Since I did a thread on the exterior I figured an interior would be nice too... Most of us don't have steam cleaner or hot water extractors, so I'll break this down in a way anyone will be able to clean their carpets and seats and seats with simple house hold products.
-vacuum the carpet as well as you can
-depending on how bad your carpet is pre-treat all stains. Get yourself an interior carpet brush (like this one
) or if you have a dual action polisher, you can buy an attachment for your carpets (like this one
For hard to remove stains, gum, or heavily soiled areas, you can use a couple products here. 3m makes a nice adhesive remover for gum and stuck/baked foods, you can use goo-gone as well. You can also use a 50/50 soap/hot water mix on the stains, if you don't want to purchase any products. Let the product sit for about 30 seconds and agitate with the brush. If nothing is effected do it a couple times. Vacuum those spots again so help the drying process and to remove any dirt/dust that was removed from carpet. Use clean water now and repeat the process.
Now you can start the whole carpet. Again, any carpet cleaning solution works fine. If you want to really get into it, remove the seats (not hard and doesn't take too long). If you have a house carpet cleaner, it comes with upholstery attachments which work great on car carpets. Shampoo your entire carpet with the machine. I use the that mini Bissel "Little Green" machine.
If you don't have one here's what you do:
-get 2 buckets
-fill one with a 25/75 soap (or car wash)/hot water mix, but fill it only about 1 inch
-fill the other bucket with clean water
dip your brush into the shampoo bucket, shake off the brush a little but as you don't want to over soak the carpet, and start scrubbing away at everything. Every time you get done with one section and want to dip your brush back into the shampoo bucket, dip it in the clean water first to remove and dirt from the brush.
If you're carpet is pretty clean those carpet foam sprays also work well. Like these:
Now that you shampooed your entire carpet (whether you did it with a machine or by hand) get a bucket with just clean water. Brush your entire carpet down again with clean water, making sure you shake it off pretty well every time you dip in the water. Vacuum everything again to help dry.
Here's a couple before/after pics doing the entire carpet by hand:
If you shed a lot or you have animals in your vehicle that shed, vacuuming those pet hairs can be a pain. Get a brush like this
and sweep the hair into a pile, then vaccum the pile up. This brush works wonders and is make the same way that those hair brushes at hair salons are used where the hair does not stick to the brush...
Hair removed using the brush and vacuum:
Use the same technique as on the carpet, just be careful not to over soak anything, if you do simply vacuum it up more and more. It should feel damp after cleaning, not wet.
I like to clean the seats with a leather cleaner, but Pledge for furniture works very well, after you have cleaned the seats, use a moisturizing cream on them to help protect them, make them shiny, and get rid of some of those cracks. Spray any products on your towel not on the seats directly. If your leather looks horrible,use this stuff,it's time consuming but works better then anything out there I know of:
Clean the entire dash with 50/50 soap/water in a spray bottle. Spray any cleaner on your towel not on dash directly. Apply a protectant to the dash, you can use just about any product you want, just remember only apply a small amount and to your towel not the dash, if you spray a ton of vinyl/dash protectant on your dash... it will lead to over soaking and cracking. I also like to use cuetips to get into small crevices and vents for both cleaning, and dressing. As far as dressings go if you want to me cost effective, buy this stuff with a couple empty spray bottles: Meguiar's Hyperdressing
You pay, $42.50 per GALLON. It has hundreds of uses with different finishes you can dilute to your liking (from high gloss to a natural finish). It's also water based so it will not cause your dash to crack overtime. You can use it on the inside or outside plastics and rubber. Again since it's water based, it will not attract dirt to your tires and will never cause them to turn brown. It is also safe to use on your engine hoses and such (I personally have like 4 bottle of this stuff diluted to different finishes and use it all over the vehicle)
If you smoke, or bought a car after someone that smoked, or your dog peed everywhere cuz he/she was so excited or mad that you left in the car while going to bar to get a drink.... shampoo everything. You'll need to get some smell neutralizing sprays to kill the odor, Fabreeze works ok, but doesn't remove everything. I would suggest one of these (Dakota Products works best in my opinion):
Use whatever glass cleaner you got, just make sure if you got tint, you're gonna use amonia-free products so your tint doesn't turn purple. I like to clean the crap out of the glass first with a towel covered in cleaner, then use a clean dry towel to dry everything to avoid streaks. Also, I always clean my interior windows in a side to side motion and my exterior windows in an up and down motion so if there are streaks, I know if they're inside or out...
The best way is to use a foam type carpet cleaner to spray on. Leave it on for about 30 seconds. Scrub in one direction until the cleaner is worked it. Then simply blot dry the entire headliner with a clean dry towel or with a vaccum with a brush attachment. The main concern here is that you do not want to over soak the liner. Clean water also does wonders if the stains are not super strong. Again, be careful with the headliner and when cleaning,clean gently (don't press your brush hard against it).
That about sums it up, let me know if you have any questions. You can purchase any interior products from any of these sites:
any comments, questions, other tips, etc. post them up