When you think of “spring cleaning,” you probably imagine tidying up your house, clearing out your closets, and focusing on your most lived-in space — but what’s more truly lived-in than your car? Depending on what your commute to work, school, or leisure activities looks like, you probably spend a lot of time in your vehicle — so it’s likely dirtier than you realise. Add it to your spring cleaning schedule, and make sure you hit all the following spots.
You’re probably already going to the car wash as you see fit, so let’s focus on the inside of the car, starting with your upholstery. After you’ve taken out all the garbage and random junk that has a way of accumulating, you might be wondering where to begin really cleaning; in our humble opinion, it should be the place where your butt usually resides.
First, vacuum seat’s upholstery and the floors, making sure to stick the hose deep between the seats and console, as well as your cup holders. Next, get to work on a deeper clean of the upholstery by repurposing a hack we usually use inside the house: the DIY couch cleaner. Grab the lid from a pot or pan, a microfiber cloth, a bowl of water, and some dish soap. Add water and a few drops of the soap to the bowl, then drop that cloth in, saturate it, and squeeze out the excess before laying it flat and setting the pan lid on top. With the lid in the centre of that damp cloth, pull the fabric’s edges up over the handle and secure them by tying them or rubber banding them. Now you have a soft, yet sturdy disk you can push around on the cushions of your seats to pick up lint, freshen the fabric, and clean it all up without making it too damp.
The cup holders and other hard surfaces
One trick that works well here is to dampen an old sock or a rag and stretch it around a cup. If you do these tasks in order, you should still have a bowl of water and soap left over from cleaning your upholstery, so go ahead and stick your sock or rag in there and wring it out. Once the fabric is secured around a cup, place it in the holder and twist it around to pull up crumps, dust, lint, or whatever else is in there, plus loosen up any old, dried liquid. Repeat with a dry cloth or sock when you’re done.
For other hard surfaces like the dashboard and centre console, grab a microfiber cloth, and a spray bottle filled with equal parts vinegar and water. Give everything a good spritz, and then wipe away that dust and dirt.
If you’re really motivated, you can go the extra mile by cleaning out your vents — they probably need it. Your best option is a foam paint brush, which can get into those tiny crevices a lot easier than your fingers can. Because the foam is porous and soft, it’ll pull up any dust, whereas a bristle brush might just push it in deeper or pull it out into the air. Dampen the brush just a bit if you want for maximum dust-pulling.