What are the best interior cleaning and detailing tips?
In all my years as a mobile auto detailer, interior detailing has always been the most difficult, most rewarding and most scrutinized by the customer receiving the service.
The truth is the interior of your car deserves just as much attention as the exterior – maybe even more, because the interior can suffer from some unrecoverable damage if not properly take care of or if not cleaned correctly.
Come a long the journey as I show you the best interior cleaning tips on this 2004 Hyundai.
(I know super sexy stuff, but hey why not)
Step 1: Clean out your car.
– you want to be able to see the interior for exactly what it is. You don’t want it cluttered with trash, clothes, past due bills or anything else that is hiding the dirt underneath.
Step 2: Evaluate the damage and come up with a game plan.
– start a mental check list of the areas you want to see cleaned and get organized
– take the floor mats out.
– push the front seats all the way back.
Step 3: Vacuum throughout.
– this is the vacuum I recommend:
Also, get the “detailers kit” it’s well worth the upgrade. The stock hose that comes with this vacuum sucks big time.
– we are working in stages to ensure optimum results from your efforts
– a good vacuum job will remove loose dirt, crumbs and debris. The last thing you want when you start shampooing your seats and mats is to create a mud pile on your seat. Take the extra time a vacuum good.
Step 4: We are ready to start cleaning!!
Product recommendations for interior cleaning:
- Ideal for reconditioning all interior surfaces.
- Superior foaming action gently lifts the dirt away while its unique blend of fabric softeners and optical
- Strong and fast acting for the toughest jobs
- Residue-free performance prevents unsightly white residue stains
- Quickly breaks down even the toughest grease
- Easy to use, spray on and wipe off
- Dilutes up to 4:1 allowing for varying levels of shine from high gloss to a satin appearance
- Produce the highest shine possible on non-painted rubber, plastic, or vinyl on interior or exterior
- Safe water-based formula with a pleasant smell
- Gentle & Soft – Won’t scratch your wheels or interior
- Designed for Wheels, Interior, Exterior and Engine detailing
- Soft horse hair for delicate surfaces
- Excellent on leather
- Angled for hard to reach areas.
- Designed specifically to be effective yet gentle on pigmented leather surfaces
- Perfect for removing dirt from deep graining of pigmented leathers and to dust off deep edges and folds
- Also ideal to clean plastic surfaces in car interiors
- Practical, durable and efficient. Can also be used to clean textile and Alcantara materials
- 100% machine washable, super-soft microfiber cloths are ideal for cleaning
- Lint-free, streak-free cleaning, with a unique design that won’t scratch surfaces, paints
- Commercial steam cleaner at residential price.
- 31 Accessories. 12 foot hose.
- Finger tip Controls. Easy to use.
Step 5: Start in the driver seat and work your way around the car.
– you want to make sure you are cleaning every possible inch of the car. In order to do that you just be organized in your cleaning. Start in one part of the car like the drive side front seat and work your want to the back, then eventually up to the passenger side front.
– wipe down the dash, steering wheel and center console.
Step 6: The door panels.
Open the door fully and saturate the panel with your all purpose cleaner.
*don’t worry about getting the glass, we will clean that last*
Let the product dwell on the surface for a minute or so.
Wipe away all the dirt with a dedicated microfiber towel.
I prefer to not add a dressing. But if you like to add an interior dressing or protectant this would be the idea time.
Step 7: Time to clean the seats!
– if you have leather seats check out our guide on how to properly clean your leather seats.
Depending on how dirty the seat is will determine how much product you need to use. Again, work in steps, sometimes less is more. You do not want a ton of product on the fabric if you don’t have to.
Wipe dry with your microfiber towel.
An added step – vacuum the seat again to insure the seat isn’t soaking wet.
*Pro tip* I’m completely obsessed with my steamer machine. It’s so versatile with all it’s different attachments. It works great on heavy stains and to get in between the seat/center console area.
A steamer machine is also great for cleaning the seat rails and heavy stains.
Step 8: Time to clean the mats!
SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB
Step 9: Protection – always protect your investment. Just like protecting the exterior of your car, its important to protect the interior from future stains.
Product Recommendations for interior protection:
- Repels liquids and blocks stains
- Won’t change the look, feel or breathability of fabrics
- Safe to use on delicate and dry clean only fabrics such as silks and wools
- Creates an invisible shield to repel water and stains
- Bonds with fibers preventing odors that linger to penetrate fibers, working as a odor shield against unpleasant odors
- Will not harm automotive finishes, chrome, trim, glass, vinyl, rubber or plastic windows
- Strengthens and restores water repellency
- Safe for synthetic and natural fibers
- Made in the USA
- Greatly increases stain resistance
- Maintains colorfastness