Taking care of your vehicle doesn’t just stop with exterior care and keeping up with its regular maintenance schedule. The interior of your car also needs some love as it affects the overall look of your ride. Aside from depreciating its resale value, a dirty seat cover and dashboard panel won’t turn your date on while inside the car.
To preserve the value of your car and save your date, here are the things that you could do to maintain its interior. We also understand that most stains are unavoidable, especially when you have kids. Thus, to help you clean the mess, we also included tips on how you can remove them.
Apply protective creams
Similar to a skin routine you would do for your face, you will also need to apply protective creams to certain areas of your car’s cabin. Even if your car is heavily tinted, most of its parts can become dry, brittle, and prone to cracking. This is because the first layer of coating of vinyl and plastic parts can disintegrate due to old age and sun exposure.
To protect these parts, you can apply protective creams which you can buy from your local hardware stores or auto shops. This may incur an additional cost for you but it’s better than replacing your whole dashboard or all the plastic parts just to restore your car’s appearance. Just make sure that you don’t apply any protective cream to your pedals and steering wheel as it may cause you to lose grip easily.
Use a vacuum cleaner
One tool that will help you a lot when it comes to interior maintenance is investing in a vacuum cleaner. The carpet under your car’s matting and other places is hard to reach. Dust, sand, stone, and grains can go into those places, which in the long run could pile up and become permanent stains.
You’ll probably waste a lot of time trying to pick them up one by one so we strongly recommend for you use vacuum cleaners. A conventional one will do or better yet, get one of those handheld types that run on batteries. If you are working with a higher budget you can also get a wet vacuum so that you can give your vehicle’s carpet and other areas a much deeper clean with some soap as well. Whichever kind of vacuum you choose, they could come in pretty handy if you need to clean your rag while away from home. Also, make sure to attach the right heads to the vacuum hose to get to the harder-to-reach places in your cabin, which include the cracks and crevices of your seats where a lot of dirt and debris can build up over time.
Remove stains ASAP
Stains should be removed as soon as you can. They are the archrival of any car’s interior which can be easily defeated if removed with care. Cleaning them out depends on the kind of material and type of stain.
Leather seats and linings are easy to maintain; just use commercially available cleaners and you’re good to go. That’s the reason why we always recommend leather seat covers if you usually do something nasty (in every sense of that word) inside your car. As for carpets and cloth-lined interiors and seat covers, you can follow these steps below.
Coffee stains are inevitable. To remove, dilute them immediately with cold water and blot with paper towels, old newspaper, or clean cloth. If some of it remains, soak it with glass cleaner and let it sit for 5 minutes; dry it afterward.
Grease and other stains
As for grease stains, a clean damp microfiber cloth should be your best friend. Rub and cover the remaining grease with salt until absorbed, then use a vacuum cleaner to finish the job. If the stain persists then we recommend using more aggressive interior detailing products to help remove the stain. If this doesn’t work then going to a professional should be your best option.
If for some reason you happen to stain your car with ink, use hairspray to take it out of the affected area. Again, we’re not kidding about the hairspray. You can also use salt as it will absorb the ink.
For gum, put ice cubes inside a ziplock and place them over the gum to freeze it. Once the gum becomes hard, you can go ahead and scrape it off with a blunt knife. Wash the remaining stains with soap and water afterward.
Moreover, a wild night out with your buddies can mean vomiting inside the car. Clean it immediately by diluting its acidity with a mixture of baking soda and water, then rinse and dry.
Lastly, bloodstains could become a headache if it sets. To remove them, cover with a paste made from corn starch and cold water. Let it dry then brush and vacuum the residue away. Make sure that you do not use hot water to remove the bloodstains as it will cause it to cement in. For other bodily fluids, on the other hand, hot water works fine.
Headliners and visors
Headliners are the protective material that wraps the roof inside the car, while visors are the ones that you use to cover your eyes from sunlight. However, both of them can be ripped and destroyed due to the car’s age or an action-filled activity that might have happened inside the vehicle.
To avoid huge damages, always keep an eye on tears on both parts. Small rips can be easily repaired but if ignored, they could turn into bigger problems, which include replacement of the whole component.
It’s not exactly a necessity but putting a trash bin can help in maintaining the cleanliness inside your ride. Small trash pieces such as candy wrappers, empty food containers, or used tissues can be put there, especially since drive-thrus are already a thing these days.
We could safely say that preserving the cleanliness inside your car is a reflection of one’s personality. A well-maintained car will not only keep its resale value high, but you will also earn respect from your family, friends, and special someone who will be riding with you.