Some places to clean the inside of your car are not always obvious. For example, out-of-sight areas around the pedals can be easily overlooked during your car interior detailing routine. So, if you want a spotless vehicle, follow our tips for a cleaner car.
Also, if you’re interested in convenient mobile car detailing that comes to you, download our Eco Wash Benefit Guide to discover what makes our service so popular with customers:
Places to Clean Inside Your Car That People Often Forget
Maintaining the cleanliness of your car interior creates a healthier environment for you and your passengers. Plus, a well-maintained interior can increase the resale value of your vehicle. So, grab your car interior detailing kit and don’t forget to clean the following areas:
1. Glove Compartment
The glove compartment or “glove box” is a convenient storage space for small personal items. It’s where vehicle documents, snacks, pens, and old receipts usually end up. And because the glove box is discreetly positioned on the passenger side of the dashboard, it’s easy miss when you clean. Out of sight, out of mind!
However, a small, enclosed space packed with loose items is the perfect environment for germs and bacteria. Therefore, make sure to declutter and clean this space as follows:
- Remove all the items from the glove box. Go through the contents and get rid of any old documents or stuff you don’t need.
- Use a car vacuum cleaner with a nozzle attachment to remove dust and debris.
- Wipe down the interior with a microfiber car cloth dipped in mild soap and water.
- Leave the compartment to dry before returning items. Lastly, take a moment to organize everything neatly. It will make items more accessible when you need them.
There may even be room in your newly organized space for car interior detailing products like car cleaning wipes. Ideal for emergency clean-ups.
2. Sun Visors
If you’re driving in direct sunlight, naturally you reach for the sun visor to protect your eyes against the glare, right? Over time, the oils and dirt from fingertips can gather on the visor’s surface. Also, dust and pollen particles are constantly floating in the air, and some can settle on the surface of the sun visors over time. So, regular cleaning will help prevent the buildup of dust and grime.
- Extend the sun visor to its lowest position so you can access both sides.
- Use a microfiber cloth dipped in soapy water to clean sun visors.
- Rinse with clean water and leave to air dry.
- After cleaning and drying, check for streaks or residue. If you notice any, use a clean, dry cloth to buff the surface until it’s clear and clean.
- Repeat the steps for the sun visor on the passenger side.
Drivers and passengers often use sun visors as storage space for cards, cash, or receipts. But when the visor is up, it is easy to forget these random little items. Therefore, remember to declutter this area, too.
3. Under the Doors
Places to clean the inside of your car include underneath the doors and the door jambs. Yes, it is easy to overlook these areas, especially if you only go for exterior cleaning services.
As you drive, your car’s tires kick up dirt, debris, and small particles from the road. Some of this debris can stick to the lower portions of the car, including under the doors and in the door jambs. Also, dirt and mud from shoes can gather around the door area. Here is what to do:
- Dip a soft-bristle brush or wheel brush into the soapy water solution and gently scrub under the doors and around the door jambs. Pay attention to crevices and hard-to-reach areas where dirt tends to gather.
- Rinse the cleaned areas thoroughly with water to remove soap and dirt residue. Make sure you wash all the soap away.
- Use clean, dry microfiber towels or soft cloths to dry the undercarriage and door jambs. This step will help prevent water spots.
Regularly cleaning under car doors and car door jambs not only keeps your vehicle looking cleaner but also helps prevent the buildup of grime and rust, which can extend the lifespan of your car. These steps should become easier as you become more familiar with how to deep clean car interior. However, if you find this work too time-consuming, call in the experts. But first, research how much does interior car detailing cost.
4. Car Pedals and Surrounding Area
Car pedals and the surrounding area are other neglected areas in DIY detailing. A car footwell is not a place that catches the eye. Therefore, it is no surprise that dirt gathers over time. Moreover, trapped moisture from wet shoes can encourage mold, mildew, germs, and bacteria – not something you want inside your car.
But you can quickly put your car interior detailing tools to good use and follow these steps:
- Remove car mats (see below).
- Use an auto detailing brush and scrub the pedals gently with soapy water. Take care not to drip excess water onto your carpets.
- If your pedals are not particularly dirty, wipe them down using a soft cloth dipped in soapy solution.
- Rinse and wipe the pedals.
- To disinfect the surrounding area. See also our tips on how to disinfect car interior.
- Use a dry, clean cloth or paper towels to dry the pedals and surrounding area. Ensure that they are completely dry to prevent slipping.
