Car Clean-Out Checklist

Your car is likely one of your largest investments aside from your housing. Keeping your car clean and well-maintained can improve your overall comfort and can even mitigate damage. Between dust, early-morning coffee spills and long car rides with children, it’s surprising how quickly your vehicle can get dirty. 

Gather Your Cleaning Materials

Often, the difference between professional detailing and an amateur car cleanout is the proper tools. While you may not have access to every trick of the trade that the pros use, you can collect a substantial arsenal of car cleaning products that will help you keep your vehicle looking like new.

Here are some items you need:

  • Microfiber cloths: Keep a couple of these handy clothes to remove dust, clean windows and wipe down surfaces in the interior and exterior of the vehicle.
  • Car wipes: Leather cleaner wipes or upholstery wipes are perfect to keep your car looking fresh and clean. Consider keeping them in the car whenever you need them in between cleaning sessions.
  • Power washer hose attachment: A gentle power washer makes cleaning the outside of your car a breeze.
  • Upholstery cleaner: A cleaning spray or foam can be key to getting any unsightly spills or stains off of the seats and carpets of your car.
  • Exterior care items: Purchase a kit with tire and wheel cleaner, exterior soap and wax.
  • Small paintbrush or makeup brush: A soft brush is perfect for cleaning crevices.
  • Handheld vacuum: Crumbs are the first thing to collect in most cars. A vacuum is a key asset.

Cleaning Steps:

  • Remove trash: Don’t forget the door pockets and compartments
  • Vacuum interior: Vacuum under mats and seats as well
  • Dust and wipe down surfaces: Use your microfiber cloth to make quick work of dust
  • Clean floor mats and upholstery: Be sure to test any cleaners in an inconspicuous spot first.
  • Clean windows and mirrors: An extra microfiber cloth is perfect for a streak-free shine.
  • Clean crevices and vents: Use your makeup brush or small paintbrush for this job.
  • Organize glove compartment documents: Documents should be secure and easy to find.
  • Wash exterior: If you don’t have a power washer at home, you can usually find them at car washes.
  • Clean tires and wheels: This job is often overlooked but can make your car shine.
  • Wax exterior: Waxing preserves your car’s paint. Don’t forget this step.


Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2024. All rights reserved.


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