How to Clean Your Car Interior like a Pro

Cleaning the inside of a car isn’t difficult, but it can be time-consuming and fiddly, with lots of nooks and crannies where dust and dirt can hide.

While many motorists clean their car every week or fortnight, few do the interior at the same time — mainly because the cabin isn’t exposed to dirt, debris and the weather. From time-to-time, however, you’ve got to clean out the inside of your car, especially if your children are regular passengers or you eat in the car and forget to take out the rubbish.

To help you get it right, here’s a guide on cleaning the inside of your car like a pro.

Step 1: Clear Out the Rubbish

weekly shopping in supermarket

Before you start wiping the dash and cleaning the seats, it’s important to remove any rubbish and unwanted items from the car — so grab a bin bag and get to work.

Step 2: Clean and Polish the Dashboard

Dashboards are prone to collecting dust, debris and fingerprints, and can start to look faded or dirty quite quickly. Whether your dash is scuffed or is just plain mucky, we have a number of products which will make it easy to keep it clean, including Foam Action Dashboard Cleaner, Matt Dashboard Wipes, Dash Restorer Pads and specialist Matt and Gloss Dashboard Treatments.

For step-by-step guidance on using Simoniz products to clean the dashboard, watch Simoniz expert Phil demonstrate how to clean your car’s dash in the video below.


Cleaning the dashboard and centre console first is a good idea, because any dust and dirt you wipe off will fall down on to the carpet for you to vacuum away later. Like when cleaning the outside of your car, it’s always better to work from top to bottom, so that whatever debris and dirt you remove won’t come back into contact with clean surfaces.

Once you’ve dusted down and cleaned the dash, your car’s interior will already be looking much better – and that’s just the first real step of the cleaning process.

Step 3: Clean the Windows

Young woman washing car and cleaning car windows

Cleaning glass on the inside of the car is nearly as important as cleaning the outside; fingerprints, dust and smears on the inside of the windscreen can reduce visibility and lead to dangerous dazzle when it’s sunny. By using a quality cleaning product like our Anti Glare Glass Cleaner, you’re guaranteed a streak-free finish for high all-round visibility.

To get the insides of your windows nice and clean, spray a couple of squirts of glass cleaner directly on to a soft cloth and use a figure of eight motion to remove streaks, dirt and dust from the windows. It’s a good idea to clean the windows after you do the dashboard, as dirt and debris can easily transfer on to glass surfaces when you’re scrubbing down the centre console.

Step 4: Clean the Seats and Doors

Whether they’re made from upholstery or leather, soft furnishings in the cabin are subject to lots of wear and tear, and are right in the firing line when it comes to dirt and stains. For fabric-upholstered surfaces, we’d recommend scrubbing with our Upholstery and Carpet Cleaner. This intensive cleaning formula is guaranteed to lift stains and odours from interior fabrics, and the brush head can be used to scrub away dried-on dirt.

For leather surfaces, use our special Leather Protection Wipes to remove dirt and marks, before treating the material with our Leather Protection Cream. This product guarantees to nourish and protect the leather to prevent wear, and can be used on all types of leather trim in your car.

Step 5: Vacuum and Clean the Carpets


car interior cleaning

Now that you’ve worked down the car and reached the carpets, it’s time to vacuum up all the dirt, particles and dust out of the carpet fibres. A household vacuum works best here, as you’ll need plenty of suction and a range of brush heads to reach into all those crevices, nooks and crannies. However, there are some good-quality portable vacuums out there, so you may want to invest in a high-performance one if using your household vacuum is a bit of a hassle.

When vacuuming the carpet, don’t scrub too hard as this could damage the fibres. Instead, use a soft brush head tool and a lifting action to remove stubborn ground-in dirt. Make sure you remove the car mats and boot liner, too, as lots of dirt and debris can collect beneath these.

It’s a good idea to use a brush vacuum tool to remove dust from the air vents, as this can lead to bad odours lingering in the cabin.

Once you’ve vacuumed the carpets and removed all the dirt and debris, use the Upholstery and Carpet Cleaner to freshen up the fibres. The rubber brush head is great for working the product through the fibres to remove stubborn dirt. After you’ve applied the product, leave it to work for five minutes before vacuuming again. This will remove any leftover residue and leave your carpets feeling and smelling fresh.

Step 6: Kill Bacteria and Odours

Man cleaning his car interiors and dashboard

Spend a lot of time in your car? No matter how clean and tidy you keep it, germs and bacteria will gather on internal surfaces, and odour from food and other sources will stay in your car and its air con system. To combat this, invest in a Car Sanitiser. Suitable for hard and soft surfaces, this odour-eliminating air con cleaning is decontaminates and freshens your car’s interior.

If you claim to love your car, remember to take care of it on the inside, too. Our interior car cleaning products are specially developed to care for internal surfaces, so you can restore your car to its just-bought best inside and out. For more information, visit the Simoniz homepage.