How To Clean A Car In A Jiffy – Step By Step Guide

Believe it or not, cleaning your car can be pretty fun! Just use these car cleaning hacks and you’ll see how easy cleaning your car can be. 


Step By Step Guide to Cleaning Your Car


How often do you clean your car? When life gets beyond chaotic, your car is the last thing on your mind. 


But with all the time you spend in your car, it’ll give you a lot more peace of mind when it is completely clean. Plus, it’s acting as a good steward for the gift of a car God has given you. 


And yes, even if your car is old and well-used, it is absolutely still a gift and should be treated as such. 


Getting your car that clean doesn’t have to be a far-off dream. 


This guide will walk you through every single step. By the end, you’ll have a sparkling clean car. It’ll be so spotless your friends and family might even think you bought a new one!


how to clean a car

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How to Clean a Car


When you break this chore down into simple steps, you’ll be able to get it all done so easily. Even if you only have time to do a few parts at a time, eventually you tackle it all. 


Here’s how to clean a car from start to finish.


1. Car Interior Cleaning


First, start with cleaning your car’s interior. If you are short on time, break this down into sections. Clean the front seat area, then the passenger seat, then the back.


Depending on how messy your car is, this could take you longer than washing the outside, so budget plenty of time.


If you are intentional with your time, you can break it up into several 15-minute cleaning sessions, or just choose one block of time to do it all at once. 


Make a list of all the areas you have to clean in your car’s interior. Before you start, get all your supplies. Here is what you will need:



2. How to Clean Car Seats


Part of cleaning your car’s interior is cleaning your car seats. You’ll definitely need to get a detailing attachment for your vacuum so you can clean between your seats. If you don’t have an attachment like that, you can drive to a car wash that also has car vacuums you can use—they are often less than $1. 


I have a local car wash that has a vacuum area that you can use for free. 


How you clean your car seats depends on what type they are and how dirty/stained they are.


How to Clean Leather Car Seats


This is the easiest type of seat to clean. All you have to do is vacuum the seats and then wipe them down with a soapy rag.


You can use a diluted liquid dish soap solution on your leather seats. Just be sure not to saturate the seats.


After you wipe them down with the wet rag, go over them again with a dry one. Make sure you get in the nooks and crannies of the seat. 


How to Clean Cloth Car Seats


Cloth seats are a little trickier. If they aren’t stained, then it’s pretty simple, just vacuum them.


But if you have stained fabric car seats, you will need to get some upholstery cleaner. Vacuum them then spray them with the cleaning solution. 


Let it sit for 5 minutes. Lightly scrub the stains. Then pat the area dry with a cloth. That’s it! 


3. How to Clean Car Carpet


This is going to be the same as cleaning the fabric car seats. You’ll want to spend some time vacuuming the floor as carefully as possible.


When you know it is vacuumed completely, you can focus on getting up any nasty stains.


Use the same upholstery cleaner on your car’s carpets. It will remove stains on your carpet too. 


Take out the mats and clean the outside, it will be a lot easier. If they are plastic mats you can use a hose to clean them. If they are fabric mats, use the carpet cleaner to get out any spots.


4. How to Clean Car Windows


Cleaning car windows is pretty much the same as cleaning windows in your house.


Use a non-streak cleaner and a lint-free cloth. The best cloths for the windows are microfiber rags.


If you are on a budget, you can use a 2:1 solution of water to vinegar. Spray it on the windows and wipe it down with a newspaper. Surprisingly, this will leave you without any streaks! Here’s an entire post showing you my super frugal and simple way to get any window sparkling! 


Another tip: when you are cleaning windows, always start at the top and work your way down. This way, as the water drips, it won’t mess up the area you already wiped.


5. Detail the Dashboard


Now you are ready to detail the dashboard. Start in one small section and work your way over so you don’t miss any spots.


If you don’t have a detailing kit, you can use toothbrushes and paintbrushes for the hard-to-reach spots. 


6. Wash the Outside


After you cleaned the inside of your car, you are ready to wash the outside.


Always clean the interior first. That way you can shut the doors, clean the outside, and then have a completely detailed and cleaned car at the end.


There are 4 main areas on the outside of the car to focus on:


  • Headlights/Taillights
  • Car Body
  • Tires
  • Bumpers/Trim


Create a system where you start on one section and work your way around it. This is going to be the messiest part of the job but it can also be the most fun.


In fact, this might be the perfect family activity for the kids to join in on with you. 


Just fill up a bucket with some soapy water and wash the entire car down with a large sponge. When your entire car is a beautiful, sudsy mess, it’s time to rinse. Spray a hose on your car and remove all the soap. Don’t leave any soap behind, it could hurt the paint. 


Finally, take a microfiber cloth and lightly dry the car down. 


Car Cleaning Hacks


Now that you know the steps for cleaning your car, let’s look at some ways to make this job easier. These clever car cleaning hacks will cut your time in half and make the job more fun too.


1. Put Together a Car Cleaning Kit


First, prepare a car cleaning kit. This hack will save you so much time! You’ll have everything you need and be able to knock out the chore in no time at all.


Here’s what to put in a DIY car cleaning kit:


Some optional supplies might include a deodorizer and some car organization supplies.


2. Use Olive Oil on the Dashboard


You don’t need an expensive dashboard cleaner. Make your own with a little bit of olive oil.


First, use some soap and water and clean your dashboard. After all the sticky spots and dirt is cleaned off, use a dry towel to shine it up.


Dap a little bit of olive oil on a dry cloth. Then, begin wiping down the dashboard. You’ll see it begin to shine like new.


3. Use Toothpaste to Brighten Headlights


Toothpaste isn’t just good for giving you a bright smile! It can help your headlights shine brighter too.


Squirt a small amount on your headlights. Then, use a wet washcloth to scrub the lights. Rinse it all off and you’ll see bright, not cloudy, headlights.


4. Mop the Outside of Your Car


Having trouble reaching the top of your car? Use a mop! Just be extra careful. Don’t use a mop that has exposed plastic or wood that could potentially scratch your paint.


Make your own DIY mop by attaching sponges so a flat mop head like a Swiffer Sweeper. Then, just press lightly as you use it. It’ll work like a charm.


Cleaning Your Car Is A Cinch


There you have it! Just follow these tips and you’ll have a sparkling clean car that you won’t believe is the same one.


Learning how to clean a car is always more fun when you do it together. Gather up the kids and spend a sunny afternoon cleaning cars together.


Get creative. Cut your washing time down if you can by using some clever car cleaning hacks.


Then get in, turn the tunes up, and enjoy your new clean ride!


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Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you’ll stick around and read some more.


Here are some more simple cleaning tips


My main passion is helping women build systems and routines that make homemaking simple. I find this possible through simplifying life, decluttering, and building routines that work for your household. If you love all of that or want to learn more you should jump on my email list. I’ll send you a bunch of info on how I take care of my house, free access to my printables library, and a weekly newsletter with challenges and tips. Hope to see you there. 


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1 Comment

  1. Morris Kamau

    May 7, 2021 at 7:33 pm

    Amazing .have carwash business have learnt alot

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