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Maintaining Your Car Interior: Cleaning & Care Tips

Keeping the interior of your car clean is important not only for aesthetic reasons but also because it contributes to your health and has an impact on your driving safety. Regular maintenance and cleaning inside your car will also increase the lifespan of many components, leading to higher resale values down the line, so don’t skimp on this easy but important task!

23 2021 Ram 1500 Rebel TRX Interior

Importance of Maintaining a Clean Car Interior

Some of the advantages that come from a clean car interior are obvious, but there are also some that you may not think about right off the bat. Here are a few:


  1. A Comfortable and Inviting Environment – When the interior of your car is clean and free from clutter, it provides the driver and passengers with an inviting space to pass the time between destinations. If you spend more than a few minutes every day inside your car you will appreciate the serenity that comes from a clean, clutter-free interior.
  2. Safer Driving Experience – Clean windows and mirrors are essential for the safe operation of any motor vehicle. If you can see what’s happening around you, you can prevent many accidents from happening before they even present themselves.
  3. Pleasant Odors – A dirty car interior inevitably contributes to unpleasant smells, stemming from those forgotten food items and road sludge that grind into the carpet and emanate foul stenches.
  4. Improved Resale Value – Accumulations of dirt and grime not only look bad, but they can permanently damage your carpet, upholstery, seats, and other parts of the vehicle. By cleaning all these components regularly you will improve the functionality of your vehicle and maintain its resale value.
  5. Good Hygiene and Health – A regular cleaning routine will reduce the accumulation of dust, mold, and other pathogens that can contribute to sickness, especially for folks with sensitivity issues. You can promote a healthy environment with a good cleaning routine, performed on a recurring schedule.
05 2021 Ford Bronco Black Diamond Interior Seats

Establish a Regular Cleaning Routine

The upside to a regular cleaning routine is that maintaining an almost clean vehicle is much easier than waiting for the garbage and grime to accumulate before tackling the job. If you complete a full interior car cleaning about once a month it should only take you a handful of minutes to complete the undertaking. Some of the tasks that you will want to include every time you clean your interior are:

  • Declutter – This is the first obvious step in cleaning your interior. Remove any trash that has fallen to the floor, is sitting in cup holders, or is hiding under the seats. 
  • Vacuum the Carpet – Pull the floor mats out of the footwells and thoroughly vacuum the carpets, paying special attention to all those corners and crevices where gravel and dirt accumulate. The dead pedal and the gas pedal on the driver’s side often see greater accumulations of grit.
  • Wipe the Controls and Surfaces – Use a microfiber cloth with a cleaning product to wipe all your dash surfaces, steering wheel, and all controls. Dust likes to settle into cracks and the spaces around buttons and knobs, so pay special attention to these areas.
  • Fabric and Upholstery Maintenance – There are several effective fabric and upholstery cleaning products on the market and if you use them with a microfiber cloth you can draw most of the dirt and grime out of your fabrics. This greatly extends the lifespan of your interior!
  • Organize Your Interior – Find a logical place for all the items you need to keep inside the vehicle and remove any items that aren’t essential. Most cars have a plethora of map pockets, glove boxes, and other storage cubbies to hide all those small items.
  • Clean All the Glass – Your mirrors, windshield, and side glass all need to be cleaned thoroughly so that you have an untarnished view looking forward and backward. The best technique for how to clean car interior glass is to use a microfiber cloth with a cleaning fluid and wipe all the surfaces until they are free of streaks.

Following these procedures regularly is the easiest way to keep things clean.

    10 2014 Toyota 4Runner Rear Interior

    Recommended Cleaning Products

    As you can see from the previous paragraphs, a set of clean microfiber cloths is your best friend when it comes to interior car cleaning. You can use these cloths with water to clean many surfaces, but for a deeper clean it can be helpful to use specialized products, like WeatherTech TechCare Interior Detailer. Products like this penetrate the material that is being cleaned and clings to dirt particles, loosening them from the material and allowing your microfiber cloth to lift the gunk out. This process works well on hard surfaces, and soft surfaces, and can even be very effective for fabrics and carpets.

    For stubborn stains and odor removal, automotive carpet and upholstery cleaner can help make the job a lot easier.

    Finally, when it comes to cleaning your glass surfaces, like mirrors and windows, nothing beats a dedicated window cleaning product like WeatherTech TechCare Glass Cleaner. It even includes anti-fog additives to reduce interior fogging.

    06 ford f150 interior

    Common Challenges to Cleaning Your Car Interior

    The most common challenge to cleaning your car interior is leaving the problem for too long. If you put off this task, you will find that the stains multiply and the time and effort you put into cleaning them increases dramatically.

    Other challenges you may face can include:

    • Areas that are Difficult to Reach – There are always places where your hands and vacuum nozzle don’t fit, but you can move seats forward and backward to their limit to reach as many of those spots as possible. Also consider using microfiber brushes, compressed air, or sponges to reach challenging spots.
    • Deep Stains – For the deepest stains you will want to use a dedicated cleaning product and you may need to go back a few times to attack the same area.
    • Pet Hair Accumulation – Our four-legged friends bring us a lot of joy daily, but cleaning up after them can be a hassle period. Use a rubber brush to agitate the matted areas while you suck up the offensive hair with a vacuum cleaner.

    Cleaning your car interior regularly cannot only provide you with a pleasant and inviting place to spend your driving, but it can also be therapeutic to invest time regularly in this simple, but meaningful task. Start your car cleaning routine this weekend!