My car is booked in for a service this weekend so yesterday I spent a couple of hours cleaning it inside and out and I don’t even want to go into the detail because it’s honestly embarrassing but I’ll just say this: it was disgusting. And all I could think was how embarrassed I would be at the idea of anyone seeing it. I fear being walked to my car by a friend or even worse being asked for a lift because I’ll be judged harshly (and yet, fairly) for the absolute state of my car. But then I couldn’t help but wonder – Why

Why do I let it get like this over and over again? I hate cleaning it out and I feel bad about myself every time I get in it. So why do I do this to myself? And more importantly:

If it’s not good enough for the mechanic to see why do I think it’s good enough for me?

Maybe it’s because I’m no car guy… I don’t know how they work. I don’t know what specific makes and models look like except for mine. I don’t even have a dream car. I picked mine based on reliability and functionality and I hope it lasts forever so I never have to go car shopping again. 

Yet despite all that, I have to spend a lot of time in my car. It’s almost a daily occurrence, as it as for most people, to need to go somewhere. And yeah, sometimes it’s fun, too. Bring my coffee along in a travel mug (might be part of the problem), turn the music up, play some “I Spy” – make the most of it. 

I’m a big believer in making the space around you reflective of your personality. So what does my car – a space I regularly inhabit – say about me? 

It says I’m a lazy slob.

So I guess that’s why I feel bad about myself every time I open the door to get in. And this is a task I have to do almost daily, multiple times, or sometimes for hours! So Why on earth would I do this to myself? It’s like mental self-harm.

I deserve better.

So I cleaned my car out yesterday and when I got in this morning I thought “Oh this is nice.” And that’s how I want to feel every time I get in my car. So will I keep it clean this time? Why wouldn’t I?

 

How to clean the interior of your car

1. Gather Your Cleaning Supplies

Before you begin, gather all the necessary cleaning supplies:

  • Vacuum cleaner with attachments
  • Microfibre cloths or towels
  • All-purpose cleaner or interior car cleaner
  • Glass cleaner
  • Upholstery cleaner (if needed)
  • Soft-bristled brush or detailing brush
  • Trash bags
  • A basket for shoes, jackets and any other junk that’s been left in there.

2. Start with Decluttering

Remove any items, trash, and clutter from the interior of your car. Use trash bags to collect garbage and items that don’t belong in the car. 

3. Vacuum Thoroughly

Use the vacuum cleaner with appropriate attachments to vacuum every surface inside the car:

  • Start with the seats, including under and between cushions.
  • Vacuum the floor mats and carpets, paying attention to corners and edges.
  • Use the brush attachment for hard-to-reach areas like air vents, dashboard crevices, and seat creases.
  • Don’t forget to vacuum the boot.

4. Clean Surfaces

Next, clean all interior surfaces using an all-purpose cleaner or interior car cleaner:

  • Wipe down the dashboard, steering wheel, center console, and door panels with a microfiber cloth dampened with cleaner.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush or detailing brush to clean crevices and buttons.
  • Clean the interior glass with a glass cleaner for a streak-free shine.

5. Address Upholstery and Carpets

If your car has fabric upholstery or carpeted areas, follow these steps:

  • Spot clean stains on upholstery using an appropriate upholstery cleaner.
  • Use a carpet cleaner for heavily soiled or stained carpets, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Allow upholstery and carpets to dry completely before re-installing mats or sitting on seats.

6. Detailing the Details

Pay attention to small details that can make a big difference:

  • Clean and condition door seals and rubber trim with a protectant.
  • Polish interior plastic and vinyl surfaces with an interior protectant for a shiny finish.
  • Use compressed air or a detailing brush to clean air vents and speaker grilles.

7. Final Touches

  • Reinstalling clean floor mats and organising items inside the car.
  • Wiping down door sills and kick plates.
  • New air freshener!

8. Enjoy Your Clean Car!

With your car’s interior sparkling clean and fresh, enjoy a pleasant and comfortable driving experience every time you hit the road. Add this job to your regular routine (NOTE TO SELF!) and don’t be a lazy slob. You deserve better.