Top 10 Car Interior Cleaning Tips

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An overlooked aspect of basic car maintenance is keeping the interior clean. If you can spend a few minutes cleaning each month, it will keep your car looking (and smelling) good as new.
This is far more effective than paying for an expensive interior detail once a year, and you get to reap the benefits every time you drive. Considering the average American spends an hour behind the wheel each day, why not make it as nice as possible?
A clean car will also impress your passengers. You’ll no longer have to say "Excuse the mess!" as you swipe empty takeout containers and candy wrappers from the passenger seat. And if you are planning to sell your car one day, maintaining the interior is an easy way to boost its value.
Despite this, especially if you have kids or pets, keeping the inside of your vehicle clean can feel like you’re fighting a losing battle. Read on to discover 10 car interior cleaning tips that can help you keep the mess under control.
A person cleaning the interior of their car
Keeping your car’s interior clean is a constant battle.

Cleaning tips for when you’re in a hurry

Picture it, your mom calls, her car has broken down and she needs you to pick her up asap. The only problem is your car looks like the dumpster behind Wendy’s and smells like it too. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting your car’s interior looking presentable in 10 minutes or less.
  1. Clear trash. Grab a plastic bag and fill it with every piece of garbage you can find. Remove anything that’s not screwed down. If it’s not garbage, hide it in the trunk. Consider turning the center console into a trash can (just insert another bag) for future use.
  2. Wipe down surfaces. Use cleaning wipes for expediency, and the lemon scent should help cover up less desirable odors.
  3. Clean cup holders. As explained by Family Handyman, cup holders are often the grossest part of a car’s interior. Pop them out (if possible) and give the insides a clean.
  4. Shake out floor mats. Ideally, you should scrub floor mats with soapy water, or even a specialist carpet cleaner, and allow them to air dry before putting them back in your car. But your mom’s waiting, just shake them out to remove the majority of crumbs and dirt.
  5. Remove hair from the seats. This sounds like a time-consuming chore, especially if you have a dog. However, as explained by the Family Handyman, if you have rubber work gloves you can just rub a hand over the seats and most of the hair will stick to it.

Cleaning tips for when you’ve got more time

If you have an hour to spend cleaning the inside of your car, you can do a professional job with a few simple supplies.
  1. Clean the interior windows. Use a window cleaning solution and paper towel to clear fingerprints and other built up grime from your interior windows. Simply cleaning the windshield (inside and out) can make it feel like you’re driving a brand new car.
  2. Get into the crevices. Family Handyman has an ingenious way of tackling those hard-to-reach spaces. Grab an extra paint stirrer from your local hardware store, and wrap the end with microfiber cloth to gather crumbs, dust, and hair from less accessible areas.
  3. Vacuum seats and floors. Vacuum every area of the vehicle where you can get the nozzle, including under the pedals, inside door storage compartments, and even the trunk.
  4. Remove stains. Some stains are notoriously stubborn, but you can make an effective stain remover at home. Family Handyman suggests mixing two cups of water, one cup of vinegar, and a tablespoon of dish soap into a spray bottle. Spray the affected area, let it sit for 15 minutes, and then wipe clean with a wet cloth.
  5. Try a homemade air freshener. Store bought air fresheners have a sickly smell, which may mask other odors, but aren’t much of an improvement. Why not make your own with a scent you know you like? Simply mix one cup of baking soda and five drops of any essential oil into a jar. Wait 24 hours and then shake it up. Sprinkle the solution onto your car’s floor and leave it to soak. After 20 minutes, vacuum up the baking soda. The delightful essential oil smell will linger for weeks afterwards.
So there you have it, 10 simple tips for cleaning the interior of your car! Please note, Jerry cannot be held responsible for your mom or other family members demanding more rides as a result of this advice.

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