Though maintaining the appearance and structure of your automobile’s exterior is of paramount importance, it is equally vital to protect the interior of your vehicle as well, as this is where you spend most of your time. This can be done in a variety of ways, all of which can be successful, but something often overlooked is the order at which you accomplish them. So what are ways you can maintain the integrity of your vehicles cabin?
“Water based solutions are becoming more readily available, and are also better for UV protection… this is beneficial because exposure is the number one cause of cracking and vinyl fatigue”
The first thing that needs to be done is extensive vacuuming to every area that can be reached. This includes the ceiling and dashboard. One would be amazed at how often people scrub their interior first, not realizing that vacuuming after the fact stirs up dust and dander and has it bond with the detergents used to clean. After you are satisfied that the seats are cleared completely, use a fabric guard on applicable areas. Fabric guards are fantastic because they ward off potential stains in the future. They trap the positive effects of shampooing and make areas easier to clean later on. Fabric guard can also be used on the mats of the vehicle.
Next you will want to spray dashboard cleaner over the vinyl and rub it in with a microfiber pad generously. These types of cleaners are clearly marked at automobile outlets. This can be done with a towel, but the agents will stick to the surface more easily with a pad because it can embed the chemicals. Even though oil based interior detailer cleaners can be used, they can leave a greasy film on your dashboard and center console. Water based solutions are becoming more readily available, and are also better for UV protection. This is beneficial because exposure is the number one cause of cracking and vinyl ‘fatigue.’ The most inexpensive way to prevent this if you do not have a dashboard spray is to invest in a sunscreen. They are only a few dollars and work wonders in fighting off the sun’s rays.
The inside of your windows will need prepping as well to ensure maximum protection. If you are concerned glass cleaners like Windex or various alternatives will streak too much, it is acceptable to use foam from products like Turtle Wax. Whichever direction you choose to wipe, depending on your dominant hand, make sure you keep that same direction consistent. In other words, do not go left to right, then right to left, and so on. This will minimize substance lines.
Finally, to protect the smell of your car, initially you want to absorb previous odors that were present. Placing a simple baking soda solution, similar to what you would put in a smelly fridge, overnight will eliminate most pungent odors. After this has been done, strategically place an air freshener in the cabin, or on the air conditioner vents to enable pleasant airflow.
The detergents and cleaners offered at department stores can be incredibly overwhelming, so if you do not want to skimp on the protection your car’s interior deserves, have a detailing expert go over it with a fine toothed comb and use the right agents the will bond and cure properly to make sure wear and tear in the future will be at a minimum.