If you love your car and you wish to maintain it as an object of value for years, you will need to regularly wash and polish it. While the car shines and sparkles on the outside, the car interior is often ignored. Nevertheless, cleaning the seats, panels, etc. is just of the same importance. And with our tips it is an easy task to accomplish!
Regular cleaning of the car interior does matter
Investing in a new car, you intend to use it for years. This makes regular cleaning necessary, and there is more to it than you would think.
Especially in the cold and wet season a targeted cockpit cleaning is essential. Stains and moisture on car seats and other textile material may not only look bad, but also cause interior mould.
For impeccable use of all functions in your car, a well-planned car interior cleaning is important. For example, reading the instrument panel (speedometer) should not be impaired by a dusty or dirty dashboard. Cleaning your car gains importance due to the fact that in recent years, additional electronics have become part of the car. In order to prevent switches and vents from malfunctioning it is better to take some time for cleaning your car.
Choosing the right detergents and care products
Specialist dealers have a broad range of cleaning products for the car available. Many of them are explicitly intended for the car interior. These special products, such as shampoo, interior cleaner or fillers are approved by renowned auditing & certification service providers such as DEKRA when they are being offered for the use in cars. With these articles you are certain to buy tested branded articles. You do not always need expensive branded quality. Simple household products are often suitable for professional and adequate cleaning of seats and panels. However, checking their suitability for the corresponding fabric is important. Aggressive chemical agents do not belong in your car interior, as they can damage plastic surfaces or leave nasty stains on leather seats. Sustainable use of simple household products can always be considered if you don’t want to spend too much money on special products.
Practical tips for your car in an overview
|1) The right pre-treatment:
Cleaning the car interior fittings can be time consuming. However, with the right pre-treatment you save yourself a lot of trouble. Cleaning your car at home, at the petrol station or your favourite car wash, you should start the pre-treatment by removing all loose textiles such as mats. Remove dust and dirt by beating them and then thoroughly vacuum-clean the entire interior.
Crevices between the separate seats and the bottom of the boot are often forgotten. Rust prevention is part of the car interior care. Therefore, inspect the water drainage in the boot. This can be found by removing the cover and the spare tyre. No moist should be allowed to collect in the interior, causing corrosion or mould on textile. If you detect moisture damage when cleaning your car, the AA recommends quickly finding the cause, being in most cases porous rubber profiles or problems with drainage of the sun roof.
The AA recommendation specifically applies to winter care of convertible cars, though station wagons and saloon cars are at risk as well.
|2) Proper seat cleaning:
For thorough cleaning of car seats, foam cleaner is a practical choice. You can choose between special car products or general cleaning products for upholstery. Almost all products from the specialised dealers are suitable. After spraying them on, leave them to soak in and afterwards vacuum-clean the surface or remove the product with a sponge. What applies to general car interior cleaning, applies here as well: avoid the use of excessively wet sponges or cloth, which might in the worst case lead to electronic failures when cleaning your dashboard and consoles.
Cleaning leather seats is considerably more delicate, especially when it is real leather instead of leatherette. Here, you should follow the recommendations of the manufacturer and only use recommended products. Especially for the car, products on basis of wax or resin are on offer, which must be sparingly applied and rubbed in. A simple cotton cloth is sufficient for dry intermediary cleaning. For impregnation of the seats most products for leather furniture or shoes are suitable.
|3) Proper cleaning of panels:
Large plastic panels can be found in almost all cars, and should never be treated with aggressive detergents. For basic cleaning use warm water with a bit of dish detergent and wipe with a slightly dampened cloth over panels and upholstery. Wipe afterwards with a dry cloth, leaving no damp which could penetrate the electronic components.
For precision work we recommend a slightly moistened Q-tip for cleaning switches and knobs. The Q-tips should never be too wet. If the dirt on the panels is too stubborn, add some vinegar to the water. Wipe it with a slightly dampened cloth and let it take effect for a little while for crusts and dirt to loosen. Also on glass surfaces, a bit of vinegar is very effective. Do not use this for sensitive equipment.
Just as with seat cleaning: if you have doubts about the use of a specific cleaner, please try it on an inconspicuous spot. This applies rather to specialised products from the dealer than to the mentioned household products.
Conclusion regarding interior cleaning of your car
Regular car interior cleaning highly contributes to its value maintenance. The use of special cleaning products is recommended only for individual parts such as leather seats or sensitive instruments. If you wish to save costs however, simple household products such as slight dampening with solution of alkaline detergents or a bit of vinegar are sufficient. Test the different cleaning products carefully and convince yourself of the shining results.