8 Tips for Keeping Your Car's Interior Looking Like New
Posted by: Lydia on 22/01/2019
A beautiful car is always a show-stopper. Whether you're driving or walking by, it’s hard not to notice a vehicle that shines with a fresh coat of polish. But while maintaining a car’s decal and exterior is important, don't forget about the interior, as well. Otherwise, all your hard work on the outside can really be diminished.
Of course, there’s no question it can be hard to keep your car's interior looking first-class. After all, dust, dirty shoes, spilled drinks, and the general wear and tear of daily use can really affect its appearance. Fortunately, keeping your car’s interior looking new is much easier with the right habits and routines. Here are 8 tips to help you keep your car’s interior looking its very best.
1. Prevention is better than the cure
The first tip for keeping your car’s interior in top shape involves recognising that a proactive approach is vital. You’d be surprised how quickly dirt, fast food wrappers, and the like can pile up. Because so many Aussies lead such busy lives, it’s easy to skip cleaning your car on a daily basis. But next thing you know, you'll find your car is now in need of a deep clean.
That’s why building small habits like wiping your shoes before you get in the vehicle and being sure to remove anything you put into it each day, like drinks, food, bags, and workout gear, is the most important tip.
2. Get dark colours and covers
Most modern cars have a dark interior. But occasionally, cutting-edge vehicles like a Tesla will include a bright white panel across the front. The good news is that most modern interiors are pretty stain-resistant (although that doesn't equal stain-proof).
That’s why it’s always ideal to opt for a dark interior when buying a car new. If buying used, you might want to consider some aftermarket modifications. Dark car seat covers and floor mats are a great way to protect the interior of your car without requiring you to swap out any equipment.
3. Know your car's interior materials
Let’s face it, some car interiors are easier to clean than others. Sure, snow leopard car seats may make you a hit whenever you go to a friend’s 80s theme party, but bright seat covers can catch dirt like Knight Rider did criminals. That’s why it’s really important to know what materials your car's interior is made of, and what products you should use to clean it.
Many drivers may not recognise what a big deal this can be, but there are very different products you should use depending on whether your interior is leather, faux leather, cloth, or another type of material. If you use the wrong cleaning product, it could actually do lasting damage.
Also remember that several different products may be required throughout your interior, depending on what surface you're cleaning.
4. Do ongoing maintenance
Minimising the dirt and rubbish that get into your car in the first place will be a huge help in keeping your car’s interior looking like new. But sometimes despite your best efforts, dirt and grime will find its way in. That’s why getting in the habit of giving your interior a quick clean once a week is ideal.
This doesn’t need to take long, and all that is required is a damp cloth and maybe a small bin to throw out any rubbish. A quick wipe-down will take care of any dirt that has built up and help keep your interior looking great. A quick vacuuming monthly can also keep things neat and clean.
5. Keep supplies in the car for emergency spills
While it's ideal to avoid having drinks and food in your car, it’s also impractical for most drivers.
Keeping some baby wipes and paper towels on hand is a great way to take care of any spills, fast. This not only ensures any stain will be minimised and you can blot it out much easier, it also means you’ll have a backup on hand if some of that coffee spills on your shirt.
6. Use the right cleaners
There is a wide assortment of great cleaning products on the market to cover every area of your car's interior. That being said, though, don't forget about the natural cleaning products you most likely already have in your kitchen cabinet. For example, white vinegar is a terrific product for car cleaning. If a spill happens, vinegar can help make quick work of it. As an acidic liquid, vinegar will help fade the stain and stop from it settling into permeable surfaces like your car’s carpet.
You can also use olive oil to give your car’s interior a natural shine that's just like the effect of polish on the outside of the vehicle. Just be sure to proceed carefully and test on an inconspicuous area first to make sure it won't leave a stain.
7. Train your pets
Happy (and well-behaved) pets can be great company on any car ride, making a routine drive a bit more fun. But they can also add some mess to your interior.
That’s why encouraging good habits is a smart move. Training your dog to wipe their feet before entering the vehicle is a great start, and a fun party trick to show off at your next BBQ. You should also provide blankets or a bed as your pet's designated spot inside the vehicle, and train them to only sit or lay down in that particular area when they get in.
8. Always see a professional for major work
The previous tips will go a long way towards helping you maintain your car’s beautiful interior. But if you really want to try to restore it to its brand-new original condition, a professional detailer can help (provided your car doesn’t have any significant damage to its interior). With over 1,770 car wash and detailing services across Australia, there is no shortage of talented professionals on hand ready to restore your car to a like-new condition.
They will be able to help deep clean and restore your car’s interior, and may even throw in a quick polish and shine at a discount.
What other tips do you have for keeping a car’s interior looking great? Let us know in the comments below: