Are you someone who neglects their car interior, opting to toss empty coffee cups in the back seat and buying a new air freshener (maybe) every five years? Plenty of us are guilty of this, but how many of us want to keep up these bad habits? Caring for your car interior is a great way to maintain the value of your vehicle and keep your personal space feeling comfortable. And at the end of the day, anyone who rides in your car will thank you.
Sprucing up your car interior is sure to make your car look better and lift your mood. But how do you know when it's time to give your car a deep cleaning? And what are the best ways to ensure your car stays fresh, clean, and looking like it just left the dealership?
What Makes Up Your Car's Interior?
Your car interior is essentially everything permanently inside your vehicle. That ranges from your steering wheel to your trunk bed. Your car interior might have come straight from the factory. Or it could feature tons of after-market accessories like an aftermarket stereo, speakers, and more. Some people also decorate the interior of their car with steering wheel covers, seat covers, and rearview mirror adornments (though in many cases these are actually illegal).
As car owners, we often pay more attention to certain parts of our vehicles' interiors than others. For instance, you might find yourself frequently dusting your dashboard but neglecting to vacuum your floors and seats. While any amount of car interior maintenance is beneficial, putting together a routine will help keep your car interior looking its absolute best.
Why Caring for Your Car Interior Is So Important
You can pay a visit to the carwash every single day. But if you don't care for your car interior, it will quickly look old and run down. Not only does this make your car less-than-impressive to friends, colleagues, and romantic partners. But it can also drop the resale value if you try to place it on the market. If you're someone who struggles with allergies, keeping your car clean can also help prevent symptoms and severe allergy attacks while on the road. This is essential to your comfort and overall safety.
Maintaining your car interior is also a sign of responsibility and respect for what is usually one of the most expensive items we own. Why spend upwards of $20,000 on a car if you're not going to care for it properly? Some people might feel that, since they bought the car themselves, they can do whatever they want with it. But we feel that neglecting your car's interior and its appearance is doing yourself a disservice.
Signs Your Car Interior Needs Some Love
Some signs of ignoring your car's interior can be remedied quickly, like a dusty stereo or crumbs on the seats. But if you ignore certain signs of damage, they can become permanent. Spills should be addressed immediately, especially if they have a foul odor. If you leave something like this for too long, especially something like vomit, then the odor and stain could end up sticking around forever.
If you live in an environment with heavy winter snow, then caring for your car interior is especially important during the colder months. With snow comes copious amounts of road salt. And while everyone knows the damage this salt can do to a car's exterior; many ignore the potential effects of letting it build up in their car interior. This salt can cake into your car's carpeting, becoming nearly impossible to get out. It can also corrode metal inside your car. To prevent all this damage, regular interior cleaning and maintenance are necessary.
How to Spruce Up Your Car Interior
If your car interior has fallen far from anything resembling "clean," you might want to consider investing in a detailing service. Some people find it easier to motivate themselves to keep their car interior clean if they start with a clean slate (pun intended). After investing a few hundred dollars into a professional detailing service, you'll want to keep your car interior looking as good as the day you drove it home.
For those on a budget, you can achieve a lot with just a few supplies and a couple of hours. While not everyone is up to at-home detailing, it is a much more affordable alternative to professional services. And after one deep cleaning session, you should be able to maintain your car interior with just a little bit of time every day, week, or even month.
There are many ways to spruce up your car interior. But we've selected some of the most basic steps to getting a clean and attractive interior below. We've also suggested some of our favorite products for keeping your car smelling fresh and looking its best.
Keep it smelling fresh
Nobody likes to sit in a stinky car. As car owners, we often become immune to the foul odors lingering in our car's interior. But that doesn't mean friends, family, and romantic partners can't smell last week's fast food wafting from your car's upholstery. Even if your car interior is physically spotless, a bad smell can ruin the quality of the interior. And scents like cigarette smoke can make it almost impossible to sell a car on the used market.
Keeping your car smelling good doesn't have to mean hanging a stereotypical pine tree air freshener from your mirror. There are plenty of more attractive, and more effective options available. If you're not a fan of scents, you can opt for a fragrance-free deodorizer. Some options include the Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag or the Arm & Hammer Fridge Filter.
- 100% baking soda
- Place it virtually anywhere
- Eliminates odors so foods taste fresher longer
- Super grip suction cup adheres virtually anywhere to get the baking soda up into the air flow and closer to the source of odors
- The Replacement Indicator shows when it's time to replace the unit, ensuring fresh foods are always protected
However, if you prefer using a scented air freshener, most popular home air freshener companies also make products for car interiors. The Febreze Car Air Freshener clips onto your air vents, circulating the scent throughout your car interior. If you're a fan of essential oils, you can also purchase diffusers that clip into your dashboard vents. The RoyAroma Car Aromatherapy Diffuser is a great option.
Declutter as needed
Clutter can range from old gym clothes to garbage, and everything in-between. The first step to addressing clutter in your car is removing everything that doesn't need to be in your car at all times. Except in specific circumstances, most people only need a few essentials in their car. Anything that you don't need in your car should be removed and put away. These essentials might include:
If your clutter comes from trash, then the best thing you can do is develop some discipline. Make a habit of taking your trash with you whenever you get home or somewhere with a public trash can. By removing things like drink cups, plastic wrappers, and junk mail as they accumulate, your car interior will never have the chance to fill up with trash in the first place.
You can also invest in a car garbage can to help contain small pieces of trash like napkins and tissues. There's a wide variety of these trash cans on the market, but there are some popular ones to choose from. The KMMOTORS Car Garbage Bin hooks onto the passenger-side of your center console. That allows you to easily reach over and drop trash into the bin even when you're on the go. The High Road TrashStash hooks onto the back of your front seats. That isn't very convenient for the driver. But it's great if you have kids or regularly transport other people in the back of your car.
