Unless you're a stickler for neatness, chances are your car's interior could probably use a good cleaning. Clearing out the cluttered collection of empty bottles and trash from your backseat can go a long way to making the vehicle look much nicer, but if you're going to put in the work, you might as well take the time to really make the passenger cab shine. Having a vehicle that's as clean as the day you brought it home can really boost your spirits and make driving more enjoyable.
First things first: Pick up your trash
Before you can scrub away the dirt and grime in your vehicle, you need to clean out all of the old receipts, coffee cups and whatever else has accumulated in your car since the last time you cleaned it out. Don't forget to check the center console, cup holders, seat-back pockets and the storage compartments often found on car doors. You should also remove excess items from the trunk of your car. Since winter's over, you don't really need to keep a shovel and de-icer in the car. Taking things you don't need out of the car reduces the overall weight, which can help improve your vehicle's fuel economy.
Work top to bottom to remove dirt, dust and debris
Once you've gotten all the trash and other items out of your car, you can start cleaning. While regular Windex is fine for cleaning the inner sides of the windows, household cleaning products are not as transferable. You should invest in cleaning products meant for car surfaces to avoid damaging them. Start with the windows first. This way, any excess cleaner that runs onto the dash and door panels can be wiped away when you clean those areas. Otherwise, you'll wind up having to clean them up again.
After the windows are sparkling, you can move on to the dashboard. Use your cleaner and a rag or paper towel to scrub off any dust, coffee spills and anything else that may have accumulated. Then you might want to clean out the air-flow vents so you don't encounter a dusty explosion the next time you turn on your air conditioner. A duster can work well for this, but anything you miss can be picked up with the vacuum.
Wipe down all the surfaces in the dash and along the center console. You can even go as far as to empty the compartment and clean out the inside of that as well. Pay attention to the buttons and displays along the dash and the gearbox, as the tiny crevices can fill with dust and there may be stray droplets from accidental coffee spills you don't even remember. The same goes for the doors - wipe down every surface, and get in behind the door handles to remove as much dust and buildup as possible.
Vacuum all the crumbs and dirt out
Before you can clean the fabric of the seats and floor, you need to get rid of all the loose dirt and debris. Use a hose attachment for your vacuum that can reach all the tight corners and fit between seat cushions and be thorough.
Grab some fabric cleaner and start scrubbing
If you've got cloth seats, you might want to shampoo them to remove any stains. Even if there aren't noticeable spots, cleaning the upholstery can make the car look and smell better. Vinyl seats can be wiped down with a damp rag and a bit of mild soap. If you have leather seats, they will require a special cleaner. Follow the instructions on the product label to clean your seats. Carpeting on the floor can be treated with regular carpet cleaner.