How To Detail Your Vehicle: The Interior

Interior detailing isn't the most difficult, unless the inside of the vehicle is pretty much ruined. If that is the case, please look for a different article referring to revitalizing your interior (in a way that's not too expensive). If not, follow these steps to a clean and fresh vehicle interior:

  1. Remove everything. Remove all (if any) garbage, the floor mats and personal belongings.  If you can, remove the seats as well for easier cleaning.
  2. Give vinyl a quick wipe down. We'll come back to this soon, but this way you can vacuum up anything that falls from these surfaces.
  3. Vacuum. Vacuuming up first will make the rest of the job go along a little smoother. NOTE: IF YOU HAVE AN AIR COMPRESSOR, USE IT HERE TO BLOW OUT CRACKS, CREVICES, AND AIR VENTS. BE SURE TO WEAR EAR AND EYE PROTECTION.
  4. Shampoo the carpet. Take your foaming carpet spray and cover the carpet and cloth seats with the spray. Let this sit for a minute, and then use the carpet brush to scrub the foam into the carpet. Also do this with your headliner.
  5. Vacuum. Be sure to vacuum extremely well, removing the foam that is now in your carpet and seats. A strong shop vac will work best here. If you didn't remove your seats, use a crevice attachment to get in-between the seats.
  6. Follow steps 4 and 5 to clean your floor mats. (If your floor mats are "bad," you may use a diluted solution -- degreaser and water -- to clean the mats. Hose these off until all of the soap is removed).
  7. Shine up those doorjambs. I recommend using a diluted degreaser to clean off dirt and grease. Then use your quick detail shine to make the doorjambs shine.
  8. Clean the vinyl. Take a vinyl cleaner and a cloth and scrub your vinyl surfaces (dashboard, etc.). For really tough stains, a brush may be used in combination with the cleaner.
  9. Clean the windows. Take your favorite glass cleaner (preferably ammonia-free; ammonia discolors tint) and clean the windows, and mirrors. (Don't forget the mirrors under your visor.)
  10. Clean and condition any leather. If you have leather in your vehicle, I recommend using Lexol cleaner and Lexol conditioner. Follow their easy instructions on the back of each bottle to clean and condition your leather.
  11. The finer detailing. Take a q-tip or soft detailing brush and get any remaining dust from small crevices and air vents.
  12. Airing out.  If you have the time, let your vehicle sit with the windows slightly open to air out the carpets and to remove any smell from chemical use. 
  13. Place your floor mats and belongings back in your vehicle. If you wish, mist some of your favorite fragrance under the seats.

Your vehicle should now be fresh and clean!

 

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