The average north American spends 293 hours in their car every year,
Now to us that seems like an insane amount of time, its easy to understand why many peoples cars look like garbage dumps,
You have stains on every seat, tissues and wrappers in every crevice and the vinyl is coated in dust,
Why do we all clean our homes but never our vehicles,
Or when we do detail the interior of cars, why is it not done with the same effort that we wash our cars with?
Drip Auto Pros believes this is because Interior Details scare people away, it seems like there is a lot to do,
Maintaining a well detailed car can be as simple as wiping down the upholstery, vacuuming and removing garbage every time you wash your car,
This process can be done in 15 minutes but in the back of your mind you know this can’t be it.
Your not wrong with this belief but we are going to bring you the best interior detail guide for your car. This guide does not cover what to do with pets and cars, to learn more about that click here
Why Listen To Drip Auto Pros
Drip Detailing approaches everything when it comes to car detailing as a systematic approach,
Systematic approaches help our team continually provide the same standard of excellence over and over.
When we develop any guides for you such as the how to do the perfect car wash and how to manage pets with cars, you can be sure it is the best way to go about detailing.
Interior Detail Tools
No job can be completed without the right tools for the job,
Not being prepared with the right tools for the job is like driving in winter with summer tyres, it is not recommend at all.
Interior detailing tools consist can be broken down into 4 categories
Having a powerful vacuum cleaner with several attachments to reach hard parts of your car is a must,
Dealing with pets and cars will require you to have a very powerful vacuum.
Using a vacuum that can be used for both wet and dry vacuuming is ideal for all conditions, You won’t get far if your vacuum can’t candle both conditions.
Consider also getting a steam cleaning machine, a full interior detail is never completed without a full steam clean of your seat.
Chemical Cleaning Products
Most people already have a handful of interior detailing products at home, at Drip Auto Pros we only used the highest quality interior detailing products,
But for a quick interior detail you can just do a scan of what you have and see if its adequate for the job at hand.
Read all the labels before applying them onto your car because using the wrong chemicals can lead to permanent damage and discolouring to your interior.
Clothes and polishing materials
Professional detailers use a wide array of clothes which provide their own individual features,
Without hoarding a ton of supplies that you probably won’t know what to do with we recommend using handy microfibres,
Don’t cheap out when purchasing them, be sure to remove tags and only use clean microfibres on your car
If you follow these steps we are confident you can wipe down your interior correctly without scratching or damaging the interior of your vehicle.
Brushes, Sponges and Rags
You are gonna be very surprised with all the hard to reach areas in your car,
Each car will have different areas which require different tools for the job. Take a look over your car, find hard to reach areas and decide which tools could get the job done for you.
I Have All The Interior Detailing Tools
So you assembled your arsenal of tools for an interior car detail, did you read the labels or test the chemicals to see if they are safe for your interior?
Test them well and remember not to use too much chemical,
Using more chemical than needed can lead to damage and actually leaving your interior prone to getting dirtier quicker than before.
Starting The Interior Detail
Detailing the interior of a car begins going from bottom to top, it is the exact opposite from the way we wash the exterior of a car.
Only when the interior of a car is extremely dirty do we begin by detailing it from the top to bottom,
Do a good evaluation because you dont want to detail the bottom then wipe off all debris from the top back down to the bottom.
Matts and Carpets
Remove the carpets and matts from the vehicle, these are typically the most dirty.
Be careful when removing them from cars because they can toss dirt back into the car,
While removing them keep an eye out for any garbage on the floor of the car or under the seats.
Matt Cleaning 101
Once the matts have been removed be sure to give them a thorough shake or hit them against a surface to remove any trapped dirt and debris,
If you have a rubber matt you could wash them with a pressure washer and good detailer to get some shine and removed dirt trapped in grooves,
Steam cleaning carpet matts is an excellent way to remove any salt stains and excess dirt.
When using any cleaner on matts be careful that it doesn’t make your feet slip, it can make driving unsafe and challenging.
Leave the matts to dry and begin by vacuuming the carpet completely,
Getting in all the hard to reach areas will be hard but pays off tremendously in the end.
Vacuuming can leave your carpets looking in good conditions but it is not comparable to steam cleaning.
Steam cleaning carpets is the best way to clean a vehicles interior, it can remove stains, trapped dirt as well as leave it with a fresh smell if you used a quality carpet cleaner.
If your on a budget but still want to steam your carpets we strongly recommend the Bissell carpet cleaning supplies, they provide great cost effective solutions.
If your vehicles carpet has stains, smells or has taken a beating from pets we highly recommend investing in quality carpet cleaning products,
Most regular vacuums struggle to remove pet hairs and will not remove any stains, but a quality shampoo machine can leave your interior looking and smelling brand new.
