6 Items to Help You Wash the Inside of Your Vehicle

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6 Items to Help You Wash the Inside of Your Vehicle

Doing a professional job of cleaning a car's interior is not as hard as it seems. The basic steps are to clean the floor space, the seats, the dash, the windows, and then to detail the car by cleaning small spaces and things like air vents. While deep-cleaning a car is not especially difficult, it is not something that can be done well with just a rag and some water. Getting together the materials before starting is the key to one's success at cleanliness. Cleaning the interior of the car is something very few people do at regular intervals, but it is something that really adds value to a vehicle.

Sadly, it's one of those tasks that usually gets done only when visitors need a ride somewhere and the car is absolutely disgusting. By putting all the necessary materials together in a box that is stored in the garage, car owners can make it much easier to get this job done. By keeping the interior clean, car owners can protect the interior surfaces and maximise the resale value of the vehicle. The best part is that the cleaning products needed are typically not expensive, and can easily be found and ordered online at helpful websites like eBay.

Item 1: Vacuum

A vacuum is perhaps the most expensive of the materials needed to clean the interior of a car. Most people already have a vacuum for their houses and this can be used for the car as well, with the hose and attachments. A hand-held vacuum just for the car is also a good idea as they are affordable and make cleaning a vehicle much more convenient.

If lugging the house vacuum from where it is stored to the garage or driveway is one of the obstacles to cleaning the car more frequently, a handheld car vacuum may be a good investment. Use the vacuum to clean all the floor space, the boot, and the corners of the seats. Hitting cloth seats with a rag as the vacuum is running is a good way to get all the dust that can hide in the upholstery. Beware of low quality vacuums which stir up more dust than they suck up.

Item 2: Carpet Cleaner

Once the loose dirt and dust are gone, a carpet cleaner is needed to treat the stains and dried-up spills, if there are any. The key is to avoid getting the carpet saturated with water or cleaner. Moisture can easily stay deep in the carpet and lead to the formation of mould. Instead, look for foaming carpet cleaners that can be rubbed in and left to work. When the formula is dry, simply vacuum again to get the cleaner and the dirt out. If too much moisture gets in the carpet, it is a good idea to have a hair dryer handy. In any case, leave all doors wide open for maximum ventilation.

Item 3: Vinyl Cleaner and Protectant

The next step is to clean the dashboard and rear deck, along with all the plastic or vinyl parts. For this task, one needs a vinyl cleaner and a vinyl protectant. Vinyl cleaners are specially formulated to remove dirt and stains from vinyl without breaking it down or staining it in any way. Never assume that a cleaning liquid works on surfaces like vinyl unless it specifically says to do so. A harsh chemical can easily stain or otherwise harm the vinyl surfaces in a car.

Vinyl protectants are made to shield the plastics from the harsh rays of the sun which are magnified by the windscreen. They also provide a barrier against dirt that can wear down and scratch plastic surfaces. These products are also called plastic and trim dressings , and different brands leave a different finish on the vinyl. The Chemical Guy's V.R.P. Dressall is a dressing that leaves a shine on vinyl, rubber, and tyres. It can be used on many car surfaces, including the steering wheel, door panels, dashboard, and more. Another popular product is the Prima Nero Vinyl and Rubber Protectant. This water-based dressing leaves a silky matte finish.

Item 4: Leather Cleaner and Conditioner

Leather upholstery requires special chemicals. Many brands of leather cleaner and conditioner are made just for car interiors. Leather cleaners for cars are usually a thin liquid that should be applied to a cloth and then to the seats. These cleaners lift grime and stains. After using a cleaner, it is a good idea to use a leather conditioner to prevent cracking and ageing.

Quality formulas are neither sticky nor oily, and have to be buffed after the conditioner has cured on the leather surface. Auto Finesse makes the popular Hide Leather Cleaner and the Hide Leather Conditioner. Gliptone also makes leather cleaners and conditioners designed to treat the material gently. Quality cleaners and conditioners are pH-balanced and do not typically strip the leather of its natural oils.

Item 5: Microfibre Cleaning Cloth

Although a rag may seem to work just as well, microfibre cloth is the best possible material to use when removing dust and grime. Microfibre cloth traps dust and does not release it until it is rinsed out with water. The difficulty is identifying high-quality microfibre. There are many types of microfibre and not all are of good quality. Low-quality microfibre leaves streaks on windows and other surfaces.

