CARING FOR YOUR INTERIOR
Even though most people will only see the outside of your vehicle, the cleanliness of your interior is just as important as the exterior. A well-kept interior not only provides comfort to you and your passengers, it can improve your safety as well. So before you get down and dirty to clean your interior, here are some tips to help you along the way and keep your interior looking neat and clean longer.
The vacuum is arguably the single best tool for keeping a car's interior clean. From under floor mats to the tops of seats, a vacuum can effectively remove dirt and debris from nearly every nook and cranny. For the best results, use a high-powered vacuum with a hose and attachments so every crevice can be cleaned out. A coin-operated vacuum at a car wash is a great place to start. Removing floor mats and shaking them out prior to vacuuming will also help remove excess dust.
While a vacuum does a great job of removing dirt in the carpeting, floor mats, and seats, sometimes these spots need some extra TLC. Grime can seep into the upholstery, causing discoloration that vacuums can't pick up. That's where carpet and upholstery cleaners can help. These cleaners are specially formulated to deep clean seats and carpets without saturating them with mold-promoting moisture.
As with fabric upholstery, a vacuum can, and should, be used to get rid of the surface dirt on leather. However, removing stains, rips, and cracks on leather is not only difficult, it can be rather expensive. That's why it's important to treat leather upholstery with prevention in mind. Using special leather cleaner and conditioner will give your leather a nicer look as well as protect it from dirt and damage.
It might not be noticed that often, but the dashboard of a vehicle collects its fair share of dirt and dust. Vacuuming as well as using a microfiber dust cloth on the dashboard is a great way for removing dirt. It's also recommended that you apply a protectant once the dashboard has been cleaned to help prevent fading, cracking, and peeling. These protectants also aid in retaining the color of an interior against the sun and damaging UV rays. Don't forget the steering wheel, as it counts as part of the dashboard, so some protectant should be applied on it as well.
Windows are possibly the most important part of a vehicle's interior to keep clean since clean windows provide better visibility. Using glass cleaners with water repellent formulas not only gets rid of smudges, fingerprints, and paw prints (from your 4-legged passengers), it beads away water that would normally leave streak marks. It is important to know that some glass cleaners do not work well with tinted windows and can also damage the heating elements that defrost and fog a windshield. Household glass cleaners contain ammonia, which will breakdown the heating element on auto glass over time, which will eventually render the windshield defrosters useless.
From a truly aesthetic standpoint, having a messy trunk isn't a big deal. However, having a cluttered trunk can affect your vehicle's fuel economy. Keeping unnecessary items in there all the time can add weight to your car, which causes the engine to work harder while driving, thus burning more fuel. Any item that is not absolutely needed should be left at home, except for emergency supplies, as they should always be stored in your vehicle.
Once your interior is clean, it's important to take the time to organize. Not only will organizing help prevent clutter, it will make the process of upkeep easier. Car organization items are designed with function in mind and are ideal for those who bring items with them on the road. A trunk organizer is an affordable and helpful way to organize items in the trunk of a vehicle, so things like extra windshield wiper fluid do not roll around and/or leak. Items like visor organizers, dash caddies, and seat organizers can also help prevent dirt and debris from making a mess of your freshly-cleaned interior.
Pep Boys has everything you need to clean your interior from front to back and keep it looking nice no matter where you're headed. Stop by your local store today or shop for everything you need online from the comfort of your home.