Cleaning the interior part of the car can be tricky – and it may take forever too! But if you know how to make it efficient, you can cut off the cleaning time and still resulting in shiny and polished outcome. Yes, the process may take more than an hour, but you will end up with satisfying result and squeaky clean ride. So, what are the major focuses of the clean-up?
Collect and Remove Trash
Collect any visible debris and trash left on the car. If you have kids or pets, it’s normal to see an empty milk cartoon on the floor or a used straw lying here and there. Before you can start with the cleaning, you need to collect them all and remove them. If there are still crumbs left, you can vacuum it later.
Remove the (Car) Mat
After you have collected the trash, it’s time to bring out the mat. If the mat is dirty, try to contain the dirt ON it so it won’t add up more dirt inside the car. Make sure that you have removed the mat on the driver’s side, passenger’s side, and on the back side.
Once the bigger trash and car mat have been removed, you can start with the vacuuming. The vacuum usually comes with different nozzles. Use them to make sure that you have performed thorough cleaning on all areas.
Wash the Mat
Shake the mat – outside of the car, of course, to make sure that any remaining dirt or dust will be removed. Then, you can use hot water and soap to scrub the mat. If you have a special foaming mat cleaner, you can use it. Dry it with air dry.
Now it’s time to wipe the windows – on the interior as well as exterior parts. Use soft cloth or microfiber type and a special window cleaner. Use the ones that don’t contain ammonia – it can do serious damage to interior plastic. To clean it efficiently, start from the top. Lower the window (only a bit) and work your way down. This enables you to catch the drips and you can clean them thoroughly. It is also better to use a spray bottle for more efficient cleaning.
Wipe (Any) Grime
Grime can stick to any visible surface. So, use a microfiber cloth to clean the dashboard, the headrest, and all surfaces on inside the car. It includes the door panel on back passenger. If you have kids, they tend to touch those surfaces with their sticky hands.
Tackle the Smell
You can try dry baking soda to sprinkle it on the cloth seats and carpet. Leave it be overnight. Vacuum it the next day. Put some activate charcoal or baking soda in a (sealed) plastic container. Cut just a small slit on the lid. Put it under the seat – pick one of them. It will help controlling the smell. Change it once a month and you won’t have any smell problem anymore.
Deal with Center Console
Wipe the surface. If there is a removable cup holder, remove it and soak it in warm water – already mixed with a little (dishwashing) liquid. Use a sponge to scrub it. Let it air dry before assembling them again inside the car. If there are tough areas, use damp cotton swab. You can also a dull knife. Wrap it with a damp cloth or paper towel.
Focus on the Steering Wheel
By using soft cloth or microfiber cloth, don’t forget to clean up the steering wheel. You want to disinfect the area, including the knobs on gear shift. Then use a dry cloth to dry it up, and leave it for air dry.
Deal with Stains
You can try a homemade solution by mixing a cup of vinegar, a tablespoon dish soap, and two cups of water in a spray bottle. When there is stain on the carpet or seat or any surface, spray it. Let it be for around 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, use a damp cloth for wiping. You can use wet cloth but it would be better with only damp cloth.
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Of course, there are still small details that you need to consider, but in most parts, all of these methods have covered the major parts of the cleaning process.