Your Ultimate Clean Car

Here in the Valley, people spend time in their cars. Because of that, and because we want to make our vehicles last, it makes sense to keep them looking their best. In fact, we spend so much time in our cars, that we sometimes don’t notice when they become a bit shabby.
We're going to review the steps you need to take to make the inside of your car look amazing.Perhaps you’d like to have the outside of the car washed and waxed before you begin.


Plastic trash bags
Vacuum with a brush attachment
Soft bristle brushes, including a toothbrush
Vinyl cleaner
Microfiber towels
Window cleaner
Paper towels or newspaper
Leather cleaner (if needed)
Carpet cleaner or 409

First, take everything out of the car. This includes things you’ll put back later. Use the plastic bags for the garbage. Slide the seats up and back to make sure you got everything. Include the ashtray, the console, the seat pockets, the glove box, and the trunk. Empty it as though you were going to sell it. Set aside the things which aren’t trash. 

Take the floor mats out and if they’re plastic, hose them down so they have time to dry while you clean the rest of the car. 

Brush attachment for hard surfaces.

Brush attachment for hard surfaces.

Vacuum the entire non-fabric portions of the car. Start with the brush attachment at the top of the dashboard, and work your way down and around. Then do the console and doors. Use a systematic approach so you don’t miss anything. Don’t forget to vacuum the headliner, under the seats and beneath the back window. Take your time doing this so you don’t miss anything.

Remove the brush attachment and put the claw or head attachment on the vacuum hose to clean fabric seats and carpeting. Don’t forget the backs and sides of the seats. If your floor mats are made of fabric, vacuum them. If they’re really dirty, use carpet shampoo on them.

Claw attachment for seats and carpet.

Claw attachment for seats and carpet.

Then use the crevice tool on the vacuum to clean every crack and crevice. If crevices have caked-in dirt, use the toothbrush to brush it out.

Next, use a bigger, soft bristle brush and vinyl cleaner to clean any dirt and grime on the vinyl portions of the doors. Wipe them down with a microfiber towel, using new portions of the towel when the old part gets dirty so you’re not just moving the dirt around.

After that, wash all of the windows. If you find the windows keep smearing, they’re still dirty. If your windows are especially grimy, you may need to use 409 cleaner on them before you wash them with window cleaner.

Crevice tool for cracks, console, glove box.

Crevice tool for cracks, console, glove box.

Finally, use upholstery cleaner on especially dirty portions of the seats, on any stains, spills, or spots.  Use carpet cleaner on the carpeted portions, and leather cleaner/conditioner on an leather parts as needed.

Return the seat mats to their proper places, and then return your needed belongings into the car. If it still isn’t up to snuff, consider replacing the steering wheel cover, seat covers, floor mats, and dash cover. 

If the car still has odors after you’ve cleaned it, you may want to use an air freshener or dryer sheets beneath the seats. If the car only smells when you turn it on, you may need a new cabin air filter if your car has one. ALso, consider adding new windshield wipers, and if your headlights are dingy, you can buy a headlight restoration kit for under $25

While this may seem like quite a lot of work, you might be surprised by what an excellent cleaning will do for the car.  

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