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Many auto enthusiasts stress the importance of protecting your car exterior with a wax or ceramic coating, but what about the inside of your car? Your car interior is just as vulnerable to the sun’s UV rays as your exterior, not to mention the potential for scratches and tears from the buttons of your jeans or an overzealous pet.
It’s important to protect your vehicle, both inside and out, to keep your car or truck looking beautiful and to maintain its resale value. Luckily, many car interior cleaning products contain UV inhibitors and protectants, so you can protect your interior plastics and upholstery while removing dirt, stains and fingerprints all in one go!
In this guide, we’ll show you how to protect your car interior in 4 easy steps. All you need is a few detailing products and some microfiber cloths!
Your car interior is exposed to many harsh, environmental factors, like extreme temperatures and prolonged exposure to the sun. Heating and cooling cycles during the warm, summer months can place extra stress on your leather, vinyl and plastic interior. Left untreated, your interior plastics and upholstery may slowly start to crack and fade in the sun, resulting in major damage that will impact the overall value of your car.
Additionally, you leave behind a number of contaminants such as food, coffee and even the oils from your skin that may react with your interior plastics and trim to cause permanent damage inside your car. The longer these stains are allowed to dwell on your interior surfaces, the more difficult they are to remove.
It’s important to clean and protect your car interior at least once a month to keep your leather seats supple and conditioned and prevent stains from burning into your plastic finishes. The easiest way to protect the inside of your car is to use cleaning products with built-in protectants, like Oxy Interior 1 and Turtle Wax Dash & Glass. These powerful cleaning sprays remove dirt and stains while leaving behind dust repellents and UV inhibitors to keep your car clean and protected much longer than a bucket of dish soap (which, by the way, you should never use to clean your car interior!).
You’ll also need several microfiber cloths to remove dirt and grime from every surface inside your car. We recommend investing in at least one microfiber cloth designed specifically for glass surfaces to prevent streaks and smudges on your windows and auto glass.
Start by removing your floor mats, belongings and any leftover trash from inside your car. Use a portable vacuum to suck up loose dirt and crumbs from your floor mats, carpets and upholstery. Be sure to use your vacuum’s upholstery attachment to reach deep into cracks and crevices of your seats and cushions! Once you’ve finished vacuuming, place the clean floor mats back inside your car.
If you have leather upholstery inside your car, you’ll need a cleaner and conditioner like our Luxe Leather spray to refresh and condition your leather interior. These leather cleaners contain moisturizing agents like aloe vera and neatsfoot oil to keep your upholstery plush and protected!
Spray leather cleaner and conditioner in an even layer all over your car seats, concentrating on any stains or soils. Use a clean cloth to buff this product into your leather upholstery, scrubbing gently to lift and agitate any stubborn soils. Continue scrubbing until you’ve removed all the stains from your car seats and upholstery. Then, turn over your microfiber cloth and buff your leather to a nice, supple sheen.
Pro Tip: Use cleaning tools like a soft detail brush or the Scrub Ninja pad to lift any heavy-duty stains from your leather interior without damaging your delicate upholstery!
Next, use Dash & Glass or your preferred car glass cleaner and protectant to wipe down your windows, mirrors and tech screens. To avoid overspray, apply the cleaner to a lightweight, microfiber cloth outside the car. Be sure to use a sufficient amount of spray to prevent streaks and smudges on your auto glass. Then, remove the dust and grime from your windows using wide, circular motions. Then, turn your over microfiber cloth to a fresh side to wipe your windows and auto glass to a sparkling finish.
Now that you’ve cleaned and protected your glass and upholstery, it’s time to protect the rest of your car interior using your preferred detailer and protectant! If you used Dash & Glass to clean your windows and auto glass, you can keep using the same detailer to spray and wipe your dashboard, console and trim. Be sure to hit all the high-touch points inside your car, such as your door handles, armrests and steering wheel, where the friction of your skin and clothes can cause continual wear and tear.
Use a fresh microfiber towel to avoid rubbing dirt and other contaminants into your soft plastics. Once you’ve removed all the dirt and grime from your finish, buff these surfaces one last time with your microfiber cloth and allow the protectants in the formula to work their magic!
And just like that, you’ve done the work of a professional detail to clean and protect your car interior! Now you can sit back and enjoy the ride, without the fear of what the kids might do next in the back seat.
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