How to Clean Car Interior | Expert’s Tips and Guide

Best Buy Steam Cleaners is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Who doesn’t love a freshly cleaned car? We all do, right? But many people ignore the interior cleaning of cars and focus on the exterior. However, both are equally important. First and foremost, interior cleaning is just as critical for safety as exterior cleaning. Secondly, interior cleaning makes the car’s air fresh to breathe in. It helps you get rid of any sort of unwanted smells. 

Some people do not get the interior cleaned on purpose because they either find it expensive or time taking or even both. Here, we have got the solution for this. We will provide you with an on point answer to What to use to clean Car interior?”

The frequency of cleaning the car interior largely depends on how much you use your car.Additionally, the frequency is also affected by whether or not you have kids or pets. 

So, let us move on to the core of our topic. We will give you useful insight on every aspect from process to car cleaning products.

How to Steam Clean Car Interior

Steam cleaning is getting popular due to chemical-free and cost effective procedures. Steaming is arguably the best way to clean the soiled car interior. 

For this sort of cleaning you’ll need:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Steam cleaner
  • Triangular brush 

The best way to steam clean a car interior is to clean the car interior with a vacuum cleaner first. Do it the same way as you would do for normal car cleaning. Bind the triangular brush with the steam cleaner. Now move the steam cleaner over various areas of the car. The brush will help pull out the dust trapped in the fabric and such a steamer is the best steamer for car detailing

How to Clean Car Interior with Household Products 

Well, this is something that most of us are eager to know. The reason behind this is that in this fast paced world we usually do not have enough time to get the interior cleaned. And to be fair it is heavy on the pocket. So, why not do it at home since it offers us both, time flexibility as well as lower cost. 

So the car interior cleaning products we will need to get our job done are:

  • Water
  • 2 trash bags 
  • Baby wipes
  • Vinger 
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Spray bottle
  • Vacuum 

Clean the hard parts of the car with rubbing alcohol and baby wipes. For the parts that involve fabric you’ll need to use vacuum first and then the cleanser. Details about all the steps are given in the article ahead. 

Get Rid of Trash 

Take out all the trash from the car and put it in a garbage bag. The trash can be accumulated in a lot of hidden and obvious places, such as under the seat and dashboard, on the floor mats of cars, and inside the tron seats.  

Cleaning the Floor Mats of Car 

Bring all the floor mats of the car out of it. A lot of dust will be trapped inside these mats. First, move them in an oscillatory motion with much strength. While doing this you will be able to see dust coming out of it. Once done, put them down and use the rubbing alcohol to sponge these mats. When you see that the matts are all cleaned, put them in open air and let them dry over there. You can put them back when they are dry. 

But, before putting them back in the car there is another step to do, which is discussed next. 

Clean the Car Carpet at Home

Carpets, too, have a lot of dust present inside them. You can clean them by using a simple vacuum cleaner. Clean the carpets thoroughly, ensure that you are not leaving any part of it. For effective and thorough cleaning it is advisable that you use a vacuum cleaner that is to hold in the hand.

If you do not own such a vacuum cleaner, no worries. You can use cleaners that are specifically formulated for carpets. Some of these products even work for stubborn marks and spots.

One thing that you should be considerate about while using such products is, do not wet the carpet way too much. Because if you do so, it will take quite some time to get dried which means there are chances that bacteria might grow on it. In case you have mistakenly used more water than required, you can absorb a considerable amount of water through a towel. 


If there is something like a chewing gum stuck with the mat or carpet you can easily remove it. Just scrub it with an ice cube for a few minutes. It will lose its stickiness. Now simply peel it off the surface. 

How to Clean Inside of Car Dashboard

If you have followed the first step mentioned in this guide then your dashboard must be trash free.  

Use a handheld vacuum cleaner that has a small brush and clean the dashboard altogether with this. This will remove the dust particles present on it. 

