How to Detail Your Car Interior

After giving the outside of your car a thorough wash and wax, apply the same focus to the interior with a full detail. Follow these steps to learn how to detail your car interior like a pro.

picture of Person who Detail a Car Interior- ménage de l’habitacle

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

These items will help your car interior shine like new:

Armor All Car Care Kit

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Armor All Cleaning Wipes

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Step 2: Remove Loose Items and Clean the Floor Mats

Start by cleaning out your car. This means taking out any loose items, garbage, and floor mats.

Shake the mats to remove any large debris, then given them a vacuum. Use a carpet or upholstery cleaner on carpeted mats. For rubber, silicone, or vinyl mats, use a rubber floor mat cleaner. Alternatively, you can use some dishwashing soap mixed with warm water.

Rinse off the mats and let them hang dry or place them on a tarp. Don’t lay them directly on the ground—no point in bringing dirt back in!

Floor Mats

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Step 3: Vacuum Everything

Vacuum the entire car interior. Use the vacuum attachments and/or a compressed air gun to get into hard-to-reach spots.

Milwaukee Tool Vacuum Cleaner 1.6 Gal

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Step 4: Clean the Seats

For leather seats, start with a leather cleaning product, then apply a leather conditioner to keep the material soft.

If you have cloth seats, use a stain remover on any unwanted marks. Follow up with an upholstery cleaner. Rinse the cleaner off with a microfiber cloth slightly dampened with water (if the seats get too wet, mould will grow.) Use a dry towel to blot away excess water and let the seats air dry.

Microfiber Applicator Set Wax

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Armor All Leather Cleaning Wipes

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Step 5: Dust and Disinfect

Use a microfibre cloth to pick up any leftover dust and dirt. Anti-bacterial wipes can clear away most bacteria on your dashboard, console, steering wheel, and other interior surfaces. Only use wipes suited for the material you’re working on, and avoid any bleach-based products.

If you have removable cup holders, take them out and rinse them with soap and water. A microfibre sponge will remove any residue.

Step 6: Clean the Windows

Use a glass cleaner and microfibre cloth to wipe down the insides of your car’s windows and windshield. Apply cleaner to one cloth, wipe the window, and use a second clean cloth to wipe away the cleaner.

Microfiber Wash Mitt

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Rain-X Glass Cleaner (680ml)

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Step 7: Eliminate Odours

It’s hard to appreciate a clean car if it still has an unpleasant smell. Mix baking soda with a couple drops of essential oil in a plastic container. Cut a few slits in the lid and tuck the container securely under one of your seats to deodorize your car. Alternatively, you can use a gel air freshener.

Armor All Air Freshener

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Car Freshener

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Step 8: Apply Some Finishing Touches

Finally, lock in all your good work with protectant. Put any items back in your car that you need, like floor mats. Now you’re ready to welcome passengers into your squeaky clean car.

Professional Detailing

If you want to give your car interior a full makeover, or if you’ve collected some impossibly stubborn stains, consider going to a professional detailer. These pros will have expensive tools and products that aren’t worth purchasing as a DIYer. Professional detailing services typically cost between $100-$300.

With some affordable tools of your own and a bit of elbow grease, however, you can still do a quality detail job from home that you’ll be proud to show off.

For more on the benefits of detailing, check out this article . If you have any questions on detailing your car interior, visit your local NAPA Auto Parts store to speak with an expert.



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