how to clean inside of car


Old 02-13-02, 02:37 PM
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how to clean inside of car

I have been delivering newspapers for over a year, have 2 kids under the age of six and a third on the way. As a result the interior of my 3 year old car is trashed. I'm too cheap to pay someone to professionally clean the inside of my car yet would like to have an almost new if not new looking interior, but have little idea how to go about achieving a professional looking cleaning job myself. Any tips suggestions and product recommendations would be of great assistance.
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Old 02-13-02, 02:40 PM
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TuffStuff by Turtle Wax, Fabreeze, or anything by Meguiars, and a lot of elbow grease should do it.

The best way is to take the carpet out and have it profesionally cleaned or clean it with a steamer. Then reinstall it.

Might want to consider putting in a liner or some sort of cover over things after cleaned to prevent reoccurring troubles and stains.
Old 02-13-02, 08:59 PM
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I too have a kid that delivers newspapers, or should I say, I have a paper route too?!

For cleaning the carpet, if you don't want to pull the carpet out, which is a pain, I use Turtlewax's carpet cleaner. It's a foaming product with a bristle scrubbing cap. It works pretty good, especially on all that snowy, salty sludge that gets dragged into the car during the winter. If you have a carpet cleaner with an upolstery attachment, this would work best. You can rent one just about anywhere if you would prefer.

Basically, the cleaning process I use when I clean my Mustang's interior involves the following:

+ Vacuum, vacuum everything, including the dashboard and air
vents with the soft brislte attachment.
+ Use a leather cleaner on all the seats - if you have fabric, use
the steamvac, Turtlewax carpet cleaner, or whatever the car's
manufacturer suggests you use in the owner's manual
(probably a mild detergent with cold water which won't clean
anything). See what's out there to use at an automotive store
and ask the guy behind the counter what he thinks of the
+ I then use a mild cleaner on all the plastic sufaces. In the case
of removing newsprint, which gets into the grain of all the
plastic parts, use a somewhat soft bristle brush to get into all
the cracks and crevaces. If it is really bad, spray it down and
saturate the plastic with 409 and let it sit for a few minutes.
You'll see the ink start running. Then wipe it all off. If you
want, spray it a second time to get what you missed and wipe
it down again. If you are concerned about the plastic finish,
this may dull it a little. I'd try an inconspicuous spot
first to see how the plastic reacts.
+ Next, take a 3" painting brush and scrub out the air vents and
crevaces where all the plastic parts come together and vacuum
again. Or do this before you vacuum.
+ I then use Armorall, or Son Of A Gun to finish all the plastic
and vinyl surfaces. I saturate a wrag and wipe everything
down, then go over it again with a dry wrag to even out the
sheen. Try not to get the stuff on the windows, but that is
why I do it now, and not later. Do NOT put this stuff on things
like the steering wheel where you touch it while driving, the
shifter or your gas/break/clutch pedals. If you do this on your
door handles, it will be slick as well. Also, if you put this stuff
on the top of your dashboard, driving at night might be impared
by the glare of the streets lights reflecting off the dash top
surface onto your windshield. Sunny days might pose a
problem as well. I prefer a light coating on the top of the dash
because of this.
+ Now, do the windows with a glass cleaner (Glass Plus). Use a
towel or wrag saturated with cleaner, and then wipe and dry
the windows off with a paper towel to get it streak free. Make
sure you get all the Armorall off the windows.
+ After that, get to work on the floor mats. If they are carpeted,
use whatever you used on the rest of the apolstery. If vinyl,
409, and I then use Armorall again. Dress shoes may make you
slip if is raining out as the Armorall wears off on your shoes
while you drive a little, but I don't have problems with sneakers
after driving and walking in the rain.

Some nice products to help you out are Rain-X's defogger and Rain-X's windshield treatments. The defogger reduces fogging on the inside of the windshield due to temperature and moisture differences between the inside and outside of the vehicle. Also, Rain-X on the outside is great for visibility. It makes a world of difference in the rain and snow. The only draw back to these two products is that they take about 15 minutes each to apply correctly, but in my opinion are well worth the time and effort.

I put the outside treatment on all my windows, including the sides and back, as well as the mirrors. When the mirrors coat over with snow or ice, a touch with the scraper pulls the entire mess off with one flick of the wrist.

Here's a good one! Take an apple slice after you clean the wiper blades, and run it along both sides of the edge of each wiper. This will just about eliminate any streaking you get when running the wipers.

It takes me about 2 1/2 hours to clean the inside of my car out. If you want to spend the time and effort as opposed to taking it somewhere, you would save some money as some detailing shops can cost you up to $100. If you have a Delta Sonic near you, take it there and see if they can guarantee a clean inside for you. I'm not sure of the cost, but a handwax is about $15.

After you get the inside clean, get one of those plastic storage bins/boxes sold everywhere, and use that to put the nasty papers in while you deliver. I use big towels to put the papers on while we deliver to protect the back seats.
Old 02-13-02, 09:03 PM
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A very informative post!

You can also use Armor All's low gloss formula if you don't want the shiny look that the regular stuff leaves.
Old 02-13-02, 09:23 PM
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Didn't know thay had that product! I still have three bottles of the old stuff on the garage shelf myself. I'll check it out!

Old 02-18-02, 06:40 AM
sportster pete
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if you ever have the chance to watch some detail shops you would be scared. the take their pressure washers (gas powered) and hose out the interior of your car. then wet vac everything then add too much shinny stuff looks great but the damage to the car from all the water and cleaning stuff that gets into everything is not worth the money. and we wonder why cars have all these problems
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