For awkward, hard-to-reach spaces, steam is the best way to detail car interior. Direct pressurized steam at your target area and watch the dirt dissolve.
5. Under Car Mats
Food and drink spills, animal mess, and excess rainwater from your shoes can cause moisture under car mats. This moisture can lead to mold and mildew, which can lead to unpleasant odors and affect your health.
So, make a point of cleaning under mats and forgotten carpeted areas and corners to keep your vehicle smelling fresh. If there are lingering odors, see our tips on how to get bad smell out of car. Also, remember to clean car mats too, not just the carpet underneath.
6. Places to Clean Inside Your Car Include Under the Seats
You might be surprised by how much dirt collects under your car seats, especially when traveling with children. Crumbs, food wrappers, and other trash can easily get kicked beneath the front car seats.
- Move the seats forward and backward to ensure you don’t miss anything when vacuuming this area.
- For dirtier carpets, using a car carpet stain remover will help your interior detailing efforts.
Once you’ve done the groundwork under the seats, see our tips on how to deep clean car seats. This will ensure the entire seating area is fresh and clean for your travels. For stubborn marks and blemishes, see how to remove stains from car seats.
7. Cup Holders
Cup holders are another place that people forget when cleaning their vehicles. For one, it often has a cup in it. Second, you may not always notice the dirt collecting at the base of the holder. But it is an area that collects spills from hot drinks or sugary sodas. And this can lead to a bad smell in the car.
- Use a damp cloth to wipe down the cup holder’s interior, including the bottom and sides.
- For stubborn or hard-to-reach spots, try a small brush, such as an old toothbrush, or a specialized cup holder cleaning tool.
- If necessary, use cotton swabs to clean tight crevices or corners.
8. Cargo Area
If you’ve got a hatchback, remember the cargo area. It’s another one of the forgotten places to clean inside your car. This storage space collects dirt from spare tires to baby strollers. Also, wet grocery bags or damp clothes can create a bad odor if you neglect this area over time. For best results, see our tips on how to detail a car interior. The basic steps include:
- Remove everything from the cargo area.
- Vacuum up dirt and debris.
- Shampoo or steam clean carpet area.
- Rinse and blot with a clean towel to dry.
If you don’t look up, it is easy to forget to clean the headliner located on the interior roof of your car. It’s not a frequently touched part of the car and doesn’t typically accumulate dirt and grime as quickly as other surfaces.
However, it’s still one of those places to clean inside your car because a headliner can become soiled from dust, airborne particles, and moisture over time. Here’s what to do:
- Carefully use the vacuum nozzle to remove dust and dirt from the headliner.
- Spray a small amount of mild upholstery cleaner onto a clean white cloth or microfiber towel. Don’t spray the cleaner directly onto the headliner to avoid oversaturation.
- Gently blot or dab the soiled areas of the headliner.
- Dampen a separate clean cloth or towel with water. Gently blot the areas you’ve cleaned to remove all the soap.
- Open all the car doors and windows to allow to dry.
Also, if someone regularly smokes in your car, the headliner can become dirty or stained. See our tips on how to remove yellow smoke stains from car interior.
10. AC Vents
You’ve still got a weird smell inside your vehicle even after you’ve cleaned under the seats and carpets. Chances are that your AC vents are causing the smell. Moreover, a dirty AC system can harbor air-borne germs and bacteria that aren’t good for anyone with respiratory issues.
So, yes, AC vents are another one of those places to clean the inside of your car. But only wiping the surface is not enough to banish bad smells. Clean them effectively as follows:
- First, turn off the AC and open the vents.
- Use a soft-bristle brush to remove loose dust and debris from the vents. Similarly, a can of compressed air does the trick. Also, it comes in useful for model car interior detailing.
- Dip a microfiber cloth into a water and liquid soap cleaning solution. Gently wipe down the vents.
- Use a cotton swab dipped in the cleaning solution to reach tight crevices.
- Dry the vents with a clean cloth. Ensure no moisture is left behind to prevent mold or mildew growth.
- Lastly, if you come across mold, see our tips on how to remove mold from car interior.
Alternatively, check out our car interior detailing service. Our steam cleaning steps include sanitizing the AC and heating system.
To sum up, it is easy to miss some of the places to clean inside your car, especially if these areas are not immediately noticeable. However, once you know where to look and what to clean, your car interior detailing experience will be complete.