At Home Car Interior Cleaning: Self-Servicing Your Car

My car is my second home. I eat in it, throw my trash on the floorboards, and store extra clothes in the back seat. Unfortunately, that leaves it looking dingy and uncared for. With the unsteady economy I haven’t been able to convince myself a professional car detailing, which can range from $75 to $250, is worth the money. So, I detailed my own car with cleaning items from my local Lowe’s . Here’s what I learned:

Step one: Toss all empty containers, wrappers and spare trash into a large Glad 13-gallon trash bag. Use as many bags as necessary to give rid of the larger debris. If you want to be green empty all of the plastic bottles and paper wrappers into a separate bag to recycle later. Glad 12 count 13 gallon trash bags: $2.98

Step 2: Once you cleared out the disposable debris, vacuum every inch of the car including underneath the car mats, between the cushions and the dashboard and visors with a vacuum with a hose. This will get rid of any dirt and dust accumulated for wear and tear of your car. This may require a trip to a local self-service car wash. Car wash vacuum: $0.50

Step 3: Next, you will need an interior carpet or leather cleaner to give your car a decent scrub down. I used Armor All’s Carpet & Upholstery cleaner to get rid of the generic dirt and even tough stains on my carpet upholstery. They also have leather wipes that work great on leather interiors, as well as vinyl. Use a washable cloth to prevent extra waste. Armor All Carpet & Upholster: $3.99

Step 4: After cleaning the upholstery or leather, it should be time to clean the rear and front windshields, and the passenger and driver back and front windows. Armor All Glass wipes provide a streak free clean. Armor All Glass Wipes: $3.82

Step 5: The final step, if you have a leather interior is to apply a protectant. Use Armor All’s Natural Finish Detailer Protectant for leather interiors. If you have upholstery your interior should be nearly complete. Give the car another vacuum to get rid of any excess dirt and dust from the cleaning process and your car should now be as good as new. Armor All’s Natural Finish Detailer Protectant: $5.99

This car-cleaning project took me approximately $18.00 dollars and 2 hours of cleaning work to complete. Not only did I save myself a decent chunk of cash, I felt proud of the work I had done, and not ashamed to cart around other passengers.