Keeping your car clean is about more than just having a good-looking vehicle that shines. It’s also about protecting the car paint and metal components from corrosion and wear. A simple car wash can make all the difference when it comes to prolonging your car’s paint luster. It’s not even difficult to learn how to clean your car as the professionals do.

In this step-by-step guide, we cover everything from the exterior to the interior of your car. With a small amount of time, you can have your car sparkling once again.

How to Clean Your Car’s Interior

Before you start the spray down of the exterior, you want to focus inside. Consider following these steps.

Remove all Trash

It’s difficult to clean anything if there is trash lying around. Start by getting a small trash bag and removing anything in the cabin that doesn’t belong.

Additionally, you should get a basket to pick up items that aren’t trash but shouldn’t be in the car. With a basket on hand, you can place everything inside to go into your home.

Clean Floor Mats

Take the floor mats out to clean them. You can start by banging them together to remove any loose debris.

Next, you want to vacuum the floor mats. Pay close attention to the small crevices of the mat. While you have your shop-vac out, suck up any dirt found in the tight spaces of the vehicle. Get down beside the seats and underneath it where the tracks are.


After you’ve cleaned the tight spaces, run a microfiber cloth over all the surfaces. This is going to kick up even more dust and debris. You will also need to run a specialized cleaner over the upholstery, based on what material it is. You shouldn’t use the same products on cloth as you would leather.

Now, you want to focus heavily on a thorough vacuum job. Move the seats around and get all of the surface areas. Don’t forget to vacuum the upholstery as well.

Clean the Windows

When all else is done, you are ready to take on the auto glass. With specialized cleaner or with a mixture of vinegar and water, you want to spray down all of the glass.

Wipe it clean until there are no more streaks. If you have a sunroof, you want to clean that as well.

How to Clean Your Car’s Exterior

With a clean interior, it’s time to tackle the outside. Here are some basic steps to follow.

Give it a Scrub

Fill up two buckets with water. In one, you want to include some of your car wash solution. Use your car wash mitt to apply the soapy mixture to your vehicle.

Clean Tires

Use a special tire cleaner to get the black rubber looking its best. You can also get rim cleaner to get that wheel sparkling.

If you are having trouble getting into every crevice and cleaning off the brake dust, use a wheel brush. It helps you reach tight spaces.

Rinse the mitt in clean water often to avoid scratching the paint with debris. Once the car is washed, you want to rinse it off in this order: roof first, hood next, rear portion of the vehicle before rinsing each upper side and ending with the lower half.

Focus on the Paint Surface

You have several options when it comes to making the car shine and keeping it protected. First, you want to remove any small nicks or scratches to the surface.

You can do this with a buffing tool on the end of a power drill or with a comprehensive auto scratch repair kit. Once you are done with this step, it’s time to wax and polish. Stand back and admire your amazing work.

Keeping Your Car Clean

If you want to spend less time washing your car, it helps to keep it clean in the first place. Here are a few tips to consider.

  • Empty the trash often. When you get out of the car, take your trash with you. If something doesn’t belong in the car, don’t leave it there.
  • Protect the interior from your animals. If you travel with your pets, put down a protective barrier before letting them inside.
  • Carry cleaning supplies. If you notice an area that needs a touch-up, you can quickly accomplish it without a full cleaning, as long as you have a microfiber cloth and some cleaners with you.

Even with good practices, you will need to clean your car often. Don’t neglect the value of learning how to clean your car as the pros do. You will be proud of your work and save yourself a lot of money over the professional detail.

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