How to clean a car interior – Creative Ways to Solve Clean The Car Interior

The interior of the car is a breeding ground for bacteria and dirt, making it unhealthy to sit in. Here are some tips on how to clean your car’s interior with natural products so that you can enjoy your time in the backseat!


So as not to pollute our environment with more chemicals, we’ve composed this post on how to naturally freshen up your ride and keep it fresh.

Best thing to clean a car interior

The best way to clean the car interior is to use water and soap. You can gargle a solution of vinegar and water that is salt, to remove grease. Don’t forget to use window cleaner foam, too.

Car interior cleaning is a tedious task and if you do not want it to be so, you have to maintain the car in good condition which means having excellent car care products on hand at all times. The most important thing that you need are the right tools and equipment for your car interior cleaning needs.

clean car with water:

When you clean the car or clean car interior with water, make sure that there is enough pressure running through the stream of water to be able to get rid of any dirt. One way this can be achieved is by attaching a hose to your garden faucet or using a bucket or other container of water in your yard or driveway. If you are using a bucket, attach an extension pole for increased reach.


clean car seats:

Several steps will make your car seats look like new again. Start by vacuuming the seats thoroughly with a soft brush or upholstery attachment. The next step is to wipe the seats down with a water based cleaner, you will find these types of cleaners at most cleaning supply stores. Wait until the cleaner is dry before removing any excess with a clean towel.

clean leather seats:

Wipe down your leather seats with a wet sponge instead of an upholstery cloth. This will help remove dirt and spills from the fabric as well as soften the seats. Set the car seat back down on the floor and let it sit for at least five minutes before cleaning again.

Follow our informative instructions on how to clean car interior:

What You’ll Need:  accessories to keep your car clean

How to clean a car interior

Equipment’s/ tools: 

  • Vacuum,
  • Bucket,
  • Spray bottle with water and vinegar,
  • Microfiber towel ,
  • Rubber gloves ,
  • Carpet cleaner ,
  • Soap and water mix (use soap instead of detergent),
  • Newspaper. 1-5 are equipment that you’ll need to use, 6-10 are optional.
  • Leather cleaner (optional),
  • Storage bag for wet clothes,
  • Air freshener,
  • Air-drying car mats (if your car doesn’t have them already.) ,
  • Cleaning brush ,
  • Interior cleaner ,
  • Vacuum Brush ,
  • Tissues/cotton balls or paper towels for cleaning hard to reach or small areas. 
  • Window cleaner for glass and mirrors. You can also use 409 or Windex, it’s up to you.

Materials  to clean the car interior:

  • Trisodium phosphate.
  • Household detergent.
  • Baby shampoo.
  • Vinegar .
  • Dishwashing liquid .
  • Hydrogen peroxide .
  • Ammonia .
  • Mineral spirits .
  • Octane booster .
  • Baking soda.

open the windows and doors:

The first thing you should do is open the windows and moon roof (if applicable) to let fresh air in. This will help purge the car of stale air and dampness, which will ultimately help make your job easier.

So, open your car windows and  roof to get rid of stale air even before cleaning the interior.


Now, take all the trash and other unwanted things from your car, so that you have a clean start while cleaning your car. If you are unable to clean out the entire car in one go, remove all small trash items like wrappers etc. and place them in a plastic bag and throw it away later when you’ve finished cleaning your car.

Open the trunk:

A common mistake made by car owners is not ventilating their trunk on a regular basis. It is important that you do this to keep the inside of your car from getting contaminated with pollen, dirt or mold. This can be accomplished by simply removing the items in your trunk and placing them out of the way. Once you’ve made room, open up your trunk and wipe everything down with a clean microfiber towel. As a precaution, wear gloves to keep yourself from getting chemicals on your hands.


Once you’re satisfied with the results of your trunk cleaning, go ahead and vacuum the entire car by starting from front to back. This is extremely important because all the contaminants will be drawn toward the front of your car and you can easily vacuum them. If you’re able to, use a hose attachment on your vacuum for better cleaning results.

