In this guide to interior detailing and maintenance, we include our 5 step-by-step processes for cleaning out the interior like an expert.
Vacuuming and wiping down surfaces are a given, but how does one clean the interior effectively and efficiently?
Step one: Preparation
To effectively clean the entire interior, we also recommend removing the front seats by removing the seat screws. To do this, we need to disconnect your negative battery cable for at least 20 minutes. This ensures that the airbags inside the seats will not malfunction. Do the same with the back seats.
When the seats are removed, the carpets beneath them can be cleaned, lost objects can be found, and the central control can be thoroughly cleaned.
- Make sure to roll down the windows to ensure they do not get any products on them that could potentially damage them.
- If you are going to take a long time and keep the doors open for the entire process, we recommend that you unscrew and disconnect the negative battery cable. This makes sure that the battery isn’t drained from the car doors being open for long periods of time.
Step two: cleaning the carpets
What you will need to clean the carpets:
- A good vacuum
- A stiff-bristled brush
- A few microfiber towels
- A carpet cleaner (product)
The first step to cleaning the carpets is to remove all floor mats. The following steps show us the right procedure for cleaning car carpets:
In order to keep the interior of a car clean, you need a good vacuum. Use a powerful vacuum that can remove both water and dirt.
The first step is to remove all dirt and debris with the vacuum. This step, however, does not remove all of the dirt. In this case, you need to grab a stiff-bristled brush and use the brush to loosen up the dirt whilst removing it with the vacuum.
- Spot treatment
If there is anything specifically stuck to the carpet, such as food, this can be treated by getting a spray bottle and filling it up with dish soap and hot water. By using a toothbrush and this mixture you can remove things that couldn´t be removed via a vacuum.
To shampoo the carpets you will need:
-A carpet cleaner
-An absorbent towel
Begin by spraying the section you are cleaning with the carpet cleaner. We recommend that you purchase a carpet cleaner that removes stains in addition to odors. Use the brush, brushing in different directions, to agitate the carpet cleaner deep into the carpet to clean all the carpet fibers.
Grab the absorbent towel to absorb the dirt and cleaner then vacuum the loose dirt as well as the carpet cleaner. The last step is to wipe over the carpet one last time with the absorbent towel.
Step three: cleaning the floor mats
What you will need:
-Hard bristle brush
Remove dirt from the floor mats by scrubbing them with a hard bristle brush. If there is dirt deep inside the floor mat, bang it out to remove it. Clean up the leftover dirt with a vacuum.
Follow up with using a pressure washer or hose to effectively and deeply clean the floor mats.
Shampooing the floor mats:
Lather up the floor mats in carpet cleaner and let them sit for a minute. Then grab a hard bristle brush, wipe it in different directions making sure that you are efficiently scrubbing and removing all the dirt with the carpet cleaner.
The last step for cleaning the car floor mats is to use a vacuum that can remove both water and dirt to remove the excess water and dirt. Let them dry out in the open air.
Extra tip: to help the floor mats dry quicker hang them up with individual coat hangers.
Use an auto fabric & carpet water shield protectant to protect the floor mats and make them water repellant.
Lastly, clean the car seats with a vacuum.
Step four: cleaning the seats
Fabric seats are easier to clean than leather seats as they can do in the same way as carpets. Fabric seats are easier to clean in comparison to leather seating and can be cleaned the same way as carpets.
Use a car interior shampoo, scrub into the fabric using a sponge, and once shampooed use a damp microfibre cloth to wine them down. This will remove any dirt and leave you with a clear seat. This process can be repeated, just make sure you don’t gradually make the seat soaking wet.
From here use a cloth to soak up any leftover moisture. Once the cloth feels dry again after you have used it to try and soak up more moisture you have done it enough times. If it still feels wet you need to keep wiping over the seats.
Another way to clean fabric seats is with a wet vac. Either way works well.
Cleaning leather seats requires more time and attention as you don’t want to leave any streaky lines and they all require conditioning as well as buffed well or marks will be left behind.
Use a vacuum cleaner and soft-bristled brush to remove any dirt and dust. Use a microfiber cloth to get into harder-to-reach areas such as the fold.
Follow this up with a leather cleaner. We recommend testing the cleaner on a small and unseen area to ensure that you have got a feel for how much pressure needs to be applied when scrubbing the seats.
We recommend spraying the leather cleaner onto the burhs and then cleaning. Make sure you use a microfibre cloth to wipe it dry afterward.
Step five: protecting the interior
The inside of a vehicle is just as important as the outside, which is why we recommend protecting it. A vehicle’s interior can be coated and protected from top to bottom to keep it looking like new. To ensure that the vehicle is fully protected, we also recommend annual maintenance on the internal coatings. The process will keep the vehicle looking factory new for years to come.
Regardless of whether the seats are made of leather or fabric, you should protect them. The Onyx Interior Coating provides perfect interior protection for this purpose. Its Hybrid solvent base allows it to be applied to leather and fabric. It provides the ultimate protection against stains, dirt, contaminants, water, and oil. Not only is it easy to apply, but it also produces a superhydrophobic and smooth surface that is protected for up to 12 months.
In addition, for leather seating check out this guide for the top four essential steps to protection https://onyxcoating.com/vehicle-interior-protection/4-steps-to-protect-leather-interior/