Your Auto Interior is Dirtier than What Meets the Eye
Is your dream car simply just a…clean car? Maintaining a clean auto interior can be tough, but it surely is a worthwhile measure. You likely spend a fair amount of time behind the steering wheel in your vehicle; spending just a fraction of that time cleaning its interior each week can contribute to better trip quality, the prevention of wear and tear, and especially an increase in safety.
On average, people spend roughly seven 40-hour workweeks driving in their vehicles each year. So it can be surprising to find out that 32% of people clean this space only one time a year, and 12% never do. Ideally, you should be cleaning your vehicle every month and detailing it every six to eight months.
Many people aren’t aware of the bacteria that can grow inside of their vehicles if not kept clean. With 20% of drivers eating in their cars each week, food crumbs can become the perfect areas for bacteria to grow and quickly multiply.
With this bacteria spreading and combining with the germs drivers bring in on their hands each time they get behind the wheel, the average steering wheel has four times as many germs as a public toilet seat.
I don’t mean to scare you from ever stepping foot in your vehicle again, however, being aware of the reality that comes with auto interior cleaning is the first step in eliminating unneeded germs. Clearly, sanitization and disinfection are necessary elements to safe driving. Here’s how to achieve that.
Auto Interior Cleaning: What You’ll Need
To effectively remove the dirt and bacteria from the inside of your vehicle, make sure you’re equipped with the following:
Disinfecting Cleaner Products (Spray, Wipes)
New Air Filter
Cleaning Cloths and Brushes
Auto Interior Detailing at Home
Go through every part of your vehicle’s interior and ensure you’re not only making it look polished, but that it’s completely disinfected and sanitized.
Floor Mats and Carpet: Remove the floor mats from your car and shake them. Vacuum them, and spray with a garden hose if necessary. While they’re drying, vacuum all of the carpeting and flooring in your auto’s interior that they were on top of. For dirt that’s really engrained, a steam cleaner may be necessary, but a carpet cleaner and brush should do the trick.
Seats: After vacuuming the seats, the cleaning method required is based on the type of material.
If you have leather seats, work a leather-specific cleaner into them with a towel (always on the clean side). After drying, apply a leather conditioner.
For cloth seats, liquid upholstery or fabric cleaners can work to remove stains, but be cautious about how much liquid you’re using that could cause moisture to be trapped in the material. For eliminating an odor, put baking soda on the seats and vacuum after a few hours.
If your vehicle has vinyl seats, it’s actually a fairly easy cleaning process. Find a cleaner that is suitable for the material and wipe with a cloth.
Most of the time, your door panels will be made of the same material as your seats, so use the same cleaning method if this applies.
Windows and Mirrors: Use a glass cleaner for this step. For the interior, use a newspaper to wipe dry the cleaner sprayed on the surface. This helps reduce streaks. For the exterior, use a “squeegee” with the window cleaner to scrub and wipe away the excess solution. Mirrors can be cleaned with the same glass cleaner and paper towels. If any of your windows or your windshield have cracks and need to be replaced, our technicians can be of service to replace.
Console: Dust can accumulate easily around all of the buttons and controls on your console, but it’s an important step in cleaning your auto’s interior. You can take cotton swabs or a thin object, such as a plastic knife or a flathead screwdriver wrapped with a thin cloth, to clean around the edges of the buttons.
Dashboard: Use an extension on your vacuum cleaner to take care of the loose dust and dirt on your dashboard, then wipe with a general cleaning solution. This same step can be applied to places like your cupholders.
Air Vents: Using a thin brush with bristles will get most of the dust and dirt from your vent covers, but also spraying compressed air can blow the rest of it out.
Using this process to thoroughly clean your car’s interior will have it feeling like new all over again (especially with that “new car smell” air freshener), and will help protect you from the dangerous bacteria that can thrive in this environment.
If you don’t have the time to detail your vehicle on your own or are looking for professional-grade interior detailing, we’re happy to help! Our technicians are equipped to make your car shine inside and out. Schedule an appointment today!
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