Most of us spend 8 to 15 hours a week inside our cars, so it makes sense that we should keep them neat and tidy. Yet finding the time to detail the inside of the car is difficult with our busy schedules. If you take just five minutes each time you wash your car to remove the trash, shake out the mats, and wipe down the dash, console and seats, you can stay on top of this detailing chore. Then when it comes time for a full interior detail, the task will not seem quite so daunting. A few car valeting tips can help you maintain a good looking car.
The first order of business is getting all of the bulk items out of the interior – loose change, receipts, gum wrappers, toys and the handful of parking tickets that have been hiding under the seat – anything that is too large to vacuum up or you want to save.
With all of the large debris removed, take some time to evaluate the condition of your interior. Is it primarily dusty with a stain or two in the carpet, or are food stains, pet odours and ground-in dirt more prevalent? Assess the damage and let’s start cleaning.
A good vacuum is always needed after some neglect because of the number of things that can be tracked into a car. There’s no special science to car vacuuming. You need a good vacuum and a few attachments. The two most important attachments are the crevice attachment and the dust brush attachment. Start your vacuuming job by pulling out the floor mats. Shake out the mats to remove any loose dirt. Push the front seats all the way forward. Use the crevice tool to vacuum the cracks of the seats, and between the seats and carpeted areas. Vacuum the rear carpet. Use the crevice tool to vacuum around the seat tracks and under the front seats. Push the front seats all the way back to work on the front upholstery. Use the round dust brush attachment to vacuum the console, vents and door panels.
2. Wipe Down Vinyl
We look at the dashboard and console more than any other area of our car’s interior. It makes sense, therefore, that we should give it some special attention.
In order to keep your dash from cracking and fading, regular treatment is necessary. Caring for the dash and console is really pretty easy. Simply wipe them down with a micro fibre and vinyl/plastic cleaner every time you wash your car, and treat them with upholstery protectant once a month.The easiest way to treat the dash and console is to use a microfibre cloth. Spray your vinyl/plastic cleaner on the applicator, not on the dash or console, and wipe it in thoroughly.
3. Door Panels
It’s important to thoroughly clean around door handles, pulls and window cranks, using a soft detailing brush your choice of interior cleaner. Be sure to clean and dry the speaker grilles and the wells on armrests, too. If the door panels have storage pockets, use your sponge or wash mitt to clean in these areas, as they tend to collect a lot of dirt. When you finished simply dry off with a microfibre cloth.
Once the carpet/upholstery is completely free of dirt, you can focus on the carpet. Search for any stains or spills, and try diluting the spill with a small amount of cold water and blot it with a towel. For best results, use a specific car carpet/upholstery Cleaner that is formulated to remove the most difficult carpet and upholstery stains.
For most effective results, treat stains immediately. Start by testing a small area for colourfastness. If the colour is affected, do not use. Spray entire area with Cleaner until damp. Blot or rub area with a clean damp cloth, rinsing out cloth as required. If necessary, repeat until the stain is completely removed.
Clean the windows last, because it will have grime and dirt from the other steps. You’ll get the best look if you buff the glass with a microfibre cloth, which does a great job of getting rid of cleaner residue. That residue, as well as oils from your skin, causes streaks and spots on the inside of windows. Use glass cleaner to wash the inside of windows. Spray the cleaner directly on the cloth to avoid streaking and getting the cleaner on the upholstery.
With as much time as we all spend inside our vehicles, it only makes sense to make the interior as clean and comfortable as possible. Regular basic detailing of our car’s interior is the best way to keep it looking good and can prevent stains and problems from becoming permanent