Your car’s interior is as important as its exterior because 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 in order 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
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. Tip: avoid applying protective creams to the pedals and the steering wheel as it can make these parts slippery.
Use vacuum cleaners
In cleaning the interior of your car, vacuum cleaners are a must. The carpet under your car’s matting and other places are 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 to use vacuum cleaners. A conventional one will do or better yet, get one of those handheld types that run on batteries. They could come pretty handy if you need to clean your rag while away from home. Life hack: you can also use it to retrieve a tiny piece of jewelry under the seats.
Remove the 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 (we’re not kidding) and let it sit for 5 minutes; dry it afterwards.
As for grease stains, a clean cloth damped with paint thinner should be your best friend. Rub and cover the remaining grease with salt until absorbed, then use a vacuum cleaner to finish the job. Take note: Check first if the paint thinner can stain the color of your carpeting and upholstery by testing it on hidden areas such as under the seats.
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 it 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 afterwards.
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, blood stains could become a headache if it sets. To remove them, cover with paste made from corn starch and cold water. Let it dry then brush and vacuum the residue away. Tip: Don’t use hot water as it will cement the blood stain in. You could also use this technique in removing other bodily fluids that could come in contact with your carpet and seat covers.
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, it could turn into bigger problems, which includes replacement of the whole component.
It’s not exactly a necessity but putting a trash bin or can will really 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 that drive-thrus are already a thing these days. You’ll also be able to help the environment as you won’t be throwing your trash away through the windows.
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, or lover who will be riding with you.