How to Clean Every Part of Your Car's Interior
Your car is basically an extension of your home, but on wheels. Between a morning commute and carrying around the kids, things can more than a little messy. If we're being honest, it's pretty incredible how quickly your car can go from pristine to looking like an outtake from an episode of Hoarders. Dirt, stains, dried-on mystery gunk in your cup holders—the silver lining is that at least your car is a lot smaller than your house. Meaning it's much easier (and faster) to clean. We got some expert tips on car interior cleaning and will walk you through every step.
Before we get into the cup holders, car mats, and car cleaning products, let's address some general car cleaning tips that will help keep your vehicle in good shape, longer.
- Toss the trash. Every single time you leave your car, where you're going into a store or arriving at home, throw the trash away. Trash is the biggest mess maker leading to mystery odors, spills, crumbs, and stains, explains cleaning expert and author of The Cleaning Ninja Courtenay Hartford. Even car clutter like papers, bags, and gym or sports equipment should leave the car regularly.
- Prevent sticky situations. Cup holders get gross fast, especially if you have young kids. You won't believe what you can find in the bottoms. Prevent those messes going forward by sticking silicone cupcake liners inside at least the cup holders in the back seat, recommends Jennifer Gregory, brand manager for the home cleaning service Molly Maid. They can get tossed into the dishwasher if they get sticky.
- Do a quick dusting. Waiting for the kids at soccer or letting your car warm up? Keeping a microfiber cloth or Swiffer duster in the car will let you clean up smaller messes in-between major cleans. Taking a minute to do that when you have time will really minimize the need for a deep clean.
While the goal is not to have it get to this point, sometimes you need to do a deep interior car clean. So, here's how to clean your car's interior from top to bottom—which is exactly what you want to do. Start from the upper surfaces and work down. There's no point in cleaning the carpet to have dirt fall right back on the floor, after all.