Auto Detailing: Interiors
Although we often admire cars for their external appearance, we spend most of our time sitting inside them. If you spend a lot of time in your car, a well-groomed interior can make for a fresher, more comfortable ride. It can even add to the car’s resale value.
To carry out an interior detail, the car should be parked in the shade or in a garage. This stops the sun from drying cleaning fluids on to surfaces too quickly, thereby preventing staining.
Begin by emptying all personal items and rubbish from the car. When practical, front seats can be removed to aid access and maneuverability. Working from the top of the car to the bottom, a soft brush attachment on a vacuum will loosen surface dirt, preparing the interior for a deep clean. Nozzle attachments will find those hard-to-reach areas in crevices and under seats. Loose mats should be vacuumed and removed from the car. The carpet area should be thoroughly vacuumed, taking note of any strains.
Once the surface dirt has been removed, stains on carpets and upholstery should be spot removed. To clean larger areas, or to thoroughly freshen up the carpet, a carpet cleaner can be used. To ensure surfaces look their best, it is essential to use the right product for the surface you are working with. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Special vinyl products will clean deeply, while restoring and preserving the surface appearance. Do not apply vinyl finishing products to loose car mats, however, as they can leave a residue on the driver’s shoes which may cause slippage on contact with foot pedals. Following appropriate cleaning, leather and wood surfaces will need a conditioning treatment if they are to retain their natural beauty. Apply a plastic polish to the lexan panel that covers the gauges. This will remove any scratches and buff up the surface. You may need to use a glass cleaner for older cars. An old paintbrush, toothbrush or cotton swab will allow you to clean in crevices, along seams, around switches and inside vents. Do not forget the car door panels, which can accumulate scuff marks and dirt.
Now finish the interior by cleaning the windows. As a final rinse, a drop of vinegar in clean water will reduce smearing or you can use a piece of old newspaper instead of a cloth. If the windows are tinted, clean with water only to avoid damaging the special surface.
Detailing the interior of a car takes time. But once complete, you are amply rewarded for the effort. It will smell fresh, look tidy and the surfaces will gleam. It will feel like you are stepping into a new car.