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How to Deep Clean Your Car: The Complete Guide

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Nearly 700 different types of bacteria live in cars which can potentially cause health risks.

It’s important to regularly deep-clean your car to protect you, passengers, and so you can enjoy a comfortable journey. If you want to thoroughly clean your car but aren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place.

Here’s how to deep clean your car.

How Often Should You Clean Your Vehicle?

Before we discuss how to clean the interior of car with household products, it’s important to know how frequently to clean it.

If you carpool, have school pickups, and trips to work, clean the interior twice a month and get a professional detailing twice a year. As a general rule, you should wash your car every two weeks unless there’s irregular dirt or bird dropping that needs immediate attention.

How to Deep Clean Your Car

We’ve covered how often to clean the inside of a car so now we’ll show you how to do this. Luckily, you don’t need to splurge on a range of expensive cleaning agents as most of the products are multi-purpose.

Here’s how to clean your car.

Use a Vacuum

The best way to clean a car carpet is to vacuum first. Many owners start by shampooing it but that means the floor gets dirty when you clean the upper surfaces.

Always start from the top and work your way down. Vacuum the headliners, dash, console, and door panels until it’s spotless.

Clean Behind the Seats

Slide your seats forward and you’ll be amazed at how much loose change or lost pens there are.

Once you’ve removed the junk, vacuum the seats and the area behind. Switch to a brush attachment so it can clean the dash and door panels.

You should also reach your vehicle’s nooks and crannies. To do this, wrap a cloth around an old, blunt screwdriver and spray an all-purpose cleaner on the cloth and clean out the trim lines.

Eliminate Odors

Whether it’s the lingering smell of tobacco or McDonald’s, grab a can of air freshener and lightly spray the headliner, seats, and door panels at an arm’s length.

Next, turn the fan on to high so the air circulates. Leave the windows closed for an hour so when you return, your car smells fresh once again.

You can also use baking soda to remove odors from your floor or seats. Sprinkle a generous amount over the affected areas and leave overnight. In the morning, vacuum it up and the odor will disappear.

Wipe Down Vinyl

If you’re unsure how to clean a car, focus on cleaning the vinyl. Dab all-purpose cleaner on a microfiber cloth and wipe down the dashboard, instrument panel, door handles, glove box, side compartments, and steering wheel.

The best way to clean the crack between the steering wheel and column is to slide a damp microfiber cloth between the two and work it to remove dust. Do the same to your door jambs too.

Don’t Forget Cup Holders

Spray cleaning solution on the inside and outside of the cupholders. Grab a brush and scrub the inside until it’s clean. Then wipe down the cup holders with a microfiber cloth.

Clean the Upholstery

Consider your car’s upholstery as different materials require specific cleaning methods. For instance, only clean leather with a lotion-based cleaner as it’s a hide and will crack under watery cleansers.

The leather cleaner also works for vinyl but you must spot-clean cloth with a mix of bleach alternative and water.

Scrub Floor Mats

Remove the floor mats and clean them with a soapy solution. Use a scrub brush to remove stubborn stains then rinse it off.

Hang the floor mats to dry before replacing them in your car. While the mats are drying, scrub the carpet with an auto carpet cleaner. Avoid soaking the carpet otherwise it won’t properly dry and you’ll end up with mold or mildew problems.

To ensure it’s pristine, book an appointment with a car detailer as they have the equipment and expertise to clean your vehicle.

Wash Windows and Mirrors

Not only is a grubby window unattractive, but it’s also a safety hazard.

Grab a microfiber cloth, fold it into fourths, and spray the window with an auto window cleaner. If you’re struggling with streaks, wipe the window horizontally and polish with a dry cloth in a vertical direction.

And don’t forget to clean the tops of windows otherwise you’ll get a line of grime when you slightly roll your windows down.

Clean and Polish the Exterior

Get a cleaner formulated for vehicles as regular dish soap detergent removes important oils from the paint’s finish.

Fill one bucket with your specialized cleaner and fill another one with clean rinse water.

Grab a wash mitt and use it to clean your car’s exterior as it removes dirt and prevents scratches. When it’s spotless, apply polish to a clean pad and wipe it across the entire car.

Make sure you’re generous with the polish so it soaks in. Then buff the polish over the vehicle and you’re done!

That’s How to Deep Clean Your Car

Now you know how to clean your car.

It’s important to remove junk, vacuum the interior, and wipe down high-touch areas so no grime remains. Eliminate odors using baking soda and remember to clean your windows as they’re a safety issue.

Cleaning your car regularly is important but hire a professional twice a year for a deep-clean to keep you and your family healthy. Good luck!

If you’re looking for more how-to tips, check out our tips for useful information.

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