Interior Cleaning and Conditioning How To's
Other people may admire the outside your vehicle, but you see the inside every time you drive. Depending on how you use your vehicle, the interior may need even more TLC than the paint! This guide will take you through the basics of interior care. After all, it’s what’s on the inside that counts!
The interior of your car is a relatively small space. Small messes have a huge impact! Keep your interior looking great with weekly quick-cleanings. A little time spent cleaning each weekend will keep your monthly super clean-up from taking up your whole Saturday!
Weekly Cleaning Regimen
- Use a Cobra Supreme 530 Microfiber Towel to wipe down all solid surfaces. This microfiber cloth will catch the accumulated dust and minor spills that have occurred since the last detailing.
- Remove pet hair in seconds with the Rubber Pet Brush. It takes just a minute or two to brush pet hair off the seats.
- Floor mats probably bear the brunt of abuse during the week. Shake them out if they’re not too bad. If you have a Metro VAC N GO 500 High Performance Hand Vac at your disposal, go ahead a give them a quick vacuuming. This little machine isn’t cumbersome to use and it has great suction for a hand vac.
Unless you made a big mess that week, this is all you need to do on a weekly basis.
Monthly Cleaning Regimen
Give your interior a thorough cleaning about once a month. If you get into a habit, no spot or stain will go unnoticed.
- If you own the Metro Vac ‘N Blo you’ll find the clean-up a breeze. The Vac N Blo's crevice attachments make it easy to get into all those tight spots where only dirt and pocket change go.
- Break out your Wolfgang Spot Eliminator and make carpet and upholstery stains vanish. Use our recommended Mat and Carpet Scrub Brush to work the cleaner into the spot and blot it away with a clean towel. Once the spot is dry, you can re-vacuum the treated area to fluff the carpet pile again.
- Wipe down all vinyl, plastic and rubber surfaces with a damp Cobra Microfiber Detailing Cloth. You can use either plain water or a cleaner, like McKee's 37 Total Interior Cleaner. Many rubber and vinyl protectants have some cleaning ability so, unless you have major dressing build-up or stains, you can go straight to the McKee's 37 Interior Surface Protectant.
Warning! Avoid silicone-based protectants. Silicone leaves an oily residue and it attracts dust. Over time, it can turn your dashboard yellow. Stick to water-based protectants and you’ll never have to worry about a greasy, yellow interior.
- Next clean the interior glass using a non-ammonia glass cleaner, like McKee's 37 Krystal Vision Glass Cleaner or Stoner Invisible Glass Pump Spray. Both of these cleaners are safe on tinted windows. Use the Waffle Weave Microfiber Glass Towel to wipe the glass clean with no streaks or lint. To avoid overspray, mist the towel with the glass cleaner, rather than spraying it directly on the glass.
- You will need the Mini Two-Way Detailing Brush to get inside the vents and in the seams where otherwise only dust, lint and the stray coins will travel. These areas are often overlooked and difficult to clean, but it makes a big difference in the overall appearance of your vehicle’s interior.
- Vinyl seats will respond best to Pinnacle Leather and Vinyl Cleaner for spills and dust. It also works superbly on leather. UV exposure has disastrous effects on both leather and vinyl so we have found the best product on the market today in UV protection is “ozone safe” 303 Aerospace Protectant. Coat your vinyl seats with 303 for lasting protection. The finish is clean, clear, and non-greasy.
That’s the lowdown on interior care. If you need more information on the care and conditioning of leather seats, please visit our guide entitled, “Proper Leather Care”.
You can’t see them. You can’t escape them. Interior car odors are everywhere! It can feel like you’re trapped in a fish bowl of bad smells when you have an odor problem in your vehicle. Fortunately, there are some excellent products on the market to quickly and permanently eliminate odors.
Dakota Odor Bombs work as foggers or as quick-burst air fresheners. They eradicate odors in the air, on fabric, and on carpet. They are available in several scents to suit your taste. Dakota Non-Smoke is an odor-eliminating spray that is particularly effective at removing the smell of cigarette smoke. Besides being highly effective in automobiles, Dakota products work well in the home, in RVs, and in hotel rooms.
Another excellent option is the Clean Air Genie Fogger. This one-time-use deodorizer permeates fabrics, air vents, and the air to destroy odors. It produces a temporary clean scent that gradually fades, but the foul smell never returns.