cloth interior! EEK! If you peeked in the windows, it looked like I was living in my car. These days, I take extra care daily to ensure that I will maintain at least an off-white appearance to the interior.
Here are some car cleaning tips and tricks Ive learned from the best in the business . They can help you reinvent your ride, inside and out.
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Don’t Forget The Trunk
Many individuals including detailers forget to clean out the trunk! So make sure to clear the area from large items and give it a nice deep vacuum.
Sometimes a cleaning brush is useful for trunk areas because of the lower quality carpet typically used in trunks. Brush down the trunk fabric with your cleaning brush and follow it up with a deep vacuum to remove dirt and grime. Repeat this process and use carpet shampoo or interior cleaner where needed.
The unique spray formula couldnt be easier to apply. Simply spray on, let it soak deep for 60 seconds and wipe off!
“Used on both interior and exterior plastic parts. I am very pleased with the results. The dashboard is very nice looking and does not attract dust. Bleached looking exterior parts look like original.” – Jack S
How To Clean And Maintain Your Car Interior
Whether you view them as a passion or just a simple means of transportation, cars are objectively major investments. Aside from real-estate, vehicles tend to be the single most expensive item that the average American owns, and as such, is extremely worthy of protecting and actively maintaining the value of. And along with a vehicles mechanical state and the condition of its exterior, its interior plays an enormous role in calculating the overall worth of a car or truck. So, with this in mind, weve spoken to seasoned auto detailing experts to bring you this definitive guide on how to clean and maintain your car interior.
Antique sports cars, full-size pickups, modern subcompacts, convertibles or open-tops: regardless as to what genre of vehicle youve got in your stable, if its got an interior cabin, this comprehensive guide will walk you through how to best properly upkeep and preserve the inside of your ride. On top of giving you a step-by-step guide on how to perform routine and deep-cleaning of your vehicles interior, well also be delving into our picks for the best auto interior cleaning and detailing products to use while doing so.
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Clean Then Sheen To Make Surfaces Shine
Always make sure to clean your dash and interior surfaces before using a shine-inducing gloss wipe or spray . If you dont, youll lock in some of the yuck underneath the more oily residue. This doesnt have to be done with fancy branded wipes or sprays you can use a damp cloth and plain water to get most of the dust and dead bugs from your dash and other surfaces. Its also a good idea, especially if you live in ultra-sunny climes to get the matte or non-glossy finishing spray . Its amazing how much a freshly buffed surface can create extra glare and brightness from any color surface. Your eyes will thank you for toning it down a little!
Use a foam brush to clean the vents. Photo: Amanda Williams
Cleaning Automotive Fabric Upholstery
Fabric is the most difficult upholstery to detail. Time consuming.
Unlike vinyl and leather, fabric upholstery easily soils and stains. Expect to spend 2 to 3 hours detailing a sedan with fabric upholstery, a little less time for a truck or two-seater.
The 2 basic types of fabric upholstery cleaners, foaming or non-foaming, are cleaners that penetrate and lift both dirt and stains to the surface where you can wipe them away.
For quick spot cleaning, get a spray-on/wipe-off cleaner.
These cleaners are strong and get deep into the soil or stain to thoroughly clean. But for a complete cleaning, I prefer good old soap and water.
Before we leave this topic, lets revisit something.
Ill say it again
The need for color fade testing by cleaning a small, inconspicuous area.;Do not use the product if it adversely changes fabric color or texture.
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Care Interior Stains And Smells
Again, the average car interior is easy prey for a myriad of stains and bad smells.
Stain and odor removal is almost a science unto itself.
Upholstery fabrics and carpets vary widely, as do the types of stains. However, in my experience, there is a correct method and a suitable cleaner for most car interior problems.
Dust The Dashboard Center Console Doors And Any Other Dusty Spots
Like washing your car from the roof to the side skirts, you want to clean your interior by working your way top-down. First you dust, then you clean, then you protect. For now, just do the dusting to get the loose stuff out of the way. You can use microfiber towels, dust grabbers like Swiffer pads, or dust wands, whichever you prefer.
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Cleaning The Central Console