They say that your car is your first castle. How you maintain it says a whole lot about your personality. We all understand that a car’s interior may harbor different kinds of dirt and stains: from cigarette filters, food wrappers, animal fur, the usual dust particles, pollen and all sorts of dirt. This makes it dirty very easily.
A lot of people enjoy riding in a clean car but when it comes to rolling their sleeves and doing a thorough cleaning of the car, it becomes a difficult and a frustrating task. Doing a thorough vacuuming of your car’s interior can be hard if you don’t go about it in a systematic manner. It requires skill and patience. As they say, nothing comes out easily. Shortcuts don’t cut it either. So below is how you should vacuum the entire interior of a car until it is clean as new again.
Ensure that you have the right tools with you
Depending on the degree of dirt in your car, make sure that you have all the cleaning tools ready with you. You don’t go to war without your sword or your armor bag. In this case, your most important tool is a vacuum cleaner and not just any vacuum cleaner, a powerful vacuum cleaner with extensions that will help you clean all the nooks that are hard to reach. A Metro Vac ‘n’ blow vacuum cleaner is one of my favorites. An assortment of brushes, compressed air (if available) and a latex glove comes in handy in case there is animal fur on your interiors.
Empty your car
Get rid of your belongings and large trash that may be hard for the vacuum cleaner to pick. Things like cans, polythene bags, cigarette filters can be picked by hand and disposed at the garbage disposal. If you have anything inside the car that may inconvenience you during the process of vacuuming then take it out. Ensure that you have everything taken out, some may be lying under the seats.
Ensure correct settings for your vacuum cleaner
Vacuum cleaners have different levels of suction settings in them depending on the type of material you intend to vacuum. Some vacuum cleaners changes levels automatically but if yours doesn’t then ensure you have the correct setting to avoid accidents on your rich Corinthian leather seats as you vacuum.
Take out the floor mats
Some of us like vacuuming the car floor with the mats still on top which is not a good idea. Unless you are not thoroughly vacuuming your car. It is advisable to take out the mats because dirt hide under them plus, it will be easier to vacuum the nooks near the brakes and the clutch. Don’t forget to clean the floor mats before laying them on the floor of the car later on.
Cover your door jabs
Your vacuum hose may have a higher pressure especially if it is high powered. This may not be good for the paint on the jabs. So it is advisable to use a soft towel made of something like microfiber so that it can prevent your car from scratching as you vacuum.
Begin vacuuming out the loose dirt
The best way to do this being systematic. Begin with the driver’s seat since this is the place which harbors a lot of dust from the shoes and pants. At this point, it is not necessary to have attachments on the vacuum cleaner since it can easily suck up the loose dirt. Start with the floor carpet. Ensure that you suck all the loose dust before moving to the seat fold and the seat in general.
If there is any other nook or cranny that the vacuum cleaner can reach then vacuum it. Move to the passenger’s seat and repeat the same process. Finally go to the back seat and repeat the process.
Time to use a brush
Once you have sucked up all the loose dust and pollen, it is time to get rid the dust hidden in the fibers using a brush. Most of the people don’t usually do this because the car may look clean after the first round of vacuuming out the dirt from the surfaces. But the job is not yet done. You have to use the brush to bring the trapped dirt and pollen to the surface so that you can use the vacuum again.
It’s easier to brush a portion, say a seat then vacuuming it. The type of brush you are using matters too. They need to be stiff enough to root out the hidden dust but not too stiff that it can rip out the fabric/fiber of your interior.
This is a special and a stressful case but it is not that hard to remove. Pets come with a price, especially if you like going for a drive with your dog for example. They leave their fur all over the seats and the interior. The fur is hard to come out. No matter how much air pressure you apply and vacuuming, they still won’t come out. But there is a simple trick.
Remember the latex glove? That does a pretty good job. All you need to do is put on a glove and rub out the surface with fur as you vacuum. The static electricity generated by the rubber glove brings the fur loosely on to the surface which makes it easy for the vacuum cleaner to suck.
Move all the seats
Car seats are movable and can be shifted forwards or backwards. For a convenient vacuuming, start by adjusting the seats forward and then clean the nooks systematically. Do not leave out a spot. Once it is done, you can move the seats backwards again and vacuum the same way. Do it systematically to avoid missing a spot and don’t forget to use the attachments to get rid of the hidden dust and dirt.
The soft brush with a bristle works out just fine. Sometimes as you adjust the seat in either direction as you vacuum, you may realize that there is a stain on the mat. Do not ignore the stain, instead apply a necessary spray cleaner and then vacuum it out until the carpet is free of dirt before you adjust the seat again.
Vacuum your car booth/trunk
Most people ignore to vacuum this place because it is usually closed and no one may be able to see how clean or dirty it is except the owner. But it is always good to vacuum the trunk because some dirt may penetrate through into your back seat especially if your car is old or poorly maintained. So don’t forget to vacuum the trunk.
The remaining parts
Your main objective should be to clean each and every part inside your car. I am talking about the brakes, clutch, knobs, buttons and the stereo. This are the parts where dust hide and it is a good practice never to forget cleaning them. You may use a combination of a soft brush and a vacuum cleaner to clean them.
Getting rid of a foul smell
One possible cause of a foul smell inside your car is a faulty air filter. But in case there is a bad odor on your carpet then replacing the air filter won’t do anything to help. But you can use air freshener or backing soda on the carpet and once it is dry, you vacuum the particles.
Once you are done vacuuming the entire interior, you need to do one last task. Clean the mats. You can simply vacuum them if they are not that dirty but if they are, then you will have to vacuum them then wash them and let them dry and before you bring them back to the car ensure that the back doesn’t have any soil or leaves particles in them.