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Car Interior Cleaning Tips: How to Clean & Disinfect Your Car’s Cabin at Home

Just like your home, cleaning your car is necessary to keep it smelling and looking fresh. With your dirty shoes almost always being in contact with your car floor and with possible rubbish being left in the car, the cabin could turn grimy and smelly. This not only affects your comfort but could also trigger allergies in some people. 

Cleaning your car’s cabin takes only an hour or two and can be done with products you already have at home. So, without further ado, here are the car interior cleaning steps you can do at home.

car interior cleaning - cleaning the steering wheel

1. Remove All Rubbish

The first step to cleaning your car’s interior is to get rid of all the rubbish in the car. That includes old receipts, parking tickets, food wrappers, and other items. This is a good time to go through your glove box, door pockets, and boot, and remove rubbish you would otherwise miss. You should also remove and keep aside loose items such as the window shade, tissue box, sunglasses, and access cards you may have in your car. 

2. Remove and Clean the Floor Mats

Next, remove the floor mats so you can do some deep cleaning on your car’s carpets. Shake the sand and debris off of the mats, or, if they’re particularly stubborn, you can also vacuum up or brush off the debris.

Then, use pressurized water from a hose to wash away the excess soil and scrub the mats with a brush and some soap water. A solution of water and a few drops of dish soap can get your mats squeaky clean. Lastly, hose down the mats and let them air-dry completely before you put them back in your car.

3. Wipe Down the Hard Surfaces

The next step to cleaning your car’s interior is to wipe off the dust on the hard surfaces with a microfiber cloth or soft brush. Clean all the areas, especially the dashboard, door pockets, center console, air conditioning vents, and boot. 

After that, you can use a slightly damp microfiber cloth to wipe down the surfaces to get them looking new. Alternatively, you can use cleaning products such as soap water or disinfecting wipes to disinfect the surfaces. If you have leather upholstery on the steering wheel, dashboard, or door panel, it’s best to wipe them down with an automotive leather cleaner.

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4. Vacuum the Rest of the Interior

Next, vacuum the carpets, underneath the seats, headliner, boot, and seat pockets. Depending on the area that you’re vacuuming, you’ll need different vacuum attachments so it’ll be helpful to have them at the side. If the vacuum is not powerful enough to dislodge the dust particles, use a brush to get the job done.

5. Clean the Seats

Start cleaning the seats by vacuuming them thoroughly. To clean around the stitching and in the crevices, use the vacuum crevice attachment. Next, use the right products to clean your seats. If you have leather seats, wipe them down with an automotive leather cleaner. 

You can also consider using a leather conditioner to keep the upholstery supple and shiny. Do follow the product instructions on the bottle and leave your interior to air-dry. For cloth seats, you can use a cloth seat cleaner and a soft brush to scrub away stains and revitalize the seats.

Sometimes you may have stubborn stains that you just can’t clean at home. If that’s the case, you may want to consider going for a professional car deep cleaning service. The price of a professional deep cleaning in Malaysia varies according to the size of your car, seat type, and grade of the cleaning service. In the Klang Valley, most car deep cleaning services range from RM100 and RM400.

6. Clean the Windows

When cleaning the interior of your car, save the windows for last so you don’t risk dirtying the glass as you move around. While you can use a glass cleaner to clean them, an all-purpose cleaner can get the job done just fine as well. If you don’t have these products, you can even use a few drops of dish soap diluted in water to wipe your windows down. 

Lower your windows slightly and start from the top so you can catch any liquid that drips down the side. To dry your windows, use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to prevent scratches.

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What Can You Use to Disinfect the Cabin?

There are a number of products you can use to disinfect your cabin. These include wet wipes, disinfectant sprays for car interiors, and more. Oftentimes, you can find them at your local supermarket or automotive supply shop, so finding them shouldn’t be a problem. Here are some items that you can use to disinfect your car’s interior without being too harsh on the sensitive materials.

Disinfecting Wet Wipes

Use disinfecting wipes that contain sodium hypochlorite or household bleach because they are highly effective. Cnet also recommends other consumer cleaners that use benzalkonium chloride ( also known as benzyl ammonium chloride), a common active ingredient that is used in many consumer products and is known to be gentler than bleach.

Multi-surface Cleaners

Surface cleaners or disinfectant sprays for car interiors that use benzalkonium chloride like the above do the job as well. A couple of sprays on the surface followed by a wipe-down is effective and can be used for areas like carpets and hard-to-reach corners. 

Deodorizing Sprays

Sanitizing sprays that contain triethylene glycol are known to kill bacteria and neutralize viruses in the air. This product not only disinfects your cabin but will also get rid of odor. You can spray it on the seats and carpets inside an unoccupied car or spray it in the air with the air conditioning switched on. An example of a deodorizing spray that you can use is Febreze.

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If you can’t get a dedicated car interior cleaning product or an antibacterial cleaner, using soap is just as effective, if not better. Because soap breaks up oil, it also interacts with viruses in the same way. Using any type of soap would do the trick, as it not only kills viruses, but it’s also less likely to degrade the delicate surfaces in your car – the fabrics and leather. Just mix a small amount of soap in a bucket of water and use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the surfaces in your car.

If you’re looking for a new car, be sure to check out CARSOME. We not only put all our cars through a 175-point inspection but we also professionally refurbish them with a thorough cleaning and detailing process to ensure they’re in top condition inside and out. Each CARSOME Certified car also comes with a fixed price and no hidden fees, a one-year warranty, and five-day money-back guarantee with no questions asked.

Visit CARSOME to find your dream car today!

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