6 Tips for Maintaining Your Car Upholstery and Interior

For most car lovers, their cars are smaller extensions of their homes on wheels. As such, they need to maintain their interior and upholstery well. Regular cleaning of the car’s interior not only makes your car appealing, but it’s also essential for proper function. Here are our top six tips that will help keep your car interior and upholstery sparkling clean and fresh.

Clean the seats

Most car seats are made of vinyl, cloth, or leather upholstery. All-in-one convertible car seats for kids are also included in this category. These seat materials require a different cleaning approach, and it is always best to follow the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning products after vacuuming them.

Vinyl upholstery: Cleaning these seats is easy. Spray the appropriate product and use a smooth, dry cloth to wipe off the dirt.

Cloth upholstery: This is easy to clean with a multi-purpose cleaner and some stain remover. For homemade cleaners, mix vinegar, dish soap, and water. Then, spray it on the seats and blot using a microfiber cloth or a built-in brush. You can also use a carpet steamer for this.

Leather upholstery: Cleaning leather products requires time and high-quality leather cleaning products. It is best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on what products to use. For home cleaning, use a solution of water and dish soap to spritz down the seats, then wipe them dry. After, apply a leather conditioner to help keep the leather looking as good as new.

Toss the trash

Clutter accumulates fast if you eat and drink inside the car. The easiest way to keep your car clean would be abstaining from eating anything in the car. If this is not possible, keep a trash bag in your car for all the food waste and trash that enters your car, causing stains, spills, odors, and crumbs.

Gather all the trash from the floor, door pockets, cup holders, and seat pockets and dispose of it in the trash bag. Then, empty or throw away the bag when you get home or make a stop at the convenience store or gas station.

Clean the floor mats

One of the dirtiest parts of a car’s interior is its floor mats. To keep your car in good condition, clean the mats. Start by removing them from the car so you can clean them properly. You can beat them vigorously, use a stiff brush, or use a hose water jet to clean off any mud and dust. Give them ample time to dry before placing them back in the car, as damp floor mats can cause foul odors and mold to build up in the car.

Vacuum the inside

After removing the floor mats and other loose textiles, use a vacuum cleaner to clear off any debris and clutter from the car’s interior and carpet. Both the hand vacuum and professional-grade vacuums will effectively get the car cleaning job done. Pay attention to the crevices between the seats and the bottom of the boot area that are often forgotten. If the carpet gets too wet as you clean it, blot it dry using an absorbent towel.

Clean the hard surfaces

Use the recommended surface cleaners and a cloth to clean all the hard surfaces in the car like the armrests, steering wheel, console, dashboard, switches, and knobs. A household surface cleaner is good enough for wood and plastic paneling cleaning. Simply spray the areas with the spray cleaner, then use a clean, dry cloth to wipe them down. For those hard-to-reach surfaces like the AC vents, dampen a toothbrush and scrub them off.

Windows and mirrors

To clean car windows, spray a glass cleaner on a microfiber cloth and then wipe them off. If your windows are tinted, be cautious as some tints are easily damaged by cleaning products. It is best to consult the vendor that applied your tinting for cleaning products recommendations.


Regular cleaning of your car’s interior helps maintain its visual appeal for many years. These tips will equip you to become a pro at cleaning your car interior.

Author: Brandon Park