How to Deep Clean Your Car: Step-by-step guide

By Samiul Alan - June 22, 2021

how to deep clean your car

Keeping your car clean also keeps odors from developing and can help its resale value too. A deep clean just before selling won’t do the trick—it’ll be too late to lift all the dirt that has sunk in over the years. Therefore, you as a car owner need to have some knowledge about how to deep clean your car. But there's a lot of solution to keep your car neat and clean for all kinds of problems.

In this corona pandemic, admit it or not, your car has probably been sitting unused more than usual over the past several months, but that hasn’t stopped dust and dirt from accumulating inside. Even if your car wash stayed open during the pandemic, you may not have wanted someone to detail, or deep clean, the interior of your vehicle. Plus, the job can cost $100 or more, requires you to drop off and pick up your car. But it can easily be done on your own.

In this discussion, we are going to tell you about some useful ways you can easily deep clean your car.

How to Clean Cup Holders

Clear the cup holders on the side of the seats. These are the dirtiest spots in your car. To clean them fast, put an old sock over the bottom of a travel cup, spray it with window cleaner, and twist. Then get into the corners with a wooden barbecue skewer and pick out any remaining crud; remove it with a microfiber cloth. To make cup holders easier to clean, invest in rubber liners that you can take out and rinse. You can buy them at dealerships, car washes, and auto-parts stores. You can buy these from our sites with a discount too. We can provide you with the best cleaning tools that take your little time to clean up your mess. 

Look around a car’s nooks and crannies, you will probably find pens, change, keys, mud, and other odds and ends. After grabbing the big stuff with your hands, use a barbecue skewer to pick out the debris wedged between sill lips and carpeting. Then vacuum the area using the cleaner’s crevice tool. Finish off the area with a glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth. You can use a toothbrush and some baking soda with a little water to take out the dirt that stuck down there for a decade.

You don’t need expensive tools to clean out tight interior areas. Wood skewers and cotton swabs are great for small spots such as vents, seams, buttons. Old makeup brushes like those toothbrushes also work well in louvers and vents.

How to Clean Seats and Carpet

Things to do: Vacuum the carpet and cloth upholstery using the right attachment for the job. An upholstery tool’s short bristles can agitate dirt out of cloth; a crevice tool can reach under and in between seats and into corners. A steam cleaner lifts stains from carpet and upholstery, but soap and water on a soft cloth work too.

Things to avoid: Never soak seats; damp cushions encourage mold and can create a musty smell.

How to Clean Vinyl and Leather

Vinyl and leather are treated with a protective coating that requires gentle cleaning.

Things to do: Clean them with a cloth and a small amount of dish or soap and water. Try to use soft cloth for better results. Follow with a leather conditioner to keep the leather from drying out.

Things not to do: Don't try to use things containing bleach or hydrogen peroxide. Always avoid advertising detailing sprays that leave the dashboard surface looking wet or glossy, because that can create glare.

How to Clean Tough Surfaces 

Solutions containing at least 70 % alcohol are good enough to use on most vehicle’s interior surfaces and are also effective against the coronavirus.

Things to do: Dampen a small, clean paintbrush or soft toothbrush to clean vents, seams, and cup holders. Then apply alcohol to a microfiber cloth to gently clean other hard surfaces.

Things not to do: Never try to use paper towels, which can leave a trail of lint behind.

How to Clean Windshields 

The inside of the windshield can become dirty from outside air pollution and also from interior vapors that leave residues and may impede visibility.

Things to do: Clean with a soft cloth and a glass cleaner containing alcohol. Use two cloths to avoid streaks: Apply the product with one, and wipe the glass clean with the other.

Things not to do: Always try to avoid getting cleaner on your upholstery, always remember to spray the cloth and not the glass.

Touch Screens and Button Features

Screens and buttons now become more prominent, which means so are the dust and fingerprints that they collect with pleasure. These require different cleaning products than you’d use for glasses only.

Things to do: Dampen a microfiber cloth with isopropyl alcohol, then gently rub the screen clean.

Things not to do: Never use an ammonia-based glass or window cleaner, which might damage a screen’s anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coatings.

Your car’s wheels get covered with brake dust, tar, and road grime; these are very hard to remove. To make them shine, look for a wheel cleaner that’s labeled as safe for all surfaces, and avoid caustic cleaners that can harm a factory wheel’s finish. Though dish soap is too harsh, other non-abrasive cleaning products work well enough. Scrub it in with a sponge and a soft-bristled toothbrush in tight areas, then rinse with water. Check for missed spots and go over them.

Give it a rest for its own good. Exterior cleaners, especially those for wheels and tires, stay wet for a long time, it can attract dirt when you drive. Wait until everything is dry before getting on the road.


Although cleaning your car can seem like a bit of a chore, but it’s necessary all the same. It means much to have a car interior that looks clean and smells good. It tells a lot about the character of the owner.

So, you definitely need to know how to deep clean your car.