Taking care of what's under the hood of your vehicle is important, but let's face it - all of your driving time is spent in the interior. Some drivers keep their cars meticulously neat all the time, while others allow garbage and grime to accumulate over months - or years. If you fall into the latter category, spring is a great time to focus on cleaning out your car.
You could obviously pay to have your vehicle professionally detailed, but there's plenty of self-satisfaction - not to mention savings - to be found in doing it yourself. Even if you're sending the car to a professional, however, you'll still need to empty it of any garbage or useless junk that has piled up. Get a trash bag and a pair of gloves and get to work. A good system is to make three piles - trash, things going inside the house, and things staying in the car. For the objects you're bringing inside, use a laundry basket or bin to bring stuff back and forth. When you're done, you might want to keep the bin or basket inside your car - it can hold various items and is also be a great help when you need to carry lots of grocery or shopping bags.
Remember to also utilize the car's storage space for things you might want to keep. Most vehicles have space in the seat pockets, glove compartments, center console and possibly even the doors to store things. Take the time to update to the latest technology if you haven't had a chance - GPS systems mean that you don't really need tons of maps anymore, and your glove compartment shouldn't be filled with old CDs now that MP3 players are ubiquitous.
Ensuring your vehicle is free of clutter is important, because it will make the following steps much easier. Take note of the material inside your vehicle and choose a cleaning product that will not harm it. For example, some products simply don't play nice with leather. There are dedicated cleaners on the market for car interiors, but if you're on a budget, baby wipes will get the job done without harming the leather or vinyl inside your car. For the plastic parts of your car, glass cleaner will do just as good a job as it will on your windows.
Once you've settled on your cleaner, it's time to go over every inch of the car's interior. A rag and some elbow grease will likely be more than enough to get this job done, but you might want to bring an old toothbrush or some Q-Tips for those hard-to-reach places.
Of course, some parts of the car won't just succumb to a cleaning product. Floor mats are notorious for trapping dirt and other particles, and will likely need to be taken out of the car. Shake the floor mats to loosen up the dirt, then go over them with a handheld vacuum. You should also use the vacuum on the seats inside the vehicle, taking care to really get inside the crevices.
Stains are another common problem with car interiors, on either the floor mats or elsewhere. Again, you can use stain lifters or carpet cleaners to get these spots out easily. If you're on a budget, what you're really looking for is something with high alcohol content. Hand sanitizer works as an acceptable substitute - just make sure what you choose doesn't stain your vehicle further.