In general, price is a good indication of quality with microfibre cleaning cloths. However, they also require proper care in order to continue lifting dust and dirt properly. Fabric softeners, dryer sheets, and lint from other fabrics can all get into the microfibre's 'pores' and stop it from functioning properly. Therefore microfibre should be washed and dried separately, with just water and a little white vinegar. When cleaned and stored correctly, microfibre has an electrostatic charge that literally sucks in particles on dry surfaces. Investing in high-quality microfibre towels is just as important as spending on high-quality cleaners to use with the towels. Microfibre cloths can also be used with just a little water to leave windows and windscreens absolutely clear.

Item 6: Flat Screwdriver

Although many people use different tools like toothbrushes, cotton swabs, or paintbrushes to get into hard-to-clean places like air vents, all these can also be cleaned with just rags and a flat-head screwdriver. Wrap the rag around the tip of the screwdriver and use it to get into corners and slits and pick up dust and grime. A screwdriver with a rag around it can also be used to detail all the trim. Clean around buttons, between panels, and in vents, and use an all-purpose cleaner if necessary. Move the screwdriver tip to a different part of the cloth as the cloth gets dirty. Make sure the tip is not sharp and that it does not cut through the rag.

The table below summarises the cleaners and tools needed to clean a car's interior and gives a few options for each one.

Tool or Cleaner

Options

Vacuum

Handheld car vacuum , deep carpet cleaner, wet/dry canister vacuum

Carpet Cleaner

Foaming solution, spray solutions; Meguiar's All-purpose Cleaner, Chemical Guy's Carpet Clean and Stain Remover

Vinyl Cleaner

Meguiar's Quik Interior Detailer, Carlack 68 Plastic Care

Vinyl Protectant

Chemical Guy's V.R.P. Dressall, Prima Nero Protectant

Leather Cleaner

Auto Finesse, Gliptone, Meguiars, Sonax

Leather Conditioner

Use same brand as cleaner for best results

Microfibre Cleaning Cloth

Polishing towels, buffing towels, detailing towels; Sonus Der Wunder towels, Chemical Guys Microcotton

Screwdriver and Rags

Toothbrushes, cotton swabs, paintbrushes and furniture polish sprays

As the table shows, there is no lack of car cleaners for every type of material inside the car. While some all-purpose cleaners may claim to safely clean all kinds of surfaces, do not expect the same results from an all-purpose cleaner as from dedicated cleaners for vinyl, leather, and fabric. Also, almost all cleaning solutions recommend testing the product on a hidden surface before use.

How to Buy Car Cleaning Products on eBay

Finding all the necessary cleaners on eBay is simple and fast. By using eBay, you can have the materials sent right to your doorstep and take the hassle out of going to specialty stores to look for the products you want. To find cleaners and supplies on eBay, just go to any eBay page and enter a search term like 'car carpet cleaner' into the key word search bar located on any eBay web page. Then you can refine the search further, or browse in the appropriate subcategory to look at your options.

Once you find the product you need, check the seller's feedback score and return policy. The feedback score is an excellent indication of the service offered by the seller since all the seller's past transactions are available for viewing. Be sure to read the listing completely in order to make sure the product is made for the surfaces you have. If you buy many products at the same time from a seller, the shipping costs can often be combined to save you money. Some sellers even offer free shipping on certain items or bundles.

Conclusion

Cleaning the interior of car can seem like a daunting task, especially if the inside has not been cleaned in many months. In truth, the hardest part is knowing where to start. By keeping all the materials handy, getting started is made a lot easier. The first step is to throw away all large pieces of trash and then make use of a vacuum. A handy car vacuum makes it easy to get to all the floor space and under seats. The upholstery should also be given a once-over with a vacuum. Next, it is time to pull out the special cleaners.

Carpet cleaner has to be rubbed in and left to dry if it is a dry foaming solution. Sprays should be rubbed in and then lifted with a dry cloth. Leather and vinyl also require special cleaners and conditioners so that they do not crack or fade with time. Finally, microfibre towels, clean rags, and a screwdriver can be used in hundreds of ways to detail the car and get the grime out of buttons, vents, and panels. By learning to find and buy these materials on eBay, anyone can turn cleaning the car into a routine and even an enjoyable chore in which to partake.

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