Considering the amount of time that we spend in our vehicles, it is easy to get your vehicle cluttered and stained. And this gets worse if you have children. And although cleaning the exterior is not hectic, car interior cleaning is still a hustle. Which is the reason why some people opt to seek professional car detailing services? However, the cost of such services ranges from 200 to 500 dollars which is a quite expensive bearing in mind that you can do it yourself. The only thing you need to remember is to pay attention to areas where dust tends to accumulate and goes unnoticed and you will be well on your way to a cleaner car.

It is recommended that you do a thorough interior auto detailing every four to eight months. So in this article, we will categorize the cleaning tips based on the car’s interior region. This will include the car’s carpets and floor mats, seats, windows and mirrors, front panel, door panels, and even tips to remove odors from the interior of your car. Just know that each of these surfaces will require specific cleaning styles and equipment including a variety of chemical cleaning products, a vacuum cleaner, brushes, and applicators as well as items for wiping and polishing aka different rags, towels, and sponges.

Carpets and floor mats

The carpets and floor mats are among the dirtiest car interior surfaces, and it would be better to start with them. And, depending on how you like to clean your car, you can opt to clean them first or last. However, before you do any cleaning, you first have to de-clutter the car by removing all items and trash that don’t belong in the car.

Floor mats

To clean the floor mats, shake them vigorous to remove loose dirt. If there is some dirt stuck in the indentation, use a stiff brush to remove it. Then after removing all the dirt, use a hose to wash the mats. You don’t have to use detergents while doing this, but if you do then make sure you rinse the mats thoroughly.


Similarly, to clean the carpets use a vacuum cleaner to remove excess dirt. And then use either a steam cleaner or a car upholstery cleaner to wash the carpets. Leave them out to dry and reinsert them into the car only when they are fully dry. You might also need to use stain remover if you find stains on your carpet. And for stuck chewing gum try rubbing ice cubes on it and it should come right off.


Car seat come in many different materials and each requires a different cleaning method. Some of the common materials are cloth, leather, and vinyl. And don’t forget to also vacuum and dust the areas around and between the seats!

Here are the cleaning methods how to clean car seats of different materials.

Cloth upholstery

Before deciding on the products and method to use, you need to determine the state of the car seats. Are there stains or gum stuck to the seat? Because if there are no stains, a regular auto upholstery cleaner will work just fine. However, if there are stains then you will need to get a specialized stain remover in order to combat the stains.

Additionally, car seats also absorb various different odors, so I’d suggest you also get an odor elimination spray. This will make your car smell better and give it a more refreshed feel

But if you don’t want to make your seat wet or use harsh chemicals, layer the seats with some baking powder, wait a few hours and then use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the baking powder. This will not only clean your car seats but also remove odors.


Although leather gives your car seats a classic feel, it is one of the hard-to-clean materials out there. This is because it easily absorbs dirt. Luckily, there are many leather cleaning products currently available that you can use to maintain your leather seats.

Most of these cleaning products require you to spray them on the seats and rubbing them in with a towel. Afterward, dry the seats using a microfiber cloth and then leave them to dry for a few more hours, until completely dry.


This material is easy to clean and maintain and does not need any special cleaning product as most multipurpose car interior cleaning products will work just fine. However, make sure that the detergents you use are compatible with vinyl. Because you do not want to use something that will harm your vinyl seats and make them look bleak.

Windows and mirrors

Since both windows and mirrors of a car are glass surfaces, to clean them you will simply need a glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth. However, if your car is equipped with tinted windows, you do have to be cautious about the cleaning products you use on them since they are easily damaged by unsuited cleaning products, especially solutions containing ammonia.

Pro tip: To reduce streaking, spay the window cleaner on the cloth first and then clean your car windows and mirrors.

Frontal panel

Cleaning the frontal panel of a car is at times challenging since it usually contains many different buttons, switches, and vents. When cleaning this area, pay attention to the dashboard, air vents, and console.


When cleaning the dashboard of a car, start by vacuuming all the dust. Then apply your cleaning detergent and ensure that you cleaned all the areas of the dash. It is also important to note that the cleaning solution that you should use to clean your car’s dash will depend on the material used to make the dashboard.

Air Vents

The many parts of the air vent often make their cleaning tedious. To ease the cleaning of a car’s air vents, buy brushes with soft and long bristles and a compressed air dispenser. Because there will let you get rid of all the dust stuck in the vents.


This is another hard surface to clean since you have to pay attention to all the buttons and controls that are located in this part of the car. However, cleaning can be swift if you have the right tools – a cloth and a flat head screwdriver or a plastic knife. Wrap the cloth around the tip of the screwdriver or knife and use it to clean all the nooks and crannies in the console of your car.

Door panels

Clean the door panels using some of the products that you used for other interior parts and that are suitable to use on the material that your car’s door panels are made out of. And don’t forget to clean areas on the door panels such as the cup holders.


Even after cleaning the interior of your car top to bottom, some odors might still linger. Because scents like cigarette smoke are really hard to remove. But not impossible with the right tools.
You just have to use the right odor removing product. But, before settling on a specific product, ensure that the horrible smell is not originating from something like rotten food between your seats or worse. Because in this case removing the source of the odor will fade the lingering smell as well.

Pro tip: Hang a car deodorizer in your car to neutralize any unpleasant scents that might pop up in your car.

Unlike professional car detailing, do it yourself interior cleaning is inexpensive and easy when you have an idea of how to handle each surface and what products to use. And the tips above will help you do that without having to spend hours in stores or online trying to decide which products and tools to purchase. Happy cleaning!

Billy Miller
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