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Giving the car interior a good spruce-up is a chore for many, and often a job that gets left until you can’t bare the crumbs of food, clogs of mud and rubbish in the door pockets any longer. People often say, you can tell a lot about a person by the type of car they drive, and the condition they keep it in. Probably best not to dwell on that point for too long!

So where to start? If you are planning to give your car interior a full valet, you need to identify to main offending areas – here are some to look out for:

  1. Grime build up on upholstery and windows
  2. Food and drink stains
  3. Trapped food in small crevices
  4. Dashboard dust
  5. Upholstery repairs

Performing a car valet at home means you will need to buy some car cleaning products that are specially designed for use on car upholstery and dashboard plastic.

Halfords Upholstery Cleaner won the Autoexpress Best Upholstery Cleaner Award in 2015 and 2016. It is offered at a great price of £3.99 with an easy spray and wipe application and successfully removes all traces of chocolate and general grime.

Autoglym Interior Shampoo is another good brand for car cleaning products. More expensive than Halfords, but is suitable for all interior fabrics except leather, and works well on hard surfaces too. Autoglym do also offer a Leather Cleaner which has a neutral pH formula which will leave your seats with a natural matt finish. Autogylm also offer a Vinyl and Rubber Care product which gives long term anti-static protection on plastics and interior trim.

If your mats and carpets are heavily soiled or you have mould or mildew in the footwells, then a product such as Astonish Car Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner will work well to disinfect and deodorise the carpets whilst also giving them a deep clean.

So once you have the products you need, including a soft sponge and a microfibre cloth to collect the surface dust on the hard surfaces, you will now need to consider how you are going to get into those tiny little crevices where food, coins and other random ‘things’ get lodged!

You can of course buy car detailing brushes which are specifically designed for their purpose, but if you wanted to save some money – there are some general household brushes that will do the job.

  • Soft Bristle Brush (paint brush) for cleaning the air vents, radio buttons and around the instrument panels.
  • Toothbrush for cleaning small inaccessible areas and in vinyl crevices and cracks
  • Rubber pet hair removal brush to remove stubborn pet hair from upholstery

You have everything you need to perform a professional car valet so it is time to get started!

  1. Loosen ground-in dirt with a stiff brush and vacuum the carpets and upholstery.
  2. Use a microfiber cloth on the hard surfaces and use a soft bristle paintbrush to clean the air vents, radio buttons and instrument panels. You can use soapy water to give it a better clean, but be careful not to let the water penetrate the crevices around the knobs and switches.
  3. Use a glass cleaner and a microfibre cloth on the window interiors and mirror to remove stains and spots.
  4. Shampoo the car upholstery following the instructions for your chosen upholstery cleaner. Leave the seats and carpets to dry fully, leaving a window open for ventilation, and then vacuum again once dry to remove any debris.

Congratulations! You have performed your first professional interior valet! Now for the outside ….. tips to follow in our next blog!

Foster & Heanes is an established family-run MOT, Car Service & Repair Centre in Fleet Hampshire. Just give us a call if you have any car maintenance requirements or need some advice 01252 615657. Please visit for further information.



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