Open the glove compartment:

Once you’ve vacuumed your entire car, take this time to clean the items in your glove compartment as well using some towels and other micro fiber materials. Most people store their gloves in their glove compartment but don’t tend to clean it out as much as they should.


clean Dust:

Next, you should clean dust all the surfaces of your car. Remember, do it before cleaning out the rest of the interior because this will get rid of any loose dirt particles and make your job easier. Use a microfiber cloth to keep from scratching any areas that may be sensitive. You should clean all the ceiling, sunroof and any other areas of your car that may be forgotten by most people.

You’ll want to use a damp cloth or micro fiber towel to wipe down all the surfaces of your car. Use a safe soap and water solution to clean non-porous surfaces like plastic and leather. Some people may use water to wipe down the interior as well but this is not recommended as it can ruin some leather and rubber parts of your car. For example, the linings in the seats and door frames.


If you’ve been neglecting your carpet for a long period of time, start cleaning it now. Vacuum the carpet thoroughly and wipe it down with a micro fiber towel. Clean down any stains or spots that may be causing mildew or mold on your carpet using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser as this will make your car smell much better than using just dry air or water alone.

Clean the dash:

Now that you’ve vacuumed, dusted and cleaned your carpet, it is time to clean the dash. Use a wet sponge to wipe down the entire area before using a micro fiber towel for final touch ups. You should also use a 8 hanger to clean out any air vents that may be clogged with dust or dirt as well.

Start from the top:

While you’re cleaning your car’s dash, start from the top and work your way down. This is important because you’ll want to make sure that you clean all the areas from the top down. Otherwise, it will be hard to reach some areas with your towel.

Clean the mirrors:

While you’re cleaning your dash and door panels, go ahead and clean out your mirrors as well. You can use a micro fiber towel to wipe down them effectively and safely.

Clean the windows:

Next, it’s time to clear all your windows. You can use a sponge or micro fiber towel to wipe down the glass. Then, you should use a fresh dry microfiber towel and wipe down all the surfaces inside and out of your car.

Clean the seat:

If you have leather seats, go ahead and clean them with a damp cloth or micro fiber towel. Using a new dry fiber cloth, wipe down both sides of the seat until they’re completely clean.

Clean the door panels:

Next, clean the door panels. Again, use a damp microfiber towel to wipe down them and then follow up with a dry one.

Use air freshener:

Once all this is done, you can now use some air fresheners to enhance your car’s smell and leave it smelling pleasant for later use. Cleaning the car is an on-going process so you’ll want to keep it clean as much as possible.


While you’re cleaning your car, don’t forget to clean the window on the back-side of your car. You may even want to wipe down the bumper and rear area as well if you find the time.

Just remember, your car is a reflection of your personality, so it is important to know how to clean the interior of your car.

Wipe down the exterior

Now that you’ve cleaned out your car, it’s time to step outside and give your car a quick wipe down with a micro fiber towel. This should be done every few weeks or so to keep your exterior looking nice and clean as well.

How to clean a car interior  - wipe down the exterior

Use a micro fiber towel to wipe down the exterior of your car. This is important because it can remove any dirt and other contaminants that may be stuck to the surface of your car.

Cleaning the inside of your car is an important part of vehicle maintenance. It will help keep you safe and make driving more enjoyable. There are 13 basic steps you can take to accomplish this.

1. Gather Trash and Debris:

Where ever the trash is will be where the bugs, mice and other animals will go. They will nest in your car and make it their home. It’s important to remove all trash from your car. Make sure to thoroughly check the trunk, not just the obvious areas like under seats, around air conditioning vents, cigarette lighters and door handles. Overlooked areas to check include seat belts, behind door panels and inside storage compartments.

2. Vacuum and Clean the Interior Carpet:

Vacuum the carpets inside your car using a crevice tool. This will remove dust, dirt and other particles. Clean the carpet using a shampooer or carpet cleaning solution. This will remove smells, stains and any remaining dirt.

