Crystal Lake and Barrington Auto Repair

Three tips for cleaning your car's interior

If your car is smelling a little on the funky side and looks like you've set up your own food truck inside, it's probably time for a little interior cleaning job.

Here are three tips to get it spotless and smelling new-car fresh again, or almost.

1. First and foremost: Declutter, removing everything that isn't tied down so that you actually can clean - sports gear, school gear, mail, fast-food cups and wrappers, as well as floor mats. Then start by cleaning you vehicle's carpet and upholstery, vacuuming first. Then use a carpet and upholstery cleaner made just for cars. Most come with their own plastic brush to massage the foam cleaner into grungy carpet and fabric. Then vacuum again when dry to lift nap, if necessary. If you have leather seats, use a leather cleaner, following directions.

2. Clean your central console. Using household or glass cleaner, clean the dashboard and center console, cup holder, inside door pockets and gear shifter, making sure to clean the buttons and knobs on the dashboard. Don't forget the steering wheel, both front and back, which, over time, can pick up lots of grease and grime from your hands. Use a cotton swab or old toothbrush to clean out crevices and other hard-to-reach spaces.

3. Windows tend to pick up film and dust while driving, so clean them on the inside. Use a window cleaner and a microfiber towel, which removes dirt without leaving streaks. Buff with the towel after cleaning. Use a cleaner without ammonia, however, which can make the plastic on your dash dry out. Don't forget your rear window and sunroof or moonroof.


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