- LEAKPROOF CAR GARBAGE BAG - designed in the U.S. after hanging trash bins used on sailboats, the TrashStash is the original leakproof, hanging auto trash bag
- HINGED CLOSURE KEEPS TRASH AND ODOR CONTAINED - spring-frame stays closed when not in use, and is easy to open from the driver seat with a front pull tab
- KEEPS 3 GALLONS OF GARBAGE OFF THE CAR FLOOR - the heavy-duty strap is adjustable to fit all headrests and to position the TrashStash higher or lower for best reach
- EASY TO CLEAN - simply press the quick-release buckle, empty car trash, wipe or rinse out the sealed interior and re-hang, no liners needed or replacement bags to buy
- DURABLE CONSTRUCTION, QUALITY MATERIALS - made from heavy-duty 500 denier polyester with metal frame closure and reinforced webbed straps, spot clean
Clean your dashboard and upholstery
If you don't have time for regular deep cleaning, taking a few simple steps can completely transform your car interior for the better. Even if you live in a town with paved roads and sidewalks, dirt can quickly accumulate in your car's carpeting. And if you're someone who eats on the go, you probably have your fair share of crumbs hidden in your seats. Most gas stations offer vacuums, generally located near their car wash, for free or for a small charge. If you don't have access to one of the car-specific vacuums, you can also bring your home vacuum outside. Just be careful not to suck up anything that could damage your vacuum in the process.
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For cleaning your car's dashboard, or if you have leather or vinyl seats, you can purchase specialty wipes. These wipes are pre-soaked with cleaning solution and make dusting and polishing your car interior super quick and easy. Depending on your budget and needs, you can purchase a variety of different types of these wipes. The Armor All Cleaning Wipes are an all-purpose version useable throughout your car's interior. You can also purchase Armor All Leather Wipes for leather interiors or a Windex Flat Pack to clean your mirrors and windows.
- Cleans, conditions and protects leather
- Luxurious wipes renew and revive leather’s natural beauty
- Cleansing agents reach into the grain to safely remove dirt & soil
- Conditioners enhance natural beauty, restore supple feel
- Powerful blocking agents help protect against stains, cracking & fading
Replace outdated or broken electronics
Personal electronics like phones and MP3 players have advanced so quickly in recent years that car interiors often struggle to keep up. Even if your car is only a couple of years old, it might already look outdated and be missing valuable features like Bluetooth-connectivity and more. If you want a car interior that looks modern and state-of-the-art, the best thing you can do is update your factory-installed electronics.
Fortunately, this doesn't need to cost as much as you probably think. For instance, the BOSS Audio Multimedia Car Stereo features Bluetooth audio and calling for only $25 to $30. Higher end models can run a few hundred dollars. And if you want to invest that much money into your car interior there are some great products out there. But you certainly don't need to break the bank to keep your car's electronics up-to-date.
- Next Generation 616UAB - Now includes Dimmable Illumination for Buttons and LCD Display, Updated Dancing LED lights, and Added Mute Function
- Bluetooth - Answer/make calls and be hands-free with no distractions. The built-in microphone picks up your voice and your car speakers let you hear the person on the other side. Play and control your music and apps like Spotify/Pandora wirelessly
- Media Playback - Play music through your Bluetooth device or use the USB port. Digital media support include MP3 and WMA file formats. Tune into the AM/FM radio stations for up to date music, news, sports and more
- Auxiliary - Compatible with the audio output from smartphones as well as MP3 players
- Inputs - The USB port gives you the option to have a vast library of audio files at your fingertips. The auxiliary input is a convenient way to hook up to your MP3 player. Advanced Bluetooth supported profiles include A2DP, AVRCP and HFP
Invest in quality accessories
With the prevalence of smartphones, phone mounts have become a popular car interior accessory. These mounts are fairly cheap. And they allow you to place your phone on your dashboard for easier GPS-usage, music control, and more. The Kuboo Magnetic Phone Car Mount holds your smartphone in place with a magnet. You can install this mount pretty much anywhere on your dashboard in mere seconds. You can even purchase a mount like the BESTHING 10W Wireless Charger, which charges your phone (without wires, as the name implies) as it sits in the mount.
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While they don't play much of a role in your car interior and its appearance, dash cams are also a popular car accessory. Dash cams record what's happening outside your front or rear windows, including other vehicles and people on the road. These discreet cameras come in handy in the event of a crash or even vehicular vandalism. The YI Compact Dash Cam looks like a sleek digital camera, and can even record with night vision.
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Add a personal touch
Once your car is clean and up-to-date, you can incorporate a few personal style touches. These might include custom seat or steering wheel covers, decal stickers on your dash, or classic fuzzy dice hanging from your mirror (but again, potentially illegal.)
Your car interior is your space to hang out as you commute, run errands, or just go for a joyride. So this space should represent you and your personal style as much as possible. Whether that style is modern and basic or over-the-top, feel free to put a little bit of "you" into your car interior.
Breathe New Life Into Your Car's Interior
Whether your car is 20 years old or just off the lot, your car interior is an important part of your vehicle. By maintaining a clean and updated car interior, you can ensure that your car's resale value is intact. A clean car interior is also great for making you feel organized, productive, and just generally increasing your mood. Nobody likes to hang out in a dirty, cluttered space, even if it's just your car.
Hopefully, some of our tips have helped you craft a car interior maintenance routine of your own. As you work to spruce up your car, you might find some of your own tips and tricks that make the job even easier. And by investing a little extra time into your car's interior, you can incorporate aspects of your style as well.
Last update on 2021-05-14 at 13:09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API