There are lots of different ways and means of cleaning the inside of a car, but some work better than others. The internet is full of car cleaning guides showing you the ‘right’ way to clean your car’s interior, but some of the advice out there can be misleading or just outright wrong.
To bust some of the myths surrounding cleaning the inside of your car, we’re going to take a look at some of the weirdest car tips we’ve encountered online and tell you whether or not they work, and how you can get the very best results for your car.
1. Conditioning Leather Seats with Olive Oil
Because it’s a natural material, leather needs a little more care and attention than other surfaces in your car. If you don’t maintain it regularly, its colour and shine can fade, and it may even start to weather and crack if it starts to dry out.
Treating leather with an oil-based product is the best way to keep it looking its best – provided it’s the right kind of oil that is. We’ve seen some websites suggesting that you can use olive oil on car seats, but this will only make them greasy and may give them a weird smell.
Instead of cooking oils, treat your leather seats with a dedicated leather protection cream. These kinds of treatments contain natural oils like lanolin, which will nourish and protect the material while giving it a great shine.
2. Removing Stains from Vinyl and Leather with Toothpaste
Like olive oil above, you’ll find people recommending this for cleaning, but again it’s not specially developed for leather or vinyl, and could be too abrasive. Using a specialist leather cream will make sure your surfaces are both clean and cared for.
Rather than using toothpaste to remove stains from leather car seats, read our guide on how to safely lift stains and marks from your car’s leather trim.
3. Lining Cupholders with Cupcake Liners
One weird trick that does actually work quite well is lining your cup holders with cupcake liners. Cubby holes like these can often harbour dirt, grime and germs inside your car, and they can also be really difficult to clean – especially if you’ve spilt a drink, leaving your cupholder sticky and filled with gunk.
If you often travel with a cup of coffee or bottle of fizzy drink in your car, paper cupcake holders will absorb spilt liquid and can be replaced as and when you need fresh ones, so you’ve one less area to worry about when it comes to cleaning your car’s interior.
4. Homemade Carpet Freshener
Over time, fabric surfaces like seats and carpets can absorb dirt and moisture, causing bad odours in your car. Even if your car looks clean and tidy, ground-in dirt can cause bacteria and odours to develop, and you might find them tricky to get rid of.
If you’re struggling to get rid of a lingering smell in your car, some sites recommend mixing up a DIY carpet freshener – often a mix of baking soda, corn starch and vinegar. This can be an effective way of neutralising bad odours, but it can be a messy and long process, and you aren’t guaranteed great results at the end of it.
Rather than going to the trouble of making your own carpet freshener, invest in a dedicated cleaner and odour-neutraliser instead. Our award winning Upholstery & Car Cleaner has an intensive cleaning formula and brush head for scrubbing, so it’s great for getting rid of stains and bad odours.
5. Cleaning the Windows with a Vodka-based Cleaner
Cleaning interior glass can be tricky, and you often have to get into some weird positions to clean those hard-to-reach surfaces. Smears and fingerprints can crop up in the most unlikely of places, so you need a cleaner that can deal with marks and guarantee great all-round visibility.
One of the methods that many sites recommend when it comes to cleaning car windows and windscreen is making a DIY cleaning solution from vinegar, detergent and water – and this can work well if you make it with the right quantities. But one window cleaner recipe we saw recently takes this to another level, with vodka replacing vinegar as the main cleaning agent.
We’re not really sure why you’d opt to use vodka to clean your car windows. Sure, it contains alcohol, which is a great cleaner and anti-bac, but it will leave your car with a horrible smell. Also, a bottle of vodka is way more expensive than your standard shop-bought car window cleaner – and who wants to waste the good stuff on cleaning your car?
6. Dusting the Dashboard with a Toothbrush
Toothbrushes are a great tool for tough cleaning on the outside of your car, particularly on hard-to-reach areas like the alloys or in between the grill. But, we have to disagree with some guides that recommend using a toothbrush to clean parts of the inside of a car, like the dashboard for example.
Toothbrush bristles tend to be made from hard, scratchy plastic, so you risk lightly scratching the dashboard if you clean too vigorously. Also, they’re not the most practical when it comes to cleaning nooks and crannies, with the plastic brush head liable to cause scratches when poked into a small crevice.
Rather than using a toothbrush to clean your car’s dashboard, we’d recommend a soft-bristled paintbrush. Not only will this make it less likely that you’ll cause scratches, but it’s perfect for getting into small gaps to remove dust and dirt.
7. Get Rid of Dust and Dirt with a Handful of Slime
This is easily one of the weirdest interior car cleaning tips we’ve found online, but it could actually have some truth behind it.
Do you remember playing with slime as a child? Or perhaps your child has a pot of it? Well, this weird, gelatinous substance is actually quite good at collecting bits from hard surfaces – working like a lint roller to gather dirt, hair, crumbs and bits without leaving behind any sticky residue.
Sure, it’s out there, and other tools like our Matt Dashboard Wipes are probably much more suitable for the job. But, if you want to clean your car and only have a pot of slime to hand, give it a go and see if it works for you.
At Simoniz, we make it easy for you to keep on top of cleaning your car, providing a range of high-quality car care products for exterior and interior maintenance. Visit the homepage to browse our complete product line today.