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.
Step 1: Gather Your Tools
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.