Speed-Clean Your Car Interior Checklist

Have your car looking like new in just 15 minutes. Gather a few tools—a small plastic bin, garbage bags, glass cleaner, car cleaning wipes, air-conditioner treatment, a flat-head screwdriver, paper towels, and a hand vac—and get ready for your car to look fresh off the lot.

  1. Check Minute 1:

    Toss items that shouldn’t be in the car into a small bin. Throw trash into a garbage bag. Spritz the cup holders with glass cleaner and let sit.

  2. Check Minutes 2 and 3:

    Using the wipes, clean the dashboard, center console, inside door pockets, steering wheel, and gearshift. Spray air-conditioner treatment into the air vents below the windshield and let sit.

  3. Check Minutes 4 and 5:

    Clean leather seats with a few wipes. (Seats that are upholstered will get vacuumed later.)

  4. Check Minutes 6 and 7:

    Wrap a wipe around the end of a flat-head screwdriver, and run it along the buttons and switches on the dashboard. Wipe out the cup holders with paper towels.

  5. Check Minutes 8 through 10:

    Spray glass cleaner on paper towels and wipe all the windows, including the windshield, sunroof, and rear window.

  6. Check Minute 11:

    Remove the floor mats and whack them against each other to dislodge any dirt.

  7. Check Minutes 12 through 14:

    On the driveway, vacuum the floor mats with the bare hose of a hand vac for maximum power (do not attach a tool). Vacuum the seat upholstery and foot wells, shifting the front seats fully forward, then back, to hit every spot.

  8. Check Minute 15:

    Replace the mats and return the seats to their original positions. Open all the doors and let fresh air blow through.