8 Car Interior Cleaning Tips

That Will Make Your Car Sparkle

[And Make You Happy]

by Bill Flitter

Cars get gross! Every parent knows what it’s like to have a messy car. They also know that car cleaning is no fun and time consuming. French fries, Goldfish cracker crumbs, spilled juice boxes, and sippy cups filled with rotten milk are standard fare in almost every parent’s backseat. A car can go from new to nasty in a single drive-thru meal.

Then comes the day when your kids outgrow their safety seats and booster chairs. Removing child seats from the car for the first time in years is almost guaranteed to make you want to abandon your car altogether. If you’re lucky, you’ll find only Cheerios, snack wrappers, and perhaps a matchbox car or plastic dinosaur. But be prepared to find sticky, gooey stuff also, so keep some latex gloves handy.

Because cars get messy, and most parents don’t have a lot of time or money keeping them spotless, here are my favorite hacks for easy car cleaning. Especially when you buy a new car, you want to keep it clean, or at least cleaner, than the old one. But even if your car is into its teens, you want to extend its life by keeping it as spotless as possible.

Did you know...

On average, a 4-year-old child asks 437 questions a day.
Messy Back Seat

8 Life Hacks That Will Make Car Interior Cleaning Easy

Cleaning Booster Seats

To clean your child’s booster seat, the first thing you need to do is remove it from the car. You’ll discover you need to clean the car upholstery as well as the booster! Your supplies list should include a mini-vac, a toothbrush, and a cleaning solution. Anything from name brands to simple soap and water will work.

One easy cleaning hack is to also throw the cloth cover of the booster seat into the washing machine. Wipe down the booster seat and let it air dry before reinstalling it in the car. Be sure to replace any toys that were attached to the seat; it’s the first thing you’re little one will notice missing.

The seat below is the Chicco KidFit Booster Seat, which allows for super-easy cleaning.

Chicco KidFit Booster Seat

Cleaning Up Spills

No matter how organized and careful you inside your car, eventually something will be spilled there and a mess will need to be cleaned up. In that case, you might want to invest around $30 for a good car vacuum cleaner. You can find a widee selection on Amazon. Good features to look for include: super suction, size, wet/dry functions, and HEPA filters.

Here’s to consider priced at $33.99 on Amazon.

Amazon Car Vacuum

Reach For A Built-in Vacuum

If you want your vacuum cleaner already super handy, look no further than the Honda Odyssey. Honda was the first automaker to introduce a built-in vac. Since then, only Chrysler has followed suit with a built-in vacuum for the Pacifica. You can research both the 2017 Honda Odyssey and the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica on Carjojo to make sure you get the best deal on your new vehicle. You can also check out tips to find the best minivan in 2017 for you.

Honda's Built-in Vac

Get Your Headlights Shining Bright

Okay, this is not a car-interior hack, but this is one I just have to share. Here’s how to keep your headlights clean without having to wash the whole car. The video below from ChrisFix shows how to use toothpaste (not gel) and a toothbrush to scrub your headlights, and then rinse and dry with a follow-up of wax, to get bright, shiny headlights!


Headlight Cleaning

Use Paint Brushes

There are a ton of great finds at the dollar store, including foam craft brushes. These are perfect for cleaning dust out of your car vents. Think of it as a feather duster/scrubber for those hard-to-reach crevices. By removing those particles from the air vents, you’ll keep the rest of the car interior cleaner also.

Foam Brushes for Cleaning

Repair Rips, Tears, and Cracks

If you’re like me and driving a car with ripped leather seats, courtesy of the dog (suffice it to say, I’ve broken my own safety tips when it comes to driving with a dog in the car), you might want to consider fixing your car’s torn upholstery. The sooner the better since these holes only get bigger over time. For a quick, easy, and cheap fix, you may want to buy a leather and vinyl repair kit, available from Amazon. These kits come in a variety of colors; just choose a shade that matches your vehicle’s upholstery.

Amazon Leather and Vinyl Repair Kits

Is your dashboard dull?

Here’s another super-cheap car cleaning idea that I really like. Have you ever wondered how to make your dashboard shiny and new-looking again? You can use plain old olive oil to polish and condition your dash. Just be sure to dust and wipe off the dash beforehand, and test the oil in a small area of your dashboard before applying it to the entire surface.

Olive Oil Polish

Remove Hair and Fur Easily

Has your pet’s fur reupholstered your car? A Reddit user, Thesteelman86, has just the solution. Grab a shower squeegee and rub it on your seats and floor to gather up any stubborn hair and fur. After all the debris is collected, just do a once-over with your car’s built-in-vac, or any old vacuum, and your seats will look like they’ve just been professionally detailed.

8 Hacks That Will Make Car Interior Cleaning Easy

Over To You

Have you ever used any of these car interior cleaning hacks before? Which ones have worked well for you? What are your hacks to help keep your car clean? Next, clean up the clutter with these car organizer tips.


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