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Ok, I have had many requests and questions on how to detail the interior of a car/truck. The stuff I use can be found OTC (over the counter) at places like autozone or advance auto. I really dont feel that there is a huge difference in normal interior cleaners from the store vs. the ones online. Plus, it saves money and time when I have a customer to take care of and cant wait for UPS to ship my package. The process in which I use has been tested on over 300 cars with no ill-effects to the surfaces on the interior. It's also the quickest and easiest way to keep the interior looking great.

STEP #1- Air Compressor and Vacume.

Vacuming and removing dirt/debris in your cabin not only helps the look of the inside, but reduces the ability of dirt to damage the surfaces of your car. Also, your car will likely not smell as bad b/c any dirt will be removed. You will need a good air-compressor and a good quality shop-vac. Normal household vac's dont have enough suction to thourougly clean the interior. You will need to start out by taking the air-compressor with a blow-nozzle and a long bristle brush ( I like a new cheap paint brush) and go over any vents, buttons, crevaces, cracks, etc that dirt may be hiding. Blow the air in the vents while moving the brush will eliminate any dust/dirt in your air vents. You will also want to hit the carpet and door sills and under the seats to remove any debris or dirt that does not get vacumed up. After that is taken care of, you will need to vacume (obviously:p ). This step is fairly self-explanitory. Just get everything. The floor, the door pockets, under the seats, between the seats, between the center console, etc. Be very thorough with this step.

STEP#2- Carpet Cleaning

Cleaning the carpet is often a overlooked and very-misunderstood area of interior detailing. It's acutally one of the easiest steps you can perform and makes a 100% increase in the look of the carpet. You will need regular Woolite from the store, a stiff bristle brush, and a couple of terry cloths. Mix the woolite from the bottle at about 8:1 with HOT water in a spray bottle. Spray all areas of the carpet that you can see. Dont saturate them, but make sure that they are covered. Let it sit for about 5-10min. Now take the brush and wrap a clean terry towel around it and start scrubbing. It wont take much effort and you can re-apply the woolite/water if the carpet seems dry. There is no special trick to this, just scrub. As the towel becomes dirty, rinse it out. If your truck has cloth (or leather for that matter) repeat this process on them as well. You can finish off with a protectant, Scotch-Guard or 303 Fabric Protectant work well at guarding your carpet from stains.

STEP#3- Plastic Vinyl Cleaning

There seems to be alot of mis-information on how to keep your dash/interior plastics and leather looking new. You cant just simply clean them with soap/water for life. It will need a protectant every 6months or the plastic will dry out. After the protectant is applied, wiping with a microfiber towel is all that is needed to knock the dust off. For this step you will need, microfiber towels (Vroom from Target is really good), your woolite mixure (or for tougher stains, Simple Green at 5:1), a small toothbrush, and a vinyl/plastic/leather dressing. I love Armor All. It WILL NOT crack the dash, it has been reformulated and no longer does that. It's also water-based which is something that is desirable in a interior protectant. Silicone based dressings attract dust and will over time dry out the plastics or vinyl. (STP, Black Magic, Baby Oil, anything "greasy") are all stuff you want to stay away from. 303, Duragloss #201, and Meguars Quick Interior Detailer are also great products to use. You will start out by spraying lightly the plastic/vinyl/leather parts of the car. Once again, dont soak, but coat them lightly. Do this one section at a time. Scrub any areas with a damp Microfiber and any brushes you may need to get into any crevaces or crannies that dirt hide. Be careful around painted parts or parts that seem sensitive to the touch, woolite is very gentle on stuff like that but the brush is not. After you have cleaned those parts of the car, hit the surfaces with your dressing of choice. I normally use Armor All or Meguiars Quick Interior Detailer. Dont spray the product on the dash, console, etc. Spray it onto a microfiber and rub the dash. Spraying it on the dash applies to much and makes you have to clean it off of glass later. Wipe all surfaces down completely. If the surface is too glossy, hit it another time with a dry microfiber. On your guage plastic, wood, radio faces, etc you can polish them with a wax like you use on your surface to bring out extra gloss and make them anti-static. Just make sure whatever wax you use it's ok to get on plastic. Often waxes will leave whatever trim you bump into white, dont use waxes like that. I like #105 Duragloss for the inside. Also, if you have plastic or rubber floormatts, be sure to hit them with the same attention as you gave the dash.

STEP#4- Glass

Keeping your glass clean not only improves your visibility and safety, it helps keep things looking tip-top. There is only one mis-conception amongst people about glass, WINDEX. Windex is meant for homes, let it stay there. It works horribly on auto glass. Auto glass cleaners have to deal with many different chemicals than your normal glass cleaner, so just using windex or the like will not work. You will need a really good microfiber cloth (not newspaper, papertowel, or terry cloth) and a product I use called Invisible Glass (NXT glass cleaner is also good as well). Simply spray the glass cleaner on the microfiber that has been folded into squares, and wipe the glass. It's that simple. When you are done with a glass panel, flip the microfiber to a dry side and do a final wipe to ensure no streaks. Easy huh?