To ward off the bacteria and germs that we cannot see we will use car interior cleaning spray and if you do not have it use any cleaner or add water to rubbing alcohol and use it. Spray the disinfectant or the cleaner on the dashboard and rub out the dashboard with the help of baby wipes or paper towel, etc. 

Before using the cleaner on the whole dashboard use it on a small part of it as a test. Because not every cleaner is suitable for every material type.

If there are any rigid marks you can remove them by using this homemade cleaner, to get this mix the following

  •  2 cups of water 
  • ½ teaspoon detergent
  • ½ teaspoon oil-based soap.
  • 3 tablespoons of vinegar

What to use to clean car interior as mentioned before depends on the material of a part. This is true especially for the dashboards. 

Dashboards Made Of Vinyl, Rubber And Plastic

The dashboards that are made of plastic, vinyl or rubber can be cleaned using a cleaner that is very concentrated. Simply put the cleaner on a soft cloth piece such as baby wipes, paper towel and clean the dashboard. Make sure whichever cloth you are using is not harsh. To clean the areas that aren’t easily approachable use a clean, new toothbrush. 

Dashboard Made Of Leather 

Leather dashboards should be treated with care because using an ordinary cleaner on them may damage the leather. It may cause the appearance of cracks or fade the top layer. 

In case of no stains on it simply clean it with water. Otherwise use a soap for it that is oil based. 

For professional car interior detailing never forget to clean parts like windows, radio, steering wheel, dash cover, gear shift and other small parts. Before cleaning any of these parts with a cleaner , put the cleaner on a small area of each part to check the suitability. 

How to Clean Car Interior Fabric

To clean the fabric first use a vacuum cleaner. It will remove all the dust. You can then use a cleaner to remove bacteria and remaining dirt but use a reasonable amount of water otherwise seats won’t dry easily. 

Greasy Marks 

If there are any stains that are oily or greasy in nature then put the cornstarch on them. Let it rest for 30 minutes. Then use a vacuum cleaner on it and it’s gone.

You can also make a paste of cornstarch by adding water in it. Put the paste on the stain and remove it when it dries. 

Grass Spots 

To get rid of these spots, put hydrogen peroxide on it. The concentration of hydrogen peroxide should be 3%. And then, wash it with water.

Those who don’t have it can mix water, rubbing alcohol and vinegar in the same proprations and use it for this purpose. 


Can i use dish soap to clean car interior?

Yes, dish soap can be used to clean the car interior. However, it cannot be applied directly; rather you should mix it with water first. Then you can clean all the parts of interrio except the one made of glass. For the safe side, before using it do a spot test. 

Can i steam clean my car interior?

 Steam cleaning car is the best car interior cleaner method as it uses less water and cleanses the soiled interior easily. Before using the steam cleaner, clean the interior with a vacuum cleaner to get better results. While cleaning the carpet, attach a brush with the steam cleaner to brush out even the smallest dust particles. 

What do car detailers use to clean interior?

The car detailers know the secret of the right soap. The cleaners that we use at home for cleaning the interior are not suitable for this purpose. It wipes away the polish present on the car, this makes it look dull and is not good for the car. Car detailers use soaps especially formulated for the car interior. 

What is the best thing to clean car interior with?

If you are cleaning the car interior at home then the best thing for you is rubbing alcohol.It cleans everything very well. It not only removes the dirt but is suitable for several materials such as leather, plastic, fabric and vinyl. It is present in almost every household so there is no hassle of going to market when you need it. 


If you wish to clean the interior of your car by yourself then you should get yourself a car interior cleaning kit. This process of cleaning might take some time in begging but over the course of time you will be able to do it quickly. You should follow the given instructions carefully to achieve better results. Try to clean the car regularly because if the dirt remains accumulated for a longer time then it gets challenging to get rid of it. Furthermore, some stains might become permanent after some time. 

We have comprehensively guided you on what to use to clean car interior. In order to prevent any damage to any part of the car you should carefully follow these general guidelines given over here.


Leave a Comment