How to Clean the Inside of Your Car (& Keep It Clean)

Let’s face it, having a spotless car interior is not something that’s always a top priority. Oftentimes we have bigger fish to fry in life. But when food containers, pop cans, candy and gum wrappers, gym bags, school papers, and everything else starts to pile up in the back and passenger seats, it’s time to clear the clutter.

Studies have shown that clutter affects one’s ability to focus and concentrate. And when you’re in the car driving, no one will argue that you should be very focused.

Well your gal pal Molly Maid is here to help you clear the clutter. Read our tips below on how to clean the inside of your car (and keep it clean).

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  1. It’s time to CLEAR it out.  Open all the doors and your trunk, and roll over your garbage and recycling bins. Throw out all the food containers, gum wrappers, and other garbage. Recycle any unimportant paperwork, pop cans (or put them in a bag to return to the store for the deposit if you live in such a state), clean paper napkins, clean plastic bottles, etc. Take items like books, shoes, Tupperware containers, sports equipment, and clothing inside your home and put in their proper place. The goal of this first task is to take everything that isn’t actually part of your vehicle out so you can give the interior of your car a proper cleaning. Also take out things like car chargers and other items (only temporarily) that you keep in your car at all times.
  2. It’s time to CLEAN it out. Now that everything is cleared out of the car, it’s time to clean it out. Just like the Molly Maid way, we recommend you clean your car top-to-bottom, left-to-right:
    • The first thing we recommend you do is clean the inside of your car’s windows. Remember, you’re cleaning top-to-bottom, left-to-right.Start in the driver’s seat and work your way around the car. Use a glass cleaner and paper towel or microfiber cloth to clean the windows.
    • Next, take a clean and slightly damp (not soaked) microfiber cloth and wipe down the interior. Start in the driver’s seat again and wipe down the interior of the door, wheel, dashboard, center console, and floorboards and continue working your way around the car. The floorboards tend to be the dirtiest. You may need to use additional cloths and elbow grease to make them look new again.
    • Once that’s complete, now it’s time to vacuum. Depending on what type of vacuuming equipment you have at home, you may need to take a short trip to your local car wash to use the industrial strength car vacuums. These really get the job done. Again, work top-to-bottom, left-to-right. Start again with the driver’s seat, vacuum the seat, interior door, center console, floorboards and continue working your way around the vehicle. Don’t forget to take out, shake, and vacuum floor mats.
  3. Put it Back Together. Now that your car is nicely vacuumed and wiped down. Now it’s time to put back those items that you keep in your car at all times: car chargers, emergency kits, etc.

Alright! Your car is now looking like new. Pat yourself on the back. Feels pretty good, right? So how do we keep the car looking this great?

Two things will really help: a designated car garage container and car organizer. The car garbage bag doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It could be as simple as a plastic grocery bag that’s hooked to the back of the passenger seat. But if you’re looking for something a bit more aesthetically pleasing, your local auto parts store should have some available. Or else you could always order one online. There are several options available on Amazon. The car organizer is just a way to keep the items that you don’t always have in your vehicle but frequently need to use (i.e. sporting equipment, snacks, bottles of water, sunscreen, blankets, etc.) in an orderly fashion as opposed to strewn all over your car. Again, you could get one of these at your local auto parts store or online.

Have a car cleaning tip of your own? Tell us in the comments section. For more organization and cleaning ideas from the house cleaning experts at Molly Maid, visit the Cleaning Institute.

by Molly Maid