8 Tips for Interior Cleaning and Detailing

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Detailing a vehicle interior means different things to different people. At a minimum, detailing involves a thorough vacuuming and wiping down all the surfaces of a vehicle interior, removing not only dirt and grime but also dust. For many, detailing can also mean steam cleaning carpets and cloth seats and thoroughly cleaning every last nook and crevice (including each louvre of each HVAC vent) and then applying an interior surface treatment to bring out more shine. In any case, a thorough cleaning can do wonders in improving the condition of a vehicle interior and, frankly, doesn’t have to be a major enterprise in order to get good results. Just a few key cleaning tips and the right cleaning products will go a long way.

A freshly washed and waxed vehicle not only looks great but also helps extend the life of your vehicle’s exterior. A freshly detailed vehicle interior also looks great and helps prolong vehicle life — on the inside. And, to some degree, it’s not just that a clean and detailed vehicle adds a level of enjoyment and satisfaction to owning and driving it, but the very act of cleaning and detailing can be downright fun.

8 Tips for Basic, Interior Detailing

  1. Wear appropriate eye protection and gloves. You’ll be dealing with dirt and grime and cleaning solutions that contain chemicals. Protect your eyes and hands!
  2. Remove all floor mats and valuable gear from the vehicle and set aside. Floor mats can be cleaned separately. This is also a good time to reorganize the stuff you carry in your vehicle, making sure it is in good condition and accessible as needed.
  3. Remove all garbage from the vehicle by hand. Physically remove any garbage or debris that’s too large for your vacuum. Tip: This is the time you’ll likely find coins that have fallen to the floor or between seats.
  4. Vacuum all carpets, seats and containers/pockets.
  5. Spot clean stains, grease, or other gunk with appropriate cleaning solutions. Microfiber towels are a great help during this process because they absorb moisture well and can get into tough-to-reach places. Once they get dirty, just toss in the laundry.
  6. Treat carpets and seats with appropriate cleaners. Some can be wiped on and off; others can be sprayed on and then extracted with a carpet cleaner. Some are meant for leather.
  7. Treat all vehicle surfaces except windows with appropriate cleaners/protectants.
  8. Clean all vehicle windows and glass with appropriate cleaners. We save the windows for last because steps 4, 5, 6 and 7 usually result in additional dust, dirt or spray from cleaning solutions ending up on the glass.

A superior multipurpose cleaner and deodorizer that leaves your vehicle with a pleasant scent. Can be applied to fabric, carpeting, vinyl tops, upholstery, or leather. (#4897840AD)


Designed to protect, condition and preserve your leather and vinyl. Contains no chlorinated solvents. (#04318017AC)


This cleaner is formulated for automotive and household use. Streak-free, it quickly removes haze, smudges, smears and film. (#04897623AD)

Watch: Keep the inside of your vehicle protected with All Weather Mats