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Maintenance for Your Car Interior

August 29th, 2013

cleaning car interiorAfter purchasing a vehicle, there are several steps that a car owner can take to maintain the value of that automobile. Unfortunately, the value of vehicles typically starts depleting almost immediately after its owner buys and starts driving it. As a car owner, there are some things that you can do to ensure your automobile’s worth does not drop too quickly.

We’ve written blogs on ways to get the most out of your gas mileage and car sun damage prevention tips; both of these are great things to do to care for your car and can help with its long-term worth. While regular car maintenance is a routine task for many and is important to preserve the value of your automobile, the car interior often becomes a place of neglect. We’ve almost all done it – we’re driving down the road, drop a French fry beneath the seat and even though we intend to get it later, that doesn’t always happen immediately. As we run errands, receipts and random pieces of paper get stacked in the backseat and quickly forgotten about. And before we know it, friends or coworkers are climbing in our car and it becomes apparent what a disaster the car interior has become. Making it a part of your regular maintenance to clean your car interior often is a good practice to get into.

Here are a few pointers to maintaining your car interior that you should keep in mind:

Avoid eating and drinking within the car when possible. For some of us, this seems like a bit of an extreme. Most of us are accustomed to munching on the go, and with the influx of drive-thrus, it’s almost too easy to grab food on the road. No matter how careful we are, though, accidents happen. If you absolutely must have food or beverages in the vehicle and a spill should occur, be sure to clean it up immediately to avoid a stain.

Never use dry cloth on plastic parts within the car interior. This is especially important if you don’t regularly clean your car interior. Dust, particles, crumbs, etc. can cling to the plastic pieces. If you then try to wipe them down with a dry cloth, you may permanently scratch the car interior. Always damp the cloth before dusting and wiping away particles or use special products that are car friendly.

Utilize floor mats. Most vehicles come with standard floor mats, but owners can also upgrade to thicker, more dependable versions to further protect the car interior. Be sure the mats are not made entirely of fabric and include some type of thick, plastic or metal barrier that won’t let liquids seep through to your car’s flooring. Cleaning these mats regularly with a vacuum and shampooer can extend their durability.

Pay attention to the details. There are countless cracks and crevasses in the car interior and they all need to be cleaned regularly. Use cotton swabs or a toothbrush to get in between all of the plastic pieces.

Limit leather’s sun exposure. Sun can be especially damaging to leather, so if your car interior is made up of leather – be extra cautious of the sun. If you absolutely must park in the sun, consider pushing your seats forward or draping something over them. Alternatively, you can get a UV ray blocker for added protection from sun damage.

Vacuum the car interior regularly. Staying on top of the cleanliness of your car interior can ensure dirt doesn’t get embedded in the fabric or get into hard-to-reach places.  Some car owners keep a battery-operated hand vacuum in the trunk of their car. If you don’t want to do that, simply stop at the local car wash and spend a few quarters to do a quick vacuum job every couple weeks. This will save you time in the long run because grim won’t be so difficult to get up.

cleaning car interiorTreat fabric with Scotch Gard. Using this will help maintain the overall appearance of your car interior and help protect the fabric from future stains. This can save you from the hassle of in-depth shampooing later on.

When it comes time to sell your automobile, many car buyers will review the interior of your car very carefully to help them evaluate its worth. Taking these steps to ensure the interior is well cared for can safeguard you from losing money in the long run.

If you’re in the process of looking for a new car, True Consumer Reviews can help you make the right choice! Check out our comparison tool to evaluate key aspects of automobiles.