STEP#5- Door Jambs.

The final part to the interior detial is your jambs. A majorly overlooked step in auto detailing, keeping your jambs clean is a good way to "detail" your inside, not just clean it. It also helps keep rust/corrosion at bay and keeps your pants clean when you step out. You will need a degreaser (simple green is good), a damp microfiber, your vinyl/plastic dressing, and a wax. Doing this while you wash the auto is good, but not nessisary. Doing it while washing may rinse away more debris. Start by spraying any parts of the jamb with degreaser (use it 5:1). Let it sit for a min or so and then scrub with a microfiber. Be careful not to get any of this on the inside of the car. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies and all over the jamb. Once the jamb is dry, apply your vinyl/plastic dressing to any rubbers you see in the jamb. Weatherstripping, plastic parts, sill covers can all benifit from a coat of protectant. Finally, wax the metal parts of the jamb with your favorite wax ( I use Klasse AIO or Duragloss for my jambs). The wax shines up any dull paint in your jambs and keeps them protected and looking good for next time.


That's it! You have just completed your inside and done it the correct and easy way. Your inside will stay clean for years to come with regular vacuming and cleaning of the inside. I recomend doing this "routine" every 6months. You should also try to vacume/wipe down at least every week. This should only take at the most, 2hrs and will surely give you that "good clean feeling, no matter what" (add british accent from the Orbit gum commercial).

Any questions or additional tips or product recomendations feel free to add to the thread.

Also, please excuse my poor editing and spelling skills. I spell horrible and my spell check was on the fritz today.
Brandon
 

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What do you think of the ArmorAll wipes (the ones that're pre-soaked..like baby wipes)?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey, if you like em, its ok then. Actually, I dont use the wipes, I get a applicator pad and spritz it with AA. Works better for me.
 

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Nah, that is meant for spots, not general cleaning. I would actually if you are looking for a machine, look for a Little Green Clean Machine. I have one that is about 14yrs old and it still works great.
 

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Bought the little green machine today, works great. I keep my truck clean, and it looks clean, but this thing got a whole lot of dirt out, now its REALLY clean :) After our neighbors saw me using it and the results they want to borrow it tomorrow.
 

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Not as complex as the exterior, but still helpful as always. good writeup
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Nah, interior is kinda simple and short. Most people have their own preferences on the interior.
 

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Brandon and others, I've used this for a while on my interior along with a detailing, microfiber cloth. Pledge® Multi-Surface Clean & Dust™ Spray.
Just spray on the cloth and wipe away....
Gives great results without streaking or residue. Nice fresh scent also. :D

Just a FYI. :tu:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I know of alot of people that use pledge, but for me and my customers, only car products. Pledge has alot of chemicals that are meant for use on wood or other surfaces that are not in cars. You may run the risk of fading or damaging the finish.

I guess if it works for you, then hell yea!
 

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What do you think of the ArmorAll wipes (the ones that're pre-soaked..like baby wipes)?
Meguiar's now has their interior quick detailer conveniently stored as wipes. Personally I don't like spraying a cleaner in the interior, it seems to go everywhere regardless of where I aim. The wipes work much better for me and the bottle seals well so they don't dry out.
 

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What do reccommend using to protect the dashboard? I hate armor-all because it leaves everything greasy. I tried wiping it down with a microfiber afterwards and it just looks smeared and uneven when I do that. Any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Not to be rude in any way, but that is clearly in the writeup above. Meguiars Quick Interior Detailer or 303. Armor All is fine, you just have to use it right.

Read it again bud, not trying to be rude, it's just all there.
 

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Is the Quick Detailer a protectant though? And I'm not sure what 303 is. Sorry, for asking dumb questions
 

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Both are protectants. 303 Aerospace Protectant can be found online and at any marine store like west marine or boaters world.

MQID is a less glossy protectant, but it works better IMO.
 

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Awesome, thanks.
 

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Crap, silicone based and very greasy.

Like I said, 303 or Megs Quick Interior Detailer is the only thing that touches my interior.
 

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Brandon1, which model of the Little Green Machine do you use? I'm going to buy one, should I buy one with a heater?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
You can buy a heater model and that one works better, but I have a normal one that is about 16yrs old that I use.

I actually dont use it that terribly much, I dont have many people that pay for a full interior/exterior cleaning of that degree. Most people just opt for floor mat cleaning and such.
 
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