Leaving seats too wet or in cold conditions can lead to mold and mildew, if you do oversaturate your car this is where your wet vacuum could lend a hand or you could blot the area with towels.
Seat Cleaning Like A Champion
Unless you drive exotic vehicles most cars have three types of seats, leather, vinyl and cloth.
All three of these seats should be cleaned in different ways and we recommend thoroughly vacuuming the seats before begging to remove dirt and debris.
Leather interiors are some of the more sought after interiors in vehicles,
It comes at a price though, cleaning leather is one of the more troublesome interiors, many contaminants can become trapped within the leather requiring regular maintenance.
There is no need to worry though because a quality leather cleaning product will have your interior looking new in no time.
Generally leather cleaning compounds are sprayed or applied directly onto the seat then rubbed in with clothes or brushes,
When doing this be sure to avoid spreading dirt by overusing the cloth or dirty brush.
After applying the cleaner give the leather some time to dry, each cleaner should have a recommended time on the back,
To finish off, apply a leather conditioner to keep the leather in tip top condition.
Perhaps the most avoided interior is cloth interiors,
This is understandable because It is the most prone to stains as well as much more likely to hold odours.
Before cleaning cloth interiors take some time to look over the seats, are there any areas which require more attention than others?
Are there giant stains, do certain areas have strong smells or is the interior in great shape?
This initial assessment will help you decide what products you need to use, you may just need a general cleaner or stain remover as well as odour eliminating spray.
When cleaning clothe interiors be very careful on how much spray you use as these interiors will soak it all up,
Soaking up to much liquid can leave the interiors smelling musky.
Vinyl seats are by far the easiest seats to clean out of the three,
They generally are not susceptible to stains or smells and can be cleaned quickly.
In order to get them up to tip top shape it can be as easy as going through the labels of your products to see which one is good for vinyl,
Spray then wipe down the seats with a separate cloth,
Leave the seats to dry for roughly 45 to 120 then you should be good to go.
Glass or Plastic
When cleaning glass and plastic surfaces it is smart to take a look and differentiate between the two,
Each of these surfaces requires different products and careful eye for tint and other differentiating features.
When cleaning plastic it is generally okay to use all purpose cleaner, plastic can be found on gauge covers.
Glass requires you to look out for window tint, you want to be careful to not use any cleaners that will damage or degrade the vehicle tint.
When cleaning either of these surfaces it is best to spray the chemicals on a cloth than wipe the windows,
This provides two benefits, the first being that it helps reduce the chance of streaking whole also preventing the sprays from getting on other surfaces.
Cleaning Front Panel
Cleaning the front panel of your vehicle can be very challenging, there are many hard to reach areas.
Carrying the right tools can help make this process much easier and pain free.
The dashboard is what we see the most and unfortunately it is typically the dirtiest area,
It can be one of the more difficult areas of a car to detail due to the odd angles windshields are on and thanks to the “unique” designers car manufactures choose.
Grab a microfiber, some vinyl cleaner along with a vacuum to remove all excess dust,
Start by vacuuming then apply the cleaner onto the cloth and wipe away, be sure not to leave the dash moist as it will be more prone to dust collection.
Perhaps one of the areas in your car that contains the most germs is the centre console,
All guests inside your vehicle touch this area so it is recommended to go over it with some disinfectant.
To get into the crevices some wrap a microfibre around a flat head screwdriver, we do not recommend this and instead advise using a q-tip to get into hard to reach areas.
A common overlooked area is air vents, they are typically avoided due to the many moving parts,
Using the appropriate tools can help you fly by this task in no time,
Grab a long bristle brush and some compressed air, use the brush to wipe off as much of the vent as you can then a few Burts of air will clean your vent right out.
Doors and Panels
Door Panels are usually made out of the same materials as the upholstery of the vehicle,
The best practice to clean these areas is to follow the same steps for the materials that we listed above,
Cupholders and other small areas are also within door panels, these areas can be tricky to clean because they are so small,
In order to clean these areas we recommend removing as much debris as you yourself can,
Vacuum the remainder of debris as thoroughly as you can then spray endwise down with chemicals.
Doing a through detail of your car may prove to be nothing if you have a lingering stench in your car,
These stench’s can be left from pets, smoke or a ton of other causes.
Using a odour eliminator can do the job most of the time but for unique cases such as animals there are different steps for each.
Interior Detail Completed, Whats next?
So you’ve completed your cars Interior detail and your car looks, smells and feels great.
The only problem is that your exterior doesn’t look great no matter what you do, Drip has your back.
Read about How to do the perfect car wash and we are sure you’ll be detailing like a drip auto pro in no time