Oil changes, tire rotations and even car washes may garner the bulk of drivers’ attention in regard to vehicle maintenance. But various smaller undertakings, including keeping vehicle interiors clean, are worthy of drivers’ attention as well.
Dust and dirt can accumulate in a vehicle over time, making for a less comfortable ride. Keeping vehicle interiors clean can make car and truck cabins more welcoming for drivers and their passengers, and such maintenance is simple and inexpensive.
• Focus on the floors. The floors in a car face all that weather has to offer. In winter, boots may track snow and deicing solutions like salt into a vehicle’s cabin. In summer, sand from the beach or dirt from hiking trails may find its way in. Some drivers use the same floor mats year-round, but there’s an advantage to switching based on the seasons. According to the automotive experts at Napa, fabric floor mats in summer will hold on to dirt and keep it from spreading. Beachgoers will appreciate that after tracking sand into their cars. In the winter, swap fabric floor mats with rubber or plastic alternatives, as these mats will hold melting snow, rain or salt, preventing them from staining the floors.
• Be mindful of seating materials. When cleaning seats, drivers should be mindful of the materials those seats are made of. Cloth seats should be cleaned differently than leather and vinyl, and all seats should be vacuumed prior to cleaning. Consumer Reports notes that leather and vinyl seats are treated with a protective coating that requires gentle cleaning. Begin with a small cloth with a dab of dish or saddle soap, and then apply a leather conditioner to prevent the leather from drying out. When cleaning cloth seats, an upholstery cleaner can be applied to stains, just be sure to follow instructions carefully. Cleaning products are not all the same, and application techniques may vary. A scrub brush can be used to work cleaning solutions into the seats and any lingering moisture can then be wiped away with a microfiber cloth.
• Clean the inside of your car windshield. Use an interior glass cleaner to clean the interior windshields and windows. These surfaces can accumulate a significant amount of dirt due to interior vapors and air pollution. Consumer Reports recommends using a glass cleaner that contains alcohol. Interior glass cleaners are designed to prevent streaking and film buildup, which can compromise drivers’ vision.
• Take on touchscreens. Modern vehicles have touchscreens that can quickly accumulate dust and fingerprints. Toyota recommends soaking a clean cloth in lukewarm water and lightly wiping the surface of touch screens. Avoid substances like solvents, alkaline or acidic solutions, which can contribute to staining or discoloration on the screen.
Clean car interiors can make driving that much more enjoyable and even more healthy.