Monday, July 29, 2013

Cheap, Easy Ways to Keep Your Interior Looking New

Guest Article by Don Elfrink *

When most people think about cleaning and maintaining their automobile, they think of washing and waxing the exterior. That’s certainly important – a lack of maintenance can lead to paint oxidation and other problems that detract from the beauty and the value of your ride. However, maintaining the interior is just as important. If you’re struggling in this area, here are some cheap, easy ways to keep your interior looking brand new for as long as you own your vehicle.

Vacuuming Is Essential

It might seem like a no-brainer, but one of the most important and effective ways to maintain the interior of your car is to vacuum it regularly. Dirt and debris can quickly build up in your floorboards, turning your car’s carpet into a disaster. Consider investing in a portable vacuum for quick cleanups, and make sure to vacuum your car thoroughly every time it’s washed. Most car washes have commercial strength vacuums that perform quite well.

Replace Your Floor Mats

Most cars come with floor mats from the manufacturer. These mats serve many roles, including minimizing wear and tear to the carpet under them. However, over time, your floor mats are going to wear out. Most OEM mats aren’t particularly durable, and it’s a very good idea to consider investing in an upgraded set. You’ll find several options out there, including carpeted mats and thick rubber or plastic ones that offer much longer lifespans. Make sure that you get a set that’s designed to fit your vehicle.

Sunshades Help

Sunshades help keep the interior of your car cool. However, they also serve another important function. They prevent the damaging rays of the sun from scorching and ruining your dashboard. Over time, the UV rays from the sun will dry out the material of your dash, leading to cracking and discoloration. Use sunshades any time your car will be exposed to direct sunlight, and you can make sure that your dash lasts much longer.

Dust Regularly

Dust gathers quickly in most automobiles. Over time, dust will settle into every tiny crack and crevice, turning your pristine interior into an eyesore. Regular dusting will help to minimize this, and keep your car’s interior looking great for years to come. While there are specialized products on the market for this, you can do a lot with just some auto cleaner and a few Q-Tips. Make sure that the cleaner you choose is actually manufactured for automotive interiors (don’t use Pledge, for instance), and dust on a regular basis.

Don’t Eat or Drink in the Car

This is both one of the simplest, yet most difficult things to do. Sometimes, eating and drinking in the car is unavoidable, but make sure you limit this as much as possible. Food and drink can lead to foul odors, stains and sticky messes, and it can be almost impossible to prevent those problems from happening. This is particularly true with children, but even the most astute daily driver knows firsthand how easy it can be for mustard, ketchup, soda and other elements to make their way onto the interior.

If possible, don’t eat or drink in the car at all. If you find that it’s unavoidable, keep it to a minimum. Clean up any spills as soon as possible, and make sure you do a thorough job. In the case of things like mustard that stain fabric, keep a can of upholstery cleaner handy for spot cleaning.

These simple tips will help ensure that you keep the interior of your car clean to avoid problems that might cost you an arm and a leg.

* About the author: Don Elfrink is the owner and operator of, that sells auto mats throughout the nation. Before AutoMatStore, Elfrink was the operator of an automotive production site. AutoMatStore focuses on logo, carpeted, molded and all weather floor mats. He has previously contributed to our website with some valuable guest article which you can find by using the search tag 'don elfrink'.

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