EASY STEPS FOR A PROFESSIONAL CAR INTERIOR DETAIL
Clean and detail the interior of your car like a pro with these easy to follow steps.
If you’re looking to freshen up the interior of your car for that brand new feeling, but can never get it done like the professionals, that’s because these guys have had sometimes years of mastering the craft. The tools they use, the attention to detail and the various products they use makes a world of difference.
But you too can have the same results with a few tweaks to your car cleaning routine. You will know how to freshen up your car’s interior and protect different trims of plastics, vinyl, leather fabric, carpets and glass.
Some of the tools you will need are a vacuum cleaner, a steam cleaner, microfiber towels and a few other different products. Seems complicated, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a no-brainer and even a fun and relaxing time for yourself.
The first thing you'll need to do is remove all unwanted items, garbage and floor mats.
2. Clean the floor mats
Start by rinsing them and then use a degreaser spray or all purpose cleaner all over the rubber mats, and brush them with a carpet brush. If the mats are fabric, start by vacuuming them thoroughly and spray a carpet and upholstery cleaner, and finish it by wiping away the excess with a clean microfiber towel.
3. Vacuum the seats
Move the seats back and forth to clean all of the interior with your vacuum cleaner. Make sure you get access to all the hidden nooks and crannies, and into the folds of the seats. Whether they are upholstery or leather, vacuum them thoroughly.
4. Dust the interior
With a soft bristle detailing brush combined with your vacuum cleaner, dust the interior (including the air vents). While you are doing this, make sure you keep the vacuum cleaner close to the brush duster, to pick all the dust up and prevent it from spreading all over again. Work from top to bottom, never from bottom to top because when you dust the top all the dirt particles will fall and you will need to dust the bottom again. So keep the bottom for later.
You can also use an antiseptic slime that can mold to almost any surface to help you remove any dust before brushing. It helps to get rid of bacteria, mold and other nasty stuff your brush can’t handle. This is great if you're concerned about the brush making micro scratches in any delicate surface or trims that you have.
5. Steam clean
Use a steam cleaner on the door jambs and sills, then wipe it clean with a microfiber towel. If you don’t have a steam cleaner, use a microfiber towel and an all purpose cleaner or degreaser. That will do the trick as well.
6. Clean the headliner
Should there be any stains, clean the headliner with an all purpose cleaner or a fabric and upholstery cleaner. Spray it lightly on the tip of a soft bristle brush. Don’t ever spray the chemicals directly on the headliner to make sure you don’t affect the glue that’s holding your headliner to the roof. Then, proceed to brush the affected area and wipe away with a clean and dry microfiber towel.
7. Clean the seats
Clean the seats thoroughly. If they are upholstery seats, use a carpet and upholstery cleaner. If they are leather, use a high quality leather cleaner. Spray the cleaner on the bristles of a leather brush and delicately clean the seats. Always work from top to bottom, and use the same method for the steering wheels.
8. UV protection
Now that the seats have been cleansed, it’s time to protect them from UV rays. You can use any leather serums, leather conditioners, leather coatings of your choice, or those specific for upholstery. There are even ceramic coatings! Spray the product on the microfiber applicator and gently apply it on the surfaces. This will make them feel silky and smooth, while also keeping them safe and protected from stains.
9. Interior trims
Use an all purpose cleaner or an interior cleaner to clean the interior trims, plastics or vinyls. Spray the cleaner directly on a microfiber applicator pad or towel and scrub in a previously clean surface.
If you have some scuff marks in the bottom of the sills or in those plastic door trims, get a special cleaning sponge (those you can also use to clean walls) and spray a bit of it with your all purpose cleaner, then wipe away with a microfiber towels. These are great for fingernail marks on the exterior door handles as well. Apply a bit of the cleaner on the cleaning sponge and scrub gently where the hands meet the door, to remove most of the fingernail scratches from the door handles.
10. UV protect the trims
Solar rays can fade, crack and age your trims. To keep that brand-new look without greasy residues, apply a water-based trim dressing of your choice. The best ones are water-based, silicon oxide coatings trim dressings that you can use straight from the bottle, to address your tires or diluted one to one. For the inside trims, you need to dilute it one in five. Use a spray bottle and spray it on a microfiber applicator, then apply on your trim. This works great for plastics, vinyl and rubber.
11. Protect the fabrics.
If you have fabric seats, apply a fabric protectant directly on your upholstery. Don’t forget your carpets and floor mats. These are usually water and stain resistant, helping you eliminate spills that might get into your seats or carpets and are also often packed with UV protectants. Use just a little to smear a light coating and let it dry.
Use some air freshener! This is very important because the sense of smell is one of the most powerful senses, and if it doesn't smell good, it won’t feel clean, even if it is spotless. This gives that lasting, detailed touched everyone loves about a nicely cleaned car. Spray the air freshener in the foot wells close to the air intakes and while you do that, put the AC on full blast in air circulation mode. That way, it will get into the AC ducts and will slightly coat it with the air freshener, bringing some of the nice smell every time you hit the AC.
13. Sparkle your glasses
This is the final and one of the most important tips! Remember that special cleaning sponge? Get it out again with the all purpose cleaner or isopropyl alcohol mix and wipe the interior part of your glass. Remove any contaminants or greasy oily residues, make sure to remove any fingerprints and make your glass squeaky clean.
Use a premium glass cleaner (ammonia free), spray it on a soft towel that leaves no fibers behind, and remove any streaks from the glass. Finish all the windows and you’re fully prepped!
For a last final touch that makes all the difference, spray some car wax on the interior of the windows to make it extra shiny! Apply directly to the glass, wipe it up and flip the towel over and you're done! Now you have a car that looks super clean, feels and smells really good, all while saving some cash in the process.