Most of the car owners focus more on cleaning the exterior of the car and ignore the interior. Keeping your car’s interior clean is important or it can result in dirt, dust and food residue accumulation. You spend many hours of the day inside of your vehicle and it is good for both your health and peace of mind to keep the interior clean.

If you have kids and pets then your auto upholstery tends to get dirtier with spills, stains, and grime. Luckily, cleaning your upholstery can be simple thanks to a variety of techniques and specific cleaning products. Learn how to effectively clean your car’s interior with these useful car upholstery cleaner recipes.

Start with vacuuming

The first thing is to remove all the garbage and useless items from the car and vacuum all the surfaces of your vehicle. Vacuum will allow removing the loose dirt and dust littering the interior. Make sure to use the vacuum underneath the seats and in between creases so you can get all the food crumbs and other dirt hiding. If your car needs deep cleaning then you can rent a steam cleaner to extract embedded dirt using hot water and suction.

Remove stains from fabric

There is no need to buy commercial cleaners to clean the upholstery you can make your own cleaner at home. Mix 1 part water with 1 part dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on the upholstery and rub with a soft brush then rinse with warm water and a clean rag.

If you have stubborn stains like ketchup and coffee stains then you can use another cleaning solution. Mix ¼ cup of baking soda and 1 cup of warm water together and apply it to any stains with the help of a brush. Leave the solution for 30 minutes to penetrate the stains and then use a clean dry towel to blot the stains with the baking soda and water.

Clean the floor and mats

The floor and mats of your vehicle may have stubborn stains, dirt, and grime. The combination of vinegar and alcohol will effectively kill any germs and remove stains while the essential oil will leave your car smelling clean and fresh. Combine ½ cup rubbing alcohol, ½ cup white vinegar and 10 drops of any essential oil in a spray bottle. Spray it on the surface of the fabric and scrub the upholstery with a sponge or a clean towel and then allow drying.

For rubber or vinyl, mats apply a liquid wax shoe polish to them after cleaning. This will help improve their shine and will also make it easier to rinse off and keep clean.

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Clean leather upholstery

Leather requires more care than fabric or vinyl upholstery, as it is more susceptible to aging and fading. The best option to clean leather is to use cleaners specifically made for leather, such as cleaners and conditioners. If you want to prepare a homemade leather cleaner then combine 1 quart of warm water, 1 tablespoon mild baby soap and several drops of vinegar. Rub this cleaner to the upholstery using a microfiber cloth then allow drying and repeat the process to remove the dirt.

Once the leather has dried apply a leather conditioner to the upholstery using a cloth. The purpose of the conditioner is to replace the oils in the leather leaving it smooth and flexible.

Other cleaning solutions

Baby wipes work surprisingly well when cleaning car upholstery. You don’t necessarily need soap and water to clean your car seats. Baby wipes are a great alternative and should get most stains out. They don’t contain abrasive chemicals, which is great for the environment and safe for people with small children and adults with sensitive skin or allergies.

Dry cleaning cloths are also great for cleaning car upholstery. They are easily accessible and are effective car upholstery cleaners.  An additional bonus for using Dryel or other brands of dry cleaning cloths is that they leave the car smelling great.

Using all these tips and homemade solutions you can give your car upholstery a completely new look. But once it is cleaned the best approach is to prevent it to get messy again in the future. For this purpose, you can follow some helpful tips like using seat covers which are not expensive and many can be machine-washed.

Apply a stain repellent to your upholstery which will make stains hard to settle and prolong upholstery life. Don’t allow spills and messes to sit in your car which later is hard to remove and also spread unpleasant smell. Keep your car always clean, vacuum regularly and limit food and drinks in the car to keep it tidy.

By following these tips you can definitely keep your upholstery clean and fresh and also prolong its life.