How to Clean Car Interior With a Vacuum Cleaner?

A dirty car isn’t pretty to look at! After all, it’s your luxury emotion that requires special attention. Regular maintenance and washing (using best car pressure washers or traditional pipe washing method) keeps your car moving smoothly and keeps its exterior looking shiny and sparkling. But what about the interiors? 

Due to daily use, rising air pollution and dust make the car interior dirty. Also, the littering done by the children, the quick bites in between meetings, the soiled footwear, pets dander, and hair are responsible for making your car interiors dirty, causing germs and bacteria which are harmful to your health. 

Fortunately, the best vacuum cleaner for car is an easy, inexpensive way to keep your vehicle clean. Cleaning your car regularly, especially under the hood, helps prevent dirt and grime from clogging your engine and causing expensive engine problems. Plus, it keeps you healthier by keeping allergens and bacteria at bay.

However, how to clean car with a vacuum cleaner properly is something that you need to learn for the best cleaning results. Here, we have covered all the important steps, including special tips and tricks to clean your car’s interior without getting it to the car wash or gas station. 

Preparations Before Cleaning

To clean your car with a vacuum, you must prepare yourself with the right tools. You’ll need:

Compulsory Items

01. A vacuum cleaner (Any type of)

02. Vacuum cleaner Attachments:- Make sure you have;

  • Crevice Tool for cleaning tight crevices and spaces like seat gap, brake pedal area, car door pocket, etc.
  • Floor Brush that can sweep up dirt and debris from car mat, trunk mat, and cleans up the surfaces quickly.
  • Static Fabric Brush that can remove pet hair, lint, fuzz and debris from the surface of the car seats and mats.
  • Long and Flexible hose that can easily connect with the attachments to give you more extendable reach.

03. Plastic garbage bags.

04. One Box

 Optional (Best if you have these items)

  • Sandpaper (it depends)
  • Microfiber towel

Speaking of what type of vacuum cleaner you should use, the answer is any type. Yes, you can use any regular vacuum cleaner. But keep in mind, a dedicated vacuum cleaner can clean your car in a short time.

 After ensuring those items are within your reach, follow the steps mentioned below.

1. Open All the Doors of the Car

It will help you provide convenient access to every part of your car’s interior. Or else you will have difficulties reaching different parts of the vehicle. Additionally, the opened car doors will create ventilation too.

2. Remove All the Loose Items

Before you start vacuuming, remove all the unnecessary items that the vacuum won’t suck into its dirt compartment. Check for everything from trash on the floor to car seats, wrappers, toys, cans and bottles, etc., that your vacuum can’t handle. 

3. Remove the Floor Mats

Car floor mats receive most of the abuse. Removing them from the car beforehand will make it simpler to clean them separately later on.

Don’t forget about the other mats and covers, such as removable trunk liners.

4. Smoothening Your Vacuum’s Crevice Tool

If your crevice tool has rough edges, consider smoothening it with sandpaper. You can also rub it on the floor to make it smooth.

It’ll ensure your mats and seat covers don’t get damaged beforehand.

Cleaning Your Car Interiors With a Vacuum

After all the pre-cleaning preparation, it’s time to clean your car’s interior. 

Start with vacuuming the headliner, dashboard, console, steering wheel, and door panels. Afterward, clean all the glass and dust away the cracks and crevices. You can use a detailing brush to sweep the dust out of the cracks. Now, grab all the dirt right away with your vacuum.

Now, let’s follow it step by step. 

1. Vacuuming Car’s Carpet

Vacuuming Car Carpet

First, use the bristle brush attachment to clean the car’s carpet thoroughly. Clean all the dirt and debris on it. As it absorbs more dirt, take your time to clean this part of the car. If you do not have the bristle brush attachment of the vacuum cleaner, don’t worry! You can skip this part.

You can use the crevice tool attachment to clean the car’s carpet. After cleaning the dirt and debris using the vacuum, you can move to level two.

