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  • Writer's pictureAlan

How we clean a filthy car interior - car interior detailing explained

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

Some of our most amazing transformations are filthy car interior details. The state some people keep their car in is mind boggling! In this blog post, we will show two examples of disgusting car interiors that we restored to showroom condition with our interior detailing services in Haverhill.


How we clean a filthy car interior : Vauxhall Corsa car interior detailing


This car interior detail was completed in December 2022. It was a rental car that had been used by a gang of builders, and we were called in as the valet bay didn't have the expertise or equipment to tackle such a challenge.

Car interior detailing Haverhill

We were faced with lots of mud in the seats, carpets and on the plastics mostly around the footwells and doors. Cleaning mud from car interiors requires a special approach to get the best results, and not just move the mud around.


After clearing any lose rubbish, the first job is to lift as much mud and debris as possible before applying any moisture to the fabrics. We would start with a very thorough vacuuming of the carpets and mats, then use a drill brush attachment to loosen deeper dirt prior to a second vacuum. We select an appropriate stiffness of bristles in the brush for the carpet, to minimise damaging the pile. Vauxhall carpets are not especially high quality, so you have to be careful to use the drill brush without pulling up clumps of carpet!


Compressed air was used to blow out gaps and under seats, and to help get deep into the pile of the carpets. And a third vacuum was done to tidy up after the air blow out.


The seats on this Vauxhall Corsa were hardwearing fabric, so we were able to utilise the drill brush to loosen the majority of the mud without damaging the fabric. This would not be possible on a material like alcantara.


With the majority of the mud and dirt removed dry, it's now time to add dedicated interior cleaning products to help lift the remaining mess. Sprayed lightly and left to dwell for a short period of time, we used steam and then extracted the dirt out of the seats, carpets and mats using suction. On a less soiled interior, a wet vac could be used instead of an extractor.


A good tip to help dry the seats quickly and prevent stains wicking, is to turn on the heated seats!


With the fabrics completed, the next stage of interior detailing was to tackle the hard plastics. Any loose dust and dirt is blown out with compressed air and brushed out before any spray cleaners are used. Using interior cleaning spray and microfibres cloths to remove the worst of the mud, we then use scrubbing pads and soft bristle brushes to clean deep into the texture of the plastic. We use compressed air to blow out any moisture from gaps between trim or around switches and buttons. A final wipe down with an interior dresser leaves a matt factory finish.


The last stage is a final vacuum as invariably, some dirt and dust has found its way down into the seats and footwells.

As you can see, the results were incredible. This car interior detailing took around 7 hours to complete, and prices would start from around £249.


How we clean a filthy car interior : Vauxhall Mokka car interior detailing


This was another filthy rental return, and we used a similar approach to the Corsa, but since it was not as bad, were did more steam cleaning than extracting.

Car interior detailing Saffron Walden

The advantage of steam over extracting, is you are introducing less moisture into fabrics, and so reducing drying time and minimising the risk of stains wicking back. Steam is also fantastic for interior detailing, as it helps to sanitise surfaces.


In this example, let's discuss more about our approach to cleaning steering wheels and cleaning gear sticks and handbrakes. These are high-touch components and can be very unhygienic. We use plenty of cleaning product and shield overspray with microfibre cloths. After a very thorough wipe down which typically leaves disgusting stains on the cloths, we move onto using an interior scrubbing pad to get deep into the texture and remove all the dirt we can. This process is also great for lifting makeup, moisturiser and suntan lotion that may be on your hands. Then we introduce steam as the final cleaning stage, and it sanitises at the same time. When completed, a dirty shiny and germ ridden steering wheel, is returned to a matt factory finish and is hygienically clean.


Here's the results of this car interior clean, and it looks like it just rolled off the production line at the factory!

If you have a filthy car interior that needs a deep-clean, click the button below to make an enquiry about our professional quality car interior detailing services.








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