How You SHOULD be Cleaning Your Vehicle’s Interior

The buildup of grime and stains can be easy to ignore during the colder months when we regularly track salt and slush into our vehicles. Those deposits can become quite the nuisance come spring and cleaning them can be a nightmare if you are unprepared. That’s why, to keep your car’s interior looking its best, you should be following these tips!

Carpets and Floor Mats

When cleaning carpets and floor mats, it’s best to begin by taking them outside your vehicle and giving them a good shake to remove any excess debris. Next, it’s time for the vacuum; give both the carpets and the footwells a deep vacuum before returning the carpets to the car. If you use a rubber or plastic floor mat in the winter to protect your carpets, be sure to remove them and wash them with soap and water before vacuuming the footwell.

If your carpet is stained, try using an upholstery and carpet cleaner like this one from Turtle Wax that produces a foam with advanced cleaning action and comes with a stiff bristle head to work out deep stains. It not only combats stains but leaves a fresh scent which is great if you face problems with mildew or pet accidents. It is important to remember not to over saturate the carpet with product because leaving it too wet can lead to more mildew and mold production.


Seats face near-constant wear and tear each time we get in and out of the car. They are also vulnerable to drips from coffee, food and rogue pieces of gum or other sticky candy. Cleaning your seats effectively is highly dependent on what they are made of:


While leather is hard to stain, it is also the most likely to fade or crack and is not compatible with many chemical car cleaners. To keep leather looking fresh and new, try a product like Duragloss Leather Cleaner and work the solution into the seat with a clean cloth. Look for a product that both cleans and conditions leather to extend your seats’ longevity.


The level of cleaning required by cloth seats is dependent on the degree of the mess. Are they stained? Do they have an odor? Is there any food or other material stuck to them? If you answered no, then your seats could be improved by just a simple vacuum and a spritz of Febreze. If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then it’s likely you’re going to need a deep clean. Luckily, Turtle Wax makes an easy-to-use upholstery cleaner. As with the carpet cleaner, it is important not to over saturate the fabric, so product doesn’t transfer onto passengers or create an environment for mildew to grow.


Vinyl can be the easiest to clean. It is, for the most part, stain resistant and does not accumulate dirt buildup. Many cleaning products that are already in your home will work well on vinyl seats. Before use, check the label to make sure the product is compatible with vinyl and then wipe away.

Dash and Console

The dash and console of a vehicle can be one of the hardest places to clean. They are often made of different materials and feature electronics that make using a single cleaning method practically impossible. The first step is to vacuum the area. Then, dust and clean with a multi-use wipe. These wipes both clean and protect the interior of your vehicle while delivering either a shiny or matte finish. For the hard to reach crevices in your console, try employing a can of concentrated air or less conventional tools like Q-tips or small foam paint brushes.

Windows and Mirrors

This may seem like a no-brainer, but what you may not know is some glass cleaners can deteriorate tint on your glass. Before you get cleaning, check the back of your glass cleaner to make sure it’s safe to use in your vehicle. If you’re unsure, try Duragloss Glass Cleaner, it’s specifically formulated for tinted glass and mirrors. Be sure to use a microfiber cloth, spray on the cloth, not on the surface, to prevent streaks and lint, and then wipe messes away.

If you have any questions about which products will work best for your needs, come and see the knowledgeable experts at Sanel NAPA. You can find all the products mentioned above and many more at your local Sanel NAPA store.

About Sanel NAPA

Since 1920, Sanel NAPA has been a leading auto parts, heavy-duty truck parts, and body shop supplies distributor with over 42 store locations throughout New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts. We deliver quality car parts, heavy-duty truck parts, automotive paint and body supplies, and tools and equipment that are durable, dependable, and long-lasting in order to provide our clientele with the best products and services possible. For more information, call (603) 225-4000 or click to find a store near you.


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