Interior Auto Cleaning – Drive in Comfort San Diego
Cleaning as Recommended from Consumer Reports
Any auto parts store will have a variety of cleaners for different types of surfaces, including carpet, upholstery, leather, and plastic. But there is no need to buy specialty cleaners just for cars—household cleaners work fine. Be careful, however, to use the right product for the right cleaning job. If in doubt about a product, test an inconspicuous area of the surface to be cleaned.
A good way to clean just about any carpet is with a steam cleaner. But renting or buying one just for your car could be expensive. If you already have a steam cleaner, or plan to rent one to steam the carpets in your home, this would be a good cleaning option for your car.
If a steam cleaner is not available, you can use a general spray-on carpet cleaner. Work the compound into the carpet with a stiff bristle brush. Avoid getting the carpet and upholstery too wet as you risk acquiring mildew or damaging nearby electronic equipment. If you have a problem stain such as makeup, oil, gum, tree sap, or tar, you should use a specialty cleaning product to remove it.
If you’re using a steam cleaner, check to see if a special upholstery shampoo or machine attachment is recommended. If you’re not using a steam cleaner, use a spray-on upholstery cleaner and work it in with a soft brush and let it dry, according to directions. Do not forget to clean the rear parcel shelf, safety belts, and seat joints.
Use leather cleaner, saddle soap, or another mild leather soap on a damp cloth and rub it softly onto all leather areas. Remove the excess soap with a clean, slightly damp cloth. Use cotton swabs to remove excess soap from the seams.
Use glass cleaner to wash the inside of windows. Spray the cleaner directly on the cloth to avoid streaking and getting the cleaner on the upholstery.
A household all-purpose cleaner will get to any remaining dirt on your dashboard, rubber door moldings, and interior trim. Again, spray the cleaner directly on a clean cloth. Clean tight areas such as air vents, panel seams, and radio buttons with a dampened soft toothbrush, cotton swab, or small paintbrush. Don’t forget to clean the safety-belt buckles, change drawer, glove compartment, and ashtray.
After cleaning, leather can be treated with a conditioner formulated specifically for it. This is particularly valuable for dried-out leather. If you would like to apply a product to your car’s vinyl or plastic, try to find a product that is nongreasy. Many commercial conditioners contain silicone oils that can stain clothing.
If you still have noticeable odors after such a vigorous cleaning, use an odor-removal product designed to get smells out of fabrics. See Consumer report on how to remove smells from cars.