Tips for Cleaning Your Car (And Keeping it Clean)

Are you driving a dirt-mobile? Clean up your car - and keep it that way - with these tips from the Domestic CEO!

Amanda Thomas
5-minute read
Episode #121

As the Domestic CEO, I talk a lot about how to clean your home. There are always new tips and tricks to getting the job done efficiently, and with the best results possible.

The same goes for cleaning your car. Summer often takes a big toll on our vehicles--especially the interior. From long driving vacations, to shorter weekend road trips, to hauling the kids to and from sports practice or the movies, your car can get messy and filthy in no time at all.

I'll admit it-- I am pretty good at ignoring a dirty car. But sometimes you’ve just got to tackle that chore. Running the car through a car wash or giving it a quick bubble bath at home takes care of the exterior dirt, butcleaning the interior mess is another story.

Here are 9 tips that will help make this job easier than you think--and 4 more tips for keeping your car in clean condition:.

Clear Out the Trash

It’s quite amazing how quickly wrappers, napkins, papers and UFO’s (unidentified forgotten objects) accumulate in a vehicle. The first order of business when cleaning the car is to take out the trash. You will probably find pens, money, maybe even that lost cell phone, or your kid's retainer! Vehicles seem to “consume” items in every corner and crack. Take the time to clean out everything.

Vacuum Thoroughly

Using a shop vac or an attachment on your household vacuum, clean every nook and cranny of your car. You’ll want to thoroughly vacuum all the carpeted floor areas. If you’ve got floor mats, remove them and clean them outside of the vehicle, for an extra-thorough cleaning.  Use a soft brush attachment to clean the dashboard, doors, and any other hard surface areas. These places can get pretty dusty.

Shampoo the Carpets and Upholstery

This may seem like overkill, but remember how many times a sticky drink or messy sandwich has been dropped on the carpet? Nasty odors and germs are lurking in those carpets, so at least once a year, give them a good scrubbing. You can use your own carpet cleaning machine, rent one, or combine a can of carpet cleaner, a scrub brush, and some elbow grease.

Don’t forget to clean those floor mats, too. If you have upholstered seats in the car, shampoo those as well. For an especially stubborn stain, I’ve got some helpful carpet cleaning solutions on my podcast, How to Treat Common Carpet Stains.