Keeping it clean!

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The interior of our cars is one of the places that we spend a lot of time in. On the average, we spend about two to three hours a day inside our cars. It has become an extension of our homes and our work place. We even bring our mobile devices when we board our cars. We put some accessories inside our cars to make our trips more pleasurable. But keeping it clean can be quite a chore. As a rule, I avoid eating inside my ride. But once in a while, I would have to put the ruling to the side. For the handy man or DIY guy, a vacuum cleaner is a very good investment. I had mine for almost 20 years. It is a Shop Vac. Very simple, yet very rugged. I try to vacuum the interior at least once a week. This keeps the inside clean as much as possible and according to the guys at Mov’ncool, it is recommended to do so at least once a week. It prevents small debris from being sucked up by the air-conditioning (A/C) blower.

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For cleaning the upholstery and the carpet, you can buy carpet shampoo and upholstery shampoo. It’s a no brainer thing – just vacuum the inside thoroughly first then use the product as instructed. For the plastic parts of your interior, you can buy a cleaner specific for that. You could use a cotton bud to help clean those had to reach small places like the A/C vents.  If done properly, you would have to shampoo the carpet only once a year unless it gets very dirty. If you feel that the carpet shampoo is a bit pricey, go to a chemical supplier who sells different kinds of liquid detergent. I have tried using upholstery shampoo from one of these suppliers and I was happy with the results. Just make sure to try it out on a small part of the carpet first so as to make sure it won’t harm the carpet or upholstery. Although they usually sell them by the gallon, you could divide it among your friends to bring down the cost.

For cleaning the glass, I use glass cleaner. Use the non-ammonia based that is safe for tints. And I use paper towels for wiping the glass. I also keep a rag just for the interior. If your interior has leather inserts, use a leather cleaner and conditioner. Avoid using a wet rag to wipe the leather because this can dry out the leather and molds can form on it.

When you apply the leather conditioner, allow it to seep into the leather before buffing it. You could use a toothbrush to help remove stains on the leather. After cleaning the interior, I usually spray Lysol from an aerosol can and Plain Sheets I think is the scent. I start the car, close all the windows, turn on the blower and spray Lysol near the intake blower of the A/C. Then I close the door and let run for about 10 minutes. This kills the any foul odor in the car and sanitizes the A/C ducting. Although you can buy similar products in the market, I call them smoke bombs. Take note, they only remove organic-based odor.

If really needed, you can dismantle the whole interior to really clean everything. It can take a whole day for this but the results are worth it. A very clean interior can lessen that stuffy feeling inside a car. Once in a while, it’s nice to leave the car with the doors opened under the sun because it lets the interior breath and gets rid of some of the foul odor. The odor sometimes come from our own sweat. Having a car air freshener masks the odor but it does not remove the source of the odor.

A clean interior makes driving a more pleasurable experience. Unless you prefer to have small multi-legged pets keeping you company in traffic.

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