vacuuming seat of carOver time, your car accumulates a bunch of debris, including food crumbs, dirt, leaves, pebbles and pet hair. Beyond the surface dust, stains form or your leather upholstery starts to dry out and crack.

To maintain the appearance of your car’s interior, get started with the following tips.

Clean the Floor Mats

While floor mats better control moisture and prevent you from grinding dirt into the carpet, they gradually gather debris. To start cleaning your car’s interior, remove all mats to shake out and wash down. Take a vacuum to remove more embedded debris and consider using an upholstery cleaner.

For rubber or vinyl mats, clean the surface with soap and a scrub brush. Let the mats fully dry before putting them back into your car.

Vacuum the Interior and Clean the Upholstery

Vacuum the carpet and upholstery to remove dirt and debris. Get as close as you can to crevices and see if you can clean the space between the windshield and dashboard.

For cloth upholstery, further dislodge debris with a brush. This helps loosen dirt and crumbs embedded in the fabric. Based on the degree of staining, you may need to apply an upholstery cleaner before using a wet-dry vac or carpet steamer.

Leather is a bit more complicated. You’ll first want to wipe down the seats with a pH neutral leather cleaner, then apply a cleansing oil to keep the material supple and avoid cracking. After, buff the area with a microfiber cloth.

Clean Up Dust

After vacuuming the upholstery, use a microfiber cloth to clear away any dust and minor debris covering the dashboard and vents. As bacteria can accumulate in these areas, consider wiping down all surfaces with antibacterial or disinfectant wipes.

Scrub the Console

The console poses a challenge to clean, from its uneven surfaces and center position to the touchscreen. To isolate this area in your routine:

  • Never apply an ammonia-based cleaning product to your touchscreen. Instead, wipe away any dust and debris with a microfiber cloth moistened with water.
  • First wipe away dust from the cupholders and other hard surfaces.
  • Spray your cupholders and other hard surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner or warm water and dish soap before wiping them down with a dry cloth. For stubborn debris, scrub the area with a soft-bristled brush.

Clean Your Windows

Use a glass cleaner and microfiber cloth to wipe down the windows from the inside. To start, spray the cloth with cleaner before wiping in one direction. Follow this step by wiping the glass with a clean, dry microfiber cloth.


Some people add an air freshener, while others apply a natural product, like baking soda or activated charcoal with essential oils.

Get Into a Routine

Considering all these steps, create a cleaning routine based on the following:

  • Vacuum crumbs, dirt and get rid of dust at least once a week. Keep a microfiber cloth or putty gel on hand to pick up smaller debris.
  • Keep a small trash can or bag in your vehicle to hold wrappers and other debris from eating.
  • Consider adding a liner to your cupholder to reduce residue and more easily remove crumbs.
  • Schedule periodic deep cleanings, including one in the springtime to remove mud and other signs of winter.
  • Disinfect more frequently, especially around cold and flu season.
  • Clean up spills when they occur, rather than risk having a stain set.

Looking to revitalize your car’s interior? Contact DaSilva’s Auto Body to schedule detailing services!