I drive a minivan. I have three little kids. You might think that I have an exceptionally clean car. Or you might instantly realize that THAT combination equals a very messy car, most of the time. They don’t really eat that much in the car, but even one time of having a bag of fishy crackers is crumbs everywhere. And of course they always take a sippy cup and then it inevitably rolls somewhere under a seat where it is instantly forgotten.
It was time to clean the car. I don’t mean go to the carwash and vac place and throw a few quarters in the machine…which is what I usually do. I was sick of the car feeling gross.
I wanted that brand new, detailed clean car feel. The problem is, I didn’t want to pay someone $100 to do it, but I didn’t know how to get my car to be THAT clean. Every time I vacuum it, it is cleaner, but not really that CLEAN. But with a little experimentation, I figured it out. So here’s how to detail your car.
When I got home, I made this awesome upholstery cleaner:
Laundry Detergent Spray: 1 Cup Scented Liquid Laundry Detergent+ 2 Cups water
I also got out my vacuum with the skinny tube attachment and the rollervac attachment.
First I cleaned out my car of most of the junk and large garbage. Then I pulled out all the rubber mats.
How to clean Rubber Car Mats: Spray with Detergent Spray, then wash off with water, scrub any sticky spots. This worked great. I let them air dry in the sun while I cleaned the rest of the car.
How to clean Car Upholstery: See this chair? My daughter’s car seat lives here. That means that there are spots of finely ground in crumbs, secured in place by water and juice. You might think there is no way this can be new again. Wrong-o!
First vacuum the large crumbs. Then spray the seat with Detergent Spray. Rub with a non-abrasive scouring pad. Scrub the spots that are especially bad. Then vacuum with the rollervac attachment. For leather, spray with Detergent spray and wipe clean immediately with paper towels. Voila!
How to clean Car Flooring: This is the part I’m the most proud of. I did essentially the same thing as with the upholstery and it worked WONDERS. Vacuum large crumbs. Spray the floor with Detergent Spray (This is why I used scented because the scent stays in the car and makes it smell wonderful.) Rub the flooring with the non-abrasive scouring pad. Then vacuum with the rollervac attachment. And seriously, this made the biggest difference! I’m very proud of how clean my car floor is.
How to clean Car Vinyl: I didn’t really take pictures of this because it was hard to tell the difference. Plus, once I got started and saw how easy it was, I went so fast that I forgot to take them. But here’s how you clean car vinyl and get all the grubby scuffs off: Magic Eraser. Just like at home, folks. Use the Magic Eraser for all those scuff marks, especially in the plastic spots where feet hit (like right next to the doors).
For some general cleaning, I used a generic cleaning spray and paper towels to wipe down the dashboard and many other areas of vinyl and plastic. I vacuumed all the nooks and crannies with the long skinny vacuum attachment. And by the way, when I cleaned my car I found six sippy cups. Six! (This picture was taken in the garage with my phone so it’s a little grainy, but trust me…this car is the cleanest it’s ever been.)
And that’s how I detailed my car and saved myself $100.