Use the stiff bristle brushes (small and large) to rub the carpet. The small bristle brush will help you remove dirt from tight and hard-to-reach spots. While the large bristle brush will help loosening up more dirt from the carpet. Then you can use the vacuum again to clean that dirt and debris.

2. Vacuuming Seats

Vacuuming Car Seat

This part of cleaning your car’s interior is tricky. There are two types of seat covers available—one with leather and one with fabric.

For leather seats:

Use the crevice tool of the vacuum carefully. Avoid touching the leather and dragging the vacuum over it when cleaning. Or else it’ll leave scratches on your seats. Use the crevice tool slowly and make sure the mouth of the crevice tool is smooth.

For the seats with fabric covers: 

Fabric covers are delicate, so you need special attention while cleaning them with a vacuum cleaner. Make use of your household vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment or a best handheld vacuum to clean off the seats properly.

To clean the sewing line, use your hand to press down. It will help to vacuum the sewing line properly.

Pro Tip: Remember to use a bristle brush on the seats with a fabric cover and a soft brush on the leather seat.

3. Vacuuming Tight Spots

Vacuuming Tight Spots of Car

A car has so many tight spots. You can clean most tight areas with the crevice tool. But there are some tight spots where the crevice won’t fit in to clean. Even some tight spots are made of plastic. So trying to clean it with a crevice (with dragging motion) will leave scratch marks.

So, you can use a soft brush to glide the dirt and debris so the crevice tool can clean it.

While using the crevice tool on plastic, don’t drag over the plastic. Instead, tap the crevice tool on the dirt and debris to clean. Or you may remove the crevice tool and use the hose to hover over the plastic to clean. You can put your pinky finger as a bumper between the hose and the plastic surface to clean it easily. Using a soft brush will speed up the process.  

4. Cleaning Floor Mats

To clean floor mats, the best option is vacuuming. You can use the large bristle brush to loosen the dirt and then clean it with the crevice tool for perfect results. You can also follow a wet cleaning session using soap and water solution and then wipe it with a dry cloth to get the best cleaning results. 

5. Removing Stains

To remove stains from the car seats or carpets, you can use either a good wet and dry vacuum cleaner or the best steam vacuum cleaner to remove all the spots away. Using a steam vacuum cleaner helps you in sanitizing your car interiors too. 

6. Removing Pet Hair

A good pet hair vacuum works like a magic here. If you love to travel with your furry friend, the chances of their hair strands on the car seats or mats is natural. You can use your vacuum’s pet hair attachment tool to catch all their furs. 

7. Attention to Details

There are some other parts of the car that need your attention. They are: 

Car Trunk: If a car doesn’t have a functioning trunk, it will lose some of its value, especially if the trunk is inoperable because of stains and spills. So, cleaning of it is utmost important. 

To vacuum clean your car’s trunk, first, remove all the items from it and then vacuum all the dry dirt and debris. You can use the crevice tool and brush attachment for this purpose. Then follow it with shampooing and conditioning for getting the best cleaning results. 

Cleaning the Small Parts: Cleaning the air conditioner and the console box is not so hard. Use a soft brush to brush all the dirt and the crevice tool to vacuum the dirt while brushing.

Wiping the Rest: You don’t want to be forgetting about your surfaces that need a good wipe and polish. Use a slightly damp microfiber towel or cloth to clean the hard surfaces inside your car. (polishing where possible.)

Some Pro Tips on How to Clean Car With a Vacuum

  • For thorough cleaning, use a vacuum cleaner on the highest setting. Then, for areas that are more delicate, such as a dashboard or a center console, switch to a lower setting. A handheld steam cleaner can also be used on carpets.
  • After finishing cleaning, try to look at your car’s interior from a different angle. It will help you find out any missed parts of your car.
  • Try to attach a torch with tape to the crevice if there is a lack of proper light.
  • Wear gloves and a mask before cleaning.

Read Next: How to Clean a Sofa Using a Vacuum Cleaner?

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