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Car Cleaning Detail Tips That Make the Difference

By Edited Jul 30, 2015 2 1

If you want your car to look showroom clean then here are a few car cleaning detail tips for the inside of your car that make it look like you went that extra mile.

Q-tips or something similar are your best friend when it comes to getting into tight corners and air vents. 

You never want to spray any car cleaner directly onto the dashboard since you can easily get cleaners into places such as the stereo, or other electronics, but you can put cleaner directly onto a swab or Q-tip.  You can then clean out the vent louvers and inside the vent and also gently clean around the crevices near all the electronics.

Just getting into all these “seams” and “crevices” makes a huge difference on the appearance of the car.  As the title suggests, it is all in the “details” when it comes to doing a good job.

A few years ago, we used to run a car detailing business, and we quickly learned what works best and what doesn’t.  Using a cloth is great for the larger areas, but all those crevices build up dust and dirt, and it really shows on the darker dashboards.

Let the Cleaner do the work – What this means, is that anywhere you can spray some cleaner such as the cubby holes, door pockets or if the backs of the seats are really dirty.  Spray the cleaner gently and let it sit and do its job of loosening the dirt and dust before tackling it with the cloth.  This of course depends on how dirty the car is that you are detailing.

Many people practically live in their cars, so you are dealing with spilt coffee, pop, crumbs that have stuck in the spilt coffee, and lunches that have spilt onto the car mats and much more.

Take the Mats right out – If you can remove the mats, do so right at the beginning of the job.  Take them outside and vacuum them and then spray them with carpet cleaner and let it sit, then take a hose and hose them down, then rinse and hang over the railing to dry.  They will dry fast. 

Clean mats can make the biggest difference in a car afterwards as they hold most of the smells and ground in salt and dirt.  Fluff them up with the vacuum before pu

Car Cleaning Detail Tips Shop Vac
tting them back in the car.

Invest in a good vacuum – If you get a decent shop vac then you can get rid of most dirt and crumbs before you try to start cleaning any surfaces.  Just make sure you take a quick look through the car for any objects or money or pens etc., and bag them up first before you vacuum. 

Shop Vac Pro Series Wet or Dry

Don’t forget to check under the seats, as this is a great area for all kinds of objects, toys and old food to collect.  We once had a friend with a bad smell in her car.  She asked us to detail it as she thought it was just an accumulation of dirt and debris, turns out under the seat was an old unfinished yogurt, so you can imagine the rest.

Get a good Conditioner – The type designed for leather or vinyl.  You don’t want anything too slippery, but once you have finished all the cleaning, you can then take a CLEAN soft cloth and use a tiny amount of this type of product to give the dashboard and all vinyl or leather surfaces a nice clean sheen.

Don’t use it on the steering wheel or it will make it slippery, just clean the steering wheel the best you can.

You can use your swabs or Q-tips again for this process on the vent louvers to give

Car Cleaning Detail Tips
them a sheen as well.

With all the electronics on the dashboard of newer cars,  comes more crevices and little seams to clean.  If you just run your cleaning cloth over these areas, you will not get that dust and dirt out of those seams, so use the swabs and see the difference.

Armorall Car Cleaning/Detailing Kit

The above are just a small sample of some car cleaning detail tips that may help you bring your car back to its original luster.  Or consider doing this for a business.  Many people love to have a fresh clean car but don’t want to do it themselves!

You could advertise amongst friends and neighbours.  You will often see people washing and waxing their car but when it comes to detailing the inside they give it a pass, or try and con their kids into a quick vac. 

So by offering a interior car detailing service, all you need to have is a good shop vac and a few cleaning products and don’t forget those swabs or Q-tips!  They will make your job easier and can be purchased for cheap at the grocery store or drug store, but can make a huge difference as your finger and a cloth just can’t get into some of these little crevices.



Aug 29, 2011 5:35pm
Great tips for detailing a car or truck.Keeping the hardest working machine in your life clean and maintained is very important.Love the Q-tip tip.
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