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Hacks for a clean car interior

Even in busy traffic, keep your car an oasis of calm by following these handy tips to keep the interior of your vehicle free from dirt and clutter.


Car keys with yellow car keyring

Cleaning on the move:

  1. Keep a microfibre cloth in the glove box for wiping the dashboard when stuck in traffic.

  2. When using cleaning sprays, apply them to a cloth outside the vehicle to avoid stray droplets that could leave marks.

  3. Remove dirt from surfaces and crevices first, then vacuum to catch dust that settles on floor and seats.

These tips will help keep your car clean and comfortable for you and your passengers

  • Microfibre cloths: These are recommended by car enthusiasts for cleaning cars inside and out.

  • Dusty crevices: A toothbrush will help clear grime from cracks and small spaces. A little toothpaste on the brush is also useful for cleaning headlights.

  • Antibacterial wipes: Keep a packet at hand so spills can be dealt with quickly, wherever you are.

  • Vacuuming: Invest in a cleaner with an attachment for cleaning small spaces, and a brush for use on air vents, seats and door compartments.

  • Pet hair: Rub carpet and upholstery while wearing rubber gloves to gather long hair or loosen stubborn short hair. Dispose of hairballs, and vacuum up the rest.

  • Odours: Leave a bowl of vinegar in the car overnight – doors and windows closed - to banish them, airing out the car the next day.

  • DIY air freshener: Put a few drops of your favourite essential oil – keeping it away from pets and children – on a wooden clothes peg and clip it to an air vent.

  • Rubbish: Keep a carrier bag or bin liner in the car to collect packaging and rubbish.

The windscreen and windows

Clean glass makes driving more enjoyable and is vital for safety.

  • Wipe glass thoroughly with a microfibre cloth using circular motions.

  • Remove grease from the surface with a microfibre cloth and some rubbing alcohol.

  • Use glass cleaner and a microfibre cloth to make the glass sparkle and remove any traces of dirt or grease. Spray the product onto the cloth to avoid the cleaner spotting the dashboard and causing discolouration.

Clean tinted windows with soapy water and a microfibre cloth, avoiding products containing ammonia as they could damage the tinting.

Windscreen exterior deep clean

For an immaculate windscreen, ideally, the first step is to clean the exterior. Then you can clearly see the grime on the inside. These steps will make sure your windscreen is thoroughly clean for several months, and the waxing step will mean dirt or insects are easy to wipe off.

  1. Spray the glass with cleaning product and wipe with a microfibre cloth. Do half the windscreen at a time so the product does not dry out on the surface.

  2. Clay bars are generally used on paintwork, but going over your windscreen with one will remove stubborn dirt or contaminants without scratching. Reshape your clay bar to present a fresh surface should it become dirty.

  3. Repeat the glass cleaner step with a new cloth to remove any dirt loosened by the clay bar.

  4. Dry the windscreen with a clean microfibre cloth.

  5. For extra help in repelling water or ice, apply a protective coating of car wax or similar product. Apply a light coating of product with a clean microfibre cloth, distributing with circular motions. Leave the wax for a few minutes; it is ready to buff off when moving your finger through the wax leaves a clear mark.

  6. Buff off the wax with a clean microfibre cloth, then finally buff again with a finishing cloth in circular motions, followed by vertical ones. Be careful not to touch the glass and leave fingerprints.

Keep windscreen wiper blades working effectively by wiping them with a cloth and a cleaning product suitable for rubber.

When traveling with kids, keep toys or crayons together by using shower caddies with strong suction cups. Stick caddies to the lower area of back-seat passenger windows for easy access.

Originally published