car console

Cleaning a Car Like a Pro: 5 Hidden Spots You Overlook Every Time


Car interior showing the hard to reach areas
Few things are better than a clean car. Washing the outside returns it to that showroom shine you fell in love with when you bought it, but getting in a car with a clean interior can be a game changer. Many people clean their cars out themselves. While everyone hits the major areas, there are some spots that are often overlooked when cleaning a car. Here are five elusive spots that you may be missing.

1. The Doorjamb

Your doors get washed with the rest of the body, and you probably empty the garbage out of the inside pocket. However, many people miss the edges both on the ends of the door and the jamb. With a clean rag, wipe both of these areas down to remove any grime that has built up. You can also use an interior brush to get between the creases in the rubber. If you want to take your cleaning to the next level, look inside where the front fender meets the door. You may find leaves and other debris that can be sucked out with a vacuum.

2. Morning Joe in the Console

Many people enjoy a cup of coffee during their commute to work in the morning. Over time, small amounts of coffee can spill into your cup holder. When it’s partially dry, it can collect dust and gunk. Many cup holders have a removable rubber bottom that can be taken out and wiped down. In some cases, the entire cup holder can be taken out of the car and put in the dishwasher. Even if yours isn’t removable, getting in there with some cleaner and a rag can help reduce the stickiness.

3. Get a Grip

These commonly overlooked areas seem obvious when pointed out. They’re the places where your hands are the majority of the time you’re driving — the steering wheel and shift knob. Wiping these areas down may remove a surprising amount of crud and make your wheel look like it’s brand new again.

4. Drive-Through Debris

Many people eat in their cars and without noticing it, drop food all over the place. If you’re the type that enjoys a snack or some fries while you drive, odds are you’ve got quite a collection of prior meals in between your seat and the center console. While you can’t easily remove the seat to get at the bits of food trapped down there, you can slide the seat forward and backward to clear the area out with your vacuum’s corner attachment.

5. Visors and Mirrors

One of the last places you may think to clean is one that you use without even realizing it — your sun visors. When the sun is in your eyes, you quickly flip it down to improve visibility. Come cleaning time, however, you’ve likely tucked it back up into the ceiling of the car and forgotten that your fingerprints are all over the vinyl and even the mirror.

When you clean out your vehicle’s interior, there are the no-brainer areas to hit. Things like floor mats, windows and the dashboard are easy to remember, but there’s a lot you could be missing without realizing it. If you spruce up these five often-forgotten spots, your car will look and feel like new.

For more information on cleaning a car, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store

Image courtesy of Flickr.

about author

Erich Reichert

Erich Reichert has been an editor and on-air personality in the radio control car hobby for 12 years. A certified car nut since birth, he has written for internationally published titles such as RC Car Action, RC Driver and Xtreme RC Cars, as well as Stuff Magazine, Road and Track and Super Street. He's covered everything from product reviews and tech articles to high-profile lifestyle pieces and celebrity interviews. Erich found his passion for writing after a successful career as an art director, working with brands such as Pepsico, NASCAR, MTV, Nintendo, WWE, Cannondale Bicycles and HBO. He's also a father, an avid hockey fan and an FIA race license holder who enjoys hiking, playing drums and movies.

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