CAR INTERIOR DETAILING: A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH
The interior of your car takes a lot of abuse. Unlike the inside of your home, which has many times more square footage, the inside of your car gets repeated, concentrated traffic. Each time you get in your car, you drag in more dirt. Each time you eat or drink in your car, you add a few more crumbs and spills. In fact, just sitting in your car, you drop hair, dead skin, makeup and other contaminants. All of this dirt and junk adds up very fast.
It is not necessary to fully detail the inside of your car each time you wash it. Unless you've been to the beach, out in the mud, or tracking in grass and leaves, you can probably get away with vacuuming and a quick wipe-down every couple of weeks.
Weekly Car Interior Cleanup
Here's what I recommend as a weekly routine for the interior:
- Wipe down all vinyl, leather and plastic surfaces with a damp cloth. A microfiber detailing towel is excellent for this task, as it will leave a lint-free, dust-free finish.
- Pull out your floor mats, and shake or brush off the dirt and debris.
- Pick up trash (that old banana peel you tossed into the backseat), and empty the ashtray and console storage bins.
- Wipe down your door jambs and doorsills with a damp towel.
- Wipe down your interior glass and your rearview mirror with a damp microfiber detailing towel. If your windows are relatively clean, you don't need to use a glass cleaner.
Very recently, a new product category has emerged for the car interior that's equivalent to the exterior quick detailing spray. Interior cockpit sprays, like Sonus Cockpit Detailer, combine light cleaning and protective capabilities in a spray-and-wipe system. If you're looking for an interior product that keeps your cockpit looking perfect, you might give it a try. In my mind, this is a much better solution than layer after layer of protectant.
A weekly wipe down with the Sonus Cockpit Detailer keeps your vehicle fresh and prevents the need for heavy cleaning later.
Monthly Car Interior Detailing
Once a month your car's interior will need a little more than a quick wipe-down. After a month, your interior glass will have some film buildup, the carpet will need to be vacuumed, and the dash, console and other vinyl parts will need to have their protection renewed. Here's what I recommend:
- Follow all of the steps for the Weekly Interior Cleanup.
- Vacuum the interior carpet, seats, seat crevices and console.
- Clean the interior glass with a good glass cleaner and a microfiber detailing towel.
- Apply a vinyl protectant with an ultraviolet (UV) light inhibitor to the dash, console and tops of door panels (the areas with the most sun exposure). I find that a foam applicator works the best.
Quarterly Interior Detailing
- Follow all of the steps for the Monthly Interior Detailing. Follow all Monthly Interior Detailing Steps.
- Clean and protect all leather and vinyl upholstery.
- Clean and protect all rubber door, trunk and hood seals.