Got a messy car? Join the club! Even if you're unusually neat and meticulous about keeping your car interior clean, cars have a knack for getting dirty and cluttered. Whether it’s a spilled drink, crumbs from kids’ snacks, or receipts from shopping excursions and/or parking, there always seems to be something out of place. Follow our 10-step routine to get your car in tip-top condition, and let's tackle these cleaning challenges together and get your ride back in shape.

Step 1 - Declutter: Start off by clearing out everything from your car. Get into every corner, every door pocket, the glove box, armrest, trunk, and even underneath seats. Toss and/or recycle what you don't need and put aside anything that needs to go back in.

Step 2 - Mats: Remove all the mats from the vehicle and lay them on the driveway. Start with the rubber mats. These are easy to clean by giving them a good scrub with dish soap and vinegar. Leave them sopping wet to soak while you move on to carpet mats. These will need a thorough vacuum—use a shop vacuum or a handheld with a beater bar.

Step 3 - Windows & Mirrors: Grab a glass cleaner and a flat-weave glass & electronics cloth and give the sun roof, windshield, and interior windows a good cleaning. Don’t forget the rear-view mirror and the vanity mirrors in the sunvisors.

hand cleaning a counter with a grey kitchen cloth

Step 4 - Interior Detailing: For the inside, grab an all-purpose cleaner, and some microfiber cloths. Use the Original Maker’s Cleaning Cloth for dusting and wet cleaning, and a glass & electronics cloth for any delicate surfaces. Start in the driver’s seat and work section by section, from top to bottom, left to right. Don't forget the nooks and crannies—a cleaning toothbrush is your secret weapon for knobs, seams, and buttons.

Step 5 - Seats, and Floors: Use an appropriate vacuum and tool(s) combination to clean upholstered seats and floors. Pay extra attention to corners.

Step 6 - Surface Treatments: For leather seats and finishes, use an appropriate product and follow the instructions. If you want to use any sort of treatment on the dash or armrest, etc., this would be the time to apply those treatments as well; again, follow the product instructions.

Step 7 - Trunk Time: Give your trunk a thorough vacuuming. Don't forget to give the sides and interior glass a wipe as well.

Step 8 - Finishing Touches: Spruce up kickplates and door frames with an all-purpose cleaner and a DUO Cloth. Hose down the rubber mats that were soaking, and let them dry completely before replacing all of your mats.

Step 9 - Replace Contents: Replace all of the items you removed that need to return to the inside of the vehicle (and trunk).

Step 10 - Exterior: Time to tackle the outside. Start with the tires. Dish soap and water works wonders here. Next, wash the car. Go for a car cleaning product that suits your needs, washing section by section, and rinsing your wash mitt/sponge in clean water between passes. Rinse, and dry thoroughly with a Maker’s Clean DUO Cloth. Enjoy a fresh, clean, car!

Pro Tip: Keep a mini cleaning kit in the car! An assortment of microfiber cloths designed with your car in mind are always handy to have within arm's reach. These cloths are great to keep dust at bay, as well as handle any small spills that pop up. A tiny spray bottle filled with a DIY all-purpose cleaner is a great addition, too. 

June 10, 2024