How to detail your car like a professional – Interior

Home detailing is extremely rewarding. While you don’t have to get your hands dirty if you take your car to a professional, you also don’t experience the same feeling of pride and achievement once the job is done. Within this section we will take you through a step-by-step guide on detailing the interior of your vehicle, so you can also see our guide on exterior detailing here.

Detailing the interior of your car


Looking after your car’s interior is equally as important as the exterior, as this is where you and your passengers spend the majority of the time. It’s also important to protect your interior trim from things such as UV rays, which could potentially dry it out and fade it.

We advise working on your car’s interior first, so you won’t have to worry about ruining the work you’ve done on the outside while leaning into the car. We have listed below our top detailing tips for the inside of your car.

Cleaning your carpets

Every time you get into your car you are bringing elements from the outside in with you. From leaves and grass to mud and stones, your car’s carpets experience the most wear and tear.

Begin detailing your fabrics by removing your mats and giving both the carpets and mats a quick vacuum to get rid of any obvious dirt. Then, take a sturdy bristle brush and brush inwards towards the middle of the fabric from each corner. A Kent upholstery brush is ideal for scrubbing marks that are difficult to remove. Once you feel satisfied with the amount of dirt you have loosened, use your vacuum again to lift it. Repeat this process with all sections of fabric in your car.

Please note: If you have fabric seats we advise brushing and vacuuming these first, in order to avoid transferring dirt from the seats onto clean floors.

Once you have removed most of the obvious dirt with your vacuum, you should then apply car upholstery cleaner to treat any stubborn stains. We recommend using Holts carpet and upholstery cleaner to penetrate fibres on contact. Apply the cleaner directly onto the stains and allow to soak for approximately two minutes before taking any further action.

You should then rub the area with a dry towel. However, if the stain is still visible, reapply and scrub moderately in multiple directions with your bristle brush. This will help bring embedded marks to the surface by breaking up impurities. Once the stain has lifted, use the vacuum to lift any loose dirt before finally rubbing dry with your towel. Ensure you get rid of as much dampness as possible, otherwise it can act as a breeding ground for mould and mildew.

Repairing carpet holes

Few things spoil the look of a car’s interior more than tears and burns in the carpet. If you’re fairly confident with your detailing ability, you should repair these marks by cutting out the spot with a razor blade or a pair of scissors. You can then replace the section of carpet with another piece you’ve cut from somewhere discreet, and use a water-resistant adhesive to keep it from lifting.

Perfecting your interior trim

Whenever you hear someone talking about a car’s interior trim, they’re usually referring to the items that can be added or modified to increase the car’s appeal. In most cases, the interior trim encompasses the dashboard, doors, console etc. and they can be made from vinyl, leather, rubber, or plastic. All of these materials can be cleaned using many of the same products, such as Holts Simoniz plastic, vinyl, and rubber treatment, which can be extremely cost-effective.

When detailing your trim, it’s important to think about whether it needs cleaning or protecting, or both. You can purchase two-in-one style products that do both, however, it is usually best to opt for specific products that either clean or protect. You can also use equipment such as compressed air and detailing brushes to remove any dust from hard-to-reach areas on your dashboard and air vent grilles.

Caring for leather car interiors

If your car’s interior is predominantly made of leather, you must clean, condition and protect it so that it maintains a high-quality appearance. Not only do dirty leather seats look unpleasant, but dirt can also damage the long-term health of the seats and make them more difficult to detail in future.

A leather cleaning product such as Autoglym leather care balm should be able to bring most of the engrained muck to the surface, allowing them to be easily removed/wiped away. Subsequently, remember to condition your leather upholstery so that it doesn’t begin to crack and it is protected against UV fading. No conditioning products should leave an oily or gloss finish on your seats, so if this does happen, make sure you wipe them over with a damp cloth.

Cleaning the inside of car windows

Many people neglect to clean the inside of their car windows because they assume that an exterior wash is all that it takes to get them gleaming. However, grease, dust, and other marks can accumulate on the inside of windows, which leaves them dull and streaky.

For a spotless finish, spray glass cleaner on all windows and mirrors, and wipe with a microfibre towel. You can check out our range of glass cleaners here. Do not use a regular towel or paper towel, as this will cause streaks and leave fibrous excess inside of the car. However, if your windows are particularly dirty, you can use medium grade steel wool for a more effective clean.

Your interior detailing checklist

Below is a list of the things you will need to detail your car interior effectively at home. Check your items off to make sure you’re not missing anything before you start.

▢ All-purpose cleaning solution
▢ Scissors or razor blade
▢ Water-resistant adhesive
▢ Steel wool
▢ Glass cleaner
▢ Vacuum
▢ Car upholstery cleaner
▢ Bristle brush
▢ Compressed air
▢ Interior detailing brushes
▢ Regular towel/cloth
▢ Microfiber towel
▢ Leather cleaner

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