How to complete a full interior valet
As a million and one people are asking for help and advice on how to clean the interior of a car, it inspired me to write this tutorial to save me starting from scratch every time. Majority of the products I’ve mentioned are available from Halfords as they are made by Autoglym or from online retailers. If you struggle to find any products then just drop me a PM.
The processes, methods and products are the same that as use on my own car. Feel free to choose your own products, as there are hundreds out there. It is purely a choice of price, brand and final finish. I may mention processes that go against what the manufacturer recommends but I have found that these work better, if in doubt follow the instructions provided with the products.
CLEANING THE INTERIOR
Before you start cleaning, empty the car of junk and rubbish, also take out the floor mats and put to one side to be cleaned later. Make sure your hoover can accept water at the same time as dust, ours can not so I get a bollocking every time :lol:.
I have recently started using Meguiars All Purpose Cleaner (APC) diluted 10:1 instead of Autoglym shampoo and have been impressed with the results. I wrote this guide about 8 months ago so it’s upto you which one you want to use.
- Spray the seat with Autoglym Interior Shampoo until it is fully covered but not soaking wet.
- Scrub in circular movement, as it will help to remove stains, pet hairs and other dirt.
- Hoover over the seat to remove the dirt and the remaining shampoo.
- Re-spray the seats and wipe over with a damp cloth, a damp synthetic leather is perfect.
- Using an foam applicator pad and Autoglym Leather Cleaner, wipe over the leather but and gently rub the cleaner into the seat.
- Once the seat is covered wipe off the excess product using a soft, clean damp cloth.
- To protect the leather use Autoglym Leather Care Cream and apply it by following the instructions on the bottle.
Same process as the seats is used on the carpets as well, except there is no need to wipe over with a damp cloth/leather
Two tips are:
- Start in the front of the vehicle, slide the seats backwards to allow access to the whole foot well. Once you are happy move onto the next foot well.
- Don’t forget hard to reach places like down the sides of seats, seat rails (use a paintbrush to dislodge dirt) underneath them and under the rear seats. Also hoover the door seals aswell as they are normally forgotten about.
Don’t forget to clean any storage areas and the boot. Remove the carpet and lift the spare wheel out. This is a perfect chance to check the condition of the wheel aswell.
Another place, which is forgotten about is the headlining. It is best to clean this before starting the interior.
- The quickest way to remove stains and marks is to use a “vileda” pad, like the ones you use for washing dishes and just scrub them out.
- If they won’t come out spray an extremely fine mist of Autoglym Interior Shampoo and re-scrub.
- Never soak the headlining, as it won’t dry evenly like the seats do and you will then have to clean the whole headlining to make it match.
For these areas I use Autoglym Vinyl and Rubber Care and a foam applicator pad to work the cleaner into the textured surface then wipe over with a damp synthetic leather or cloth. Do not wipe any vital controls such as the steering wheel, foot pedals, handbrake or gear stick. For these parts just wipe with a dry or damp cloth.
Air Vents/Centre Console
For these areas and any small storage areas such as coin holders, use a paintbrush or cotton buds to dislodge the dirt and remove using the hoover. Wrap masking tape around the metal part to prevent it marking anywhere.
Glass is an important task in car cleaning and must be done correctly to enable good vision.
- The best way to clean windows is to spray a thin layer of cleaner over the glass, wipe with some paper towel or kitchen roll and then use a microfibre cloth to dry quickly.
- For hard to reach areas (such as the bottom of the windscreen) use a spatula and wrap a microfibre cloth around it.
- When cleaning the rear window always work side to side, as appose to up and down or you might damage the wires used for heating the screen.
Sometimes you will find marks or dirt that glass cleaner alone can’t remove, especially if smoke in the car. Below are two products that you can use and how to use them:
Wire wool – You must use the finest wire wool available otherwise it will cause tiny scratches on the glass. To use, spray the affected area and use a small amount in a circular action to remove the marks. Do not use wire wool if you have tint film as it will scratch it.
Autoglym Car Glass Polish - This product works in a similar work to polish made for paintwork. It will help to remove dirt and greasy marks. Not sure what effect it has on tint film.
Another really useful product to apply to windows is RainX. This is a water repellent product that will help prevent the windows misting or steaming up while driving, especially in the colder weather. It is easy to apply and should be put on and then removed using glass cleaner. Again, unsure of the effects on tint film.
Clean these away from the car using the same method as the carpets, it’s a good idea to apply more shampoo and scrub harder (or use a stiffer brush) to remove the tiny bits that won’t come out with just hoovering. Once these are complete, lay them back in the car and alter the driver’s seat and rear view mirror back to the driving position.
There are many, many different types available. If you are using the spray type, direct the spray into the foot wells to avoiding spraying onto glass and seats, as these would then need to be re-cleaned.
Any questions, comments, queries, anything else just drop me a PM