Most supercars are reserved for weekend best, for special occasions or for a blast down to the south of France in the summer (like Radical Rally perhaps). They generally don’t get used for daily drivers. But we know that some of you will want to spend a lot of time in your fantastic motors. So we put together some top tips on cleaning the interior of your daily driver with minimal effort and tools for maximum impact in between visits to the detailing studio.
This is a simple guide that you can use to maintain the appearance of your car at home with the minimal effort, tools and chemicals.
This is part two of a two part series. The article on exteriors can be found here.
What’s your aim?
Most of us have little time to clean our own cars unless it’s a real passion. Life gets in the way and there is always something more pressing to do. Even at Radical Autoworks we find ourselves too busy with customer cars to lavish any attention on our own vehicles. So you have to ask yourself, is your aim to keep the car clean for your enjoyment or for other people to admire as you drive down the street? You can answer both of course, but if it’s just one of those you can save yourself a load of time.
For example if you are most concerned about keeping it clean for your enjoyment, then we’d recommend focusing on cleaning the interior of your daily driver…. After all, that’s where you sit. If it’s to look good as you roll down the street then perhaps you’re better off spending more time on the exterior.
If you’re going to be daily driving your supercar, that means getting in and out of it a lot more than normal. Probably with a variety of clothing, after a hard days work and with bags in tow every day. That extra wear needs to be considered. You should get a fully detail done at the outside so you start with a high standard that you just have to maintain. That should include getting a protective coating applied to your upholstery as this will save you a ton of time maintaining the interior – especially on light colours.
You should also consider what you carry with you. For example, if you carry a laptop, consider using a soft laptop bag instead of a rough canvas one with lots of exposed buckles.
Interior cleaning method
The interior is often neglected because more commonly people spend the time cleaning the exterior. Vacuuming can be tedious and it’s fiddly work. But stick with it because this is where you spend all your time with the car, so you want it to be a nice place to be.
Before you start, make sure you are not wearing clothing with metal buttons, belt or shoes with metal fasteners on them. Trust us, you’ll thank us later.
- Start by using soft brushes to dust out the air vents. Pay attention to all areas of the cabin where dust and debris can collect and where a vacuum may not be able to get.
- Next up is vacuuming. Pull out the mats, do the carpets, between the seats, under the seats. Just about anywhere you can think of. Be careful with the hard end of the vacuum though and any delicate parts of the car if it is a powerful one. Pay close attention to the drivers space.
- Spray the detailing spray sparingly onto a clean folded microfibre cloth. Do it outside of the car so you don’t get spots of it everywhere. Then gently wipe over the plastics and vinyls in the cabin. After you do an area, re-fold the cloth to get a clean section and keep going until the whole car is complete. AVOID all glass, screens or clear plastic like the instrument cluster.
- Grab another clean microfibre cloth and the glass cleaner. Again spray it onto a folded cloth, outside the car to avoid overspray. Thoroughly wipe all the glass and clear plastic surfaces. Pay special attention to the windshield and repeat as needed to make sure all marks are removed…. There is nothing more annoying that smears on your windscreen as you drive down the road in the sun.
- Finally, if you so choose, use an air freshener spray of your choice (my favourite is new leather smell or vanilla) and sparingly spray onto the carpets. Avoid overspray as it can leave water marks.
Make sure to thoroughly clean your equipment after use and launder your cloths (without fabric softener).
Tools and products
We’ve tried to keep this list short and sweet and get you the best results with the minimum of special tools and products. Otherwise you’ll end up being like us with a whole workshop full of specialist gear!
Tools you’ll need:
- A small soft brush or two
- A vacuum
- Selection of microfibre towels
Products you’ll need:
- Interior detailing spray
- Glass cleaner
- An air freshener spray or odour remover spray
There are a couple of golden rules you must follow also…
- If you drop a cloth… don’t keep using it. Get a clean one to carry on and thoroughly wash that one later.
- Always clean your tools after use and put your cloths through the laundry (without fabric softener).
If in doubt, call us. We’re always happy to talk to people about cleaning their pride and joy. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the UK or not…. just be aware we might not answer if its 3am here when you call. You can also contact us by email here.