8 Quick Tips for Cleaning and Organizing Your Car Interior

created at: 03/26/2013

While you're rampaging through your spring cleaning checklist, don't forget to give your car a little TLC. Whether you're facing a mound of discarded coffee cups and drive-thru trailings or just a winter's worth of dust and dirt, here are 8 quick tips for cleaning your car's interior -- and keeping it that way!     

1. Start by emptying everything out of your car: throw away garbage, bring those gym clothes inside, file away important receipts, get rid of that banana peel.

2. Remove your floor mats and give them a good shake outside. If they're rubber, wash them with warm soapy water, rinse, and let them dry. Otherwise, just leave 'em out for now; we'll get to them again later.

3. Use a microfiber cloth, a soft rag, or even baby wipes (which will leave an anti-static layer -- not for use on leather, of course) to wipe down the dashboard, air vents, door panels, etc.

4. Using a basic window cleaner (like Windex or this easy homemade cleanser) and a lint-free rag, wipe the inside of your windows. Don't forget your rear-view mirror, too!

5. Vacuum time! Use the upholstery attachment to vacuum all the seats, the rear dash, and the floor mats that have been waiting patiently outside. Switch to the brush attachment and attack the floors next. Finally, attach the crevice tool for all those hard-to-reach spots.

Congrats! You just speed cleaned your car interior. Now, let's keep it that way:

6. Consider keeping a small bag in your car for trash: wrappers, receipts, cups, etc. At the end of the day, grab it when you get out and toss it. You can easily stash a week's worth of bags in the glove box. A travel-size waste bin will also work.

7. For loose change, re-purpose a breath mint tin! Keep it in the glove box so it's out of sight and not cluttering up your interior.

8. Random items like wet-wipes, tissues, gloves, etc. can be kept in a flat plastic storage box under the front seat. If you have kids, these would be great for crayons, coloring books, etc.

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Sarah Collins on Aug 08, 2013:

These are some really great ideas.  I've been needing to clean out my car, its been a long summer between the sandy beach and the muddy lake!  I always wondered what kind of <a href="http://www.arcadianservices.com/equipmentsystems/">car wash equipment</a> they used at the car wash because my car always comes out looking brand new.  

Kathy on May 09, 2013:

If you have ashtrays in your car thats leaving bad smell from smoking just put few coffee grouinds in the bottom of them it helps the smell.

Jeanne Minnich on Apr 03, 2013:

Regarding the cleaning of window tint—Windex (and similar cleaners) are harmful because of the ammonia in it. Use cleaners that are alcohol based, or just a little soap and water.

CapreeK on Mar 27, 2013:

@jordan What do you recommend?

@mcfeather Oh, that's a great idea!

@Elke You know it! Happy spring cleaning! :)

@Lauren Yes, a good deep cleaning after the winter is a great idea! Maybe we'll do a follow up post with some deep cleaning tips.

Jordan on Mar 27, 2013:

Don't use Windex on car windows. Espcecially if they're tinted. No bueno. 

Mcfeather on Mar 27, 2013:

Doggy poop bags are a great size for trash. I happen to have an old Rubbermaid trash cup that fits in a cup holder so I just line it with one of those bags. It works like a charm.

Lauren @momhomeguide on Mar 26, 2013:

Good tips! But I think my car needs some carpet cleaner on top of just a vacuum! My car's floors are SO dirty from this past winter!

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