15 Tips to Keep Your Car Interior Clean, Stainless and Fresh

15 Tips to Keep Your Car Interior Clean, Stainless and Fresh

Twenty hours on the road can leave your car filled with the likes of fries, spilled drinks, wadded up napkins, pillows, blankets, maps, newspapers and sticky, gooey messes. The best way to avoid stains is to not eat, drink or do anything in the car but ride. Since that's impossible, here are 15 tips from Road & Travel Magazine to get things straightened up after your vacation.  

created at: 2009-05-19

You've got vinyl, leather, or cloth upholstery, carpet, floor mats and the interior of the doors to keep clean and stain free. 

1. Dilute coffee spills immediately with cool water and blot with paper towels or clean rags. If a stain remains after the spot dries, spray on a glass cleaner (yes, a glass cleaner!). Soak the area, allow to sit for five minutes, and blot.

2. Most greasy carpeting and upholstery stains can be removed by rubbing on paint thinner with a clean, 100-percent cotton cloth. Then cover the stain with salt until the remaining grease is absorbed, and vacuum. Or cover the spot with cornmeal and let it sit overnight and vacuum in the morning. Note: Test the effect of the paint thinner on the colorfastness of the carpeting and/or upholstery in a discrete area first.

3. Hairspray will lift out pen ink stains on carpeting or upholstery. Salt will also lift the stain out of the carpet. Allow to sit until the stain is absorbed and brush off. Repeat if necessary.

4. Carsickness stains, from children, pets or adults, should be diluted and neutralized (vomit is acidic) with club soda or a mixture of baking soda and water.

5. Blood stains on carpeting or upholstery, whether animal or human, should be immediately covered with a paste made up of dry laundry starch and cold water. (Do not use hot water, as it will set the stain.) Allow to dry, then brush or vacuum the residue away.



To read the rest of the list, click right here.

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Nathan on Aug 31, 2012:

Ummm Tip 5: Very handy in my line of work. I normally burn the cars when I'm done, with this I might be able to pull a job or two before resorting to burn the vehicle.

Sunnie26 on Nov 19, 2009:

I've got one for you: How do you get rid of water stains?  I (unfortunately) live in a cold climate and snow often finds its way onto my car seats when I open the door.  Since it is cold it doesn't dry for days and then leaves a HUGE water stain!  Any ideas?  I know if anyone can help me you can!

ModHomeEcTeacher on Nov 19, 2009:

Thanks Derek.

Derek on Nov 19, 2009:

This was an awesome read! I will definitely take these tips to mind. I know that I've done everything I can to protect my car and the interior to maintain the resale value. All I can say is that accidents happen.


The best suggestion I've come up with to compliment what this says is to get seat covers for your car. I know that even though it won't protect the dash or floorboards, it's an extra attempt at protecting the interior. And it adds a little bit of temporary personalization to the car too without spending a ton or making it permanant.

ModHomeEcTeacher on Jun 22, 2009:

Thanks for the comment!

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