3. Clean the Interior Trim:

Clean the vinyl, cloth or plastic trim inside your car with a damp towel. Use a cleaner designed to clean this type of material to make sure it looks nice and clean. Avoid using products that can leave behind a residue. Any residue could cause discoloration and damage your car’s interior trim.

4. Wash the Dashboard:

Wash and clean the dashboard with a damp rag. Pay close attention to air conditioning vents as well as cracks and crevices to make sure they are clean. The air coming out of the vents should not smell or feel damp when you turn on the air conditioning in summer or heat in winter.

5. Clean Interior Plastic and Vinyl Seats:

Clean the upholstery inside your car with a brush and vacuum. Dilute the cleaning solution with cold water, then clean the seats. You can use a mixture of baking soda, vinegar and water to clean seats, but make sure to test it on a small area before using it on your entire car’s seats.

6. Clean Car Windows:

To keep bugs from flying into your car’s windshield, apply screen cleaner or bug spray containing deet to your windshield. You can also remove large leaves, pine needles and other debris from your windshield with a leaf blower.

7. Clean Engine Compartment:

Clean the engine compartment with a damp rag. Make sure to clean the heat vents, manifolds and other areas that are easy to reach. You should wipe or vacuum the area thoroughly before you start to car wash your car. That way all dirt and debris will be removed, preventing it from getting into any of the engine’s moving parts or causing damage.

8. Clean Headlights and Fog Lights:

Clean the headlights and fog lights using a cloth with a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water. You may have to remove any dirt or debris that gets embedded into or around the lens before cleaning it.

9. Clean Tires:

Empty the air conditioning system, blow all of the dirt and debris out of your tires, and then clean your tires with a brush. You don’t need to turn them inside out, just give them a thorough cleaning. Give your tires a once over with a clean sponge to remove dirt and other debris, paying close attention to the treads. Make sure to wipe dirt from under your car’s wheels as well.

10. Clean Engine:

Wash the engine compartment with a damp rag to remove dirt and grime. Make sure to give it a thorough cleaning before you refill your gas tank or fill up your car with gasoline.

11. Clean Wheel Wells:

Clean the wheel wells with a sponge and soapy water. Make sure you thoroughly clean the areas where tires meet the body of your car. Any dirt, bugs or other debris in this area will vaporize when you drive and can damage your car’s paint job.

12. Wash Your Car:

Wash your car using a chemical or non-chemical friendly car wash soap. Make sure to rinse all soap residue from your car thoroughly before you start to hose it down. This will prevent you from getting water spots on the paint or any other damage.

13. Dry Your Car:

Make sure your car is completely dry before starting to drive. This will help prevent anything from flying into your windshield or damaging the paint job on the exterior of your car.

The main objective of detailing a car is to increase its aesthetic appeal and value in trade-in, company use or resale. In an industry where profit margins are usually razor thin, an impeccable finish can mean millions at the showroom floor or auctions. After washing your car, apply a wax protection product or drying lotion to keep your car’s paint looking good and keep it safe.

Tips to Keep Your Car Interior Clean Longer

*Be mindful of what you eat and drop in your car – crumbs, salt, muddy shoes all make your car feel dirty from the inside.

*Keep a container in the backseat for things like trash, dirty shoes, or picnic supplies that can easily be closed up when not in use.

*Make sure to bring an extra plastic bag with you when picking up groceries so you don’t have to transfer items into multiple bags or containers.

*Always use a clean towel when wiping down your car seats. The towel can be easily washed and reusable, but also will not leave behind a greasy residue like a dry cloth might.

*Hand wash your car interior whenever possible. If you typically don’t have time for regular car washing, check out our product review  for your car washes.

*Another way to keep your car interior clean is to use a subscription service such as The Detailer Box . The detailers diligently work through your entire car and leave it spotless when they are done.

*Keeping a vacuum cleaner in your trunk will help keep your interior clean when you do stop for gas during the drive home. The vacuum can be used on the floor mats, seats, and trunk to easily remove pet hair, leaves and more.

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