JAM | Jun 8, 2023

Car Care Tips | DIY cleaning hacks for your car’s interior

Candice Stewart

Candice Stewart / Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Maintaining a clean car can be a challenge especially if you have children, encourage eating and drinking in the vehicle or if you just lead a busy life and you haven’t quite figured out how to make time to clean your car.

However, with the right tools and techniques, it can be an easy and rewarding task.

Frequent thorough cleaning of your car not only helps to keep it looking good, but it also helps to maintain its value and extend its lifespan.

Whether your car’s interior is leather, vinyl or fabric, these tips should help you to keep your car’s interior clean and fresh.

Use a soft brush for textured vinyl and hard-to-reach places

Look closely at the vinyl in your car’s interior and you will see a moon-like texture of mini craters and pockmarks. Merely wiping across this surface with a cloth only skims across these indented spaces where the real dirt and grime resides. With an eye for detail, get a soft to medium bristled toothbrush and some gentle soap and water or cleaning solution, and then get scrubbing along the seams.

Use some baking soda

Essentially a salt compound considered safe for human consumption, bi-carbonate of soda/baking soda is a be gentle cleaning tool. It is versatile: it can act as a mild abrasive, raise the PH to help remove acidic stains, and it can absorb freshly spilled liquids.

Just sprinkle some baking soda on a wet stain and it will draw some of the liquid up before you blot-attack the fabric.

Blot! Don’t rub

For some of you, when you see a stain on your cloth seats, your first instinct might be to use a cloth and attempt to rub out the stain. Doing that may very well make things worse.

Whether your weapon of choice is a sponge, a cloth, or even an old t-shirt: do not rub! It is much better to blot. Concentrate on pushing down on the stain and releasing. That sort of action gives the sense of lifting the stain from the fabric.

Olive oil for leather upholstery

Leather upholstery can be conditioned and protected with a small amount of olive oil. Just apply a small amount of oil to a microfibre cloth and gently rub it into the leather. The oil will help to condition the leather and protect it from cracking and fading.

Black tea or coffee for odour absorption

Keeping a small container of black tea or crushed coffee beans in your car can help to absorb bad odours. The tea leaves and coffee act as filters and will absorb the odours ridding your care of the bad smells you once tried to mask with air fresheners.

Clean windows with vinegar and newspaper

Cleaning your car windows can sometimes be a hassle. However, try using vinegar and newspaper as an easy and effective way to get streak-free results. Just mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and apply it to the windows. Then, use crumpled newspaper to clean the windows. It may be better to rub in a circular motion as if you’re waxing to see better results.

This is the 16th article in the weekly series, ‘Car Care Tips’ where we highlight various aspects of a car, how to provide care and maintenance for optimal performance while ensuring safety. This series may feature your favourite mechanic or others from the motor vehicle industry.

Read the 15th installment Car Care Tips | How to check if your radiator has enough coolant

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