Purchasing a car or truck is an investment, especially if you decide to spend the exorbitant prices for a high-end luxury, or sports car. In order to receive the most out of your vehicle, as a trade in should you decide to buy a new vehicle it is vital to protect your investment in any way possible. Maintaining the exterior through regular washing, waxing, and polishing is the easy part. When it comes to the interior there are a variety of surfaces, crevices, and features that dictate how you should clean and protect these areas. To help you with this here is a basic overview of the things you should be doing to protect your vehicle’s interior.
Depending on the type of seats you have, you will need different cleaning materials. For leather seats and other leather interior features, you will want to use a quality leather cleaner and protectant. This will protect your leather from drying out and cracking under the extreme temperature changes that the interior of your car experiences. Using products that are intended for use on vinyl will actually damage your leather interior as they often contain harsh chemicals that can dry, fade, or stain leather.
Vinyl seats are probably the easiest to clean since you can simply use a quality vinyl cleaner to wipe away dirt and grime, once you have vacuumed out any crevices that might have collected crumbs, dirt, or hair.
Cloth Seats require a bit more effort to keep them looking good. It is important to remember the extreme temperatures that these surfaces are exposed to on a daily basis when selecting a fabric cleaner. You want to select a cleaner that is gentle on fabric and will not fade or stain your seats. Some cleaners like carpet cleaner can damage the fabrics used in car interiors, so stick to more gentle soaps such as laundry soaps that are meant for delicates. Always vacuum seats thoroughly before cleaning so as not to spread existing dirt as you begin to wet the surfaces.
The best investment that you can make for your car’s interior are custom floor mats. Custom floor mats are designed specifically for the molded floors of your vehicle. The custom fit keeps the mats from slipping and sliding around allowing dirt to get underneath to your car’s carpeting.
The second best thing when not protecting your vehicle’s carpets with custom floor mats is to vacuum your car’s interior weekly, making sure to get all of the little seams so that gravel, road salts, and other grime that get’s tracked in on your feet do not build-up and begin to damage those areas. In addition to vacuuming, you should use a cleaner that is specifically designed for car carpeting to remove stains and ground in dirt that will gradually cause your carpet to deteriorate over time.
Dashboard and other Plastic Surfaces
If you don’t have leather or vinyl dashboard surfaces the odds are they are plastic. Since plastics are already at risk of deterioration due to heat exposure, it is imperative that you use a cleaner for these surfaces that is designed for cleaning your car’s plastic parts.
Avoid products that contain alcohol as one of the main ingredients as it will cause the surface to dry out and crack. Use a microfiber cloth to clean these areas so that you remove all residue that would dull or damage your interior.
The best way to protect your car investment is through diligently maintaining your car’s interior. By putting in a little extra time and elbow grease, and using the proper products when cleaning your car, you can keep it looking like new for years to come.