1. Use a cheap foam brush or paint brush to dust between the AC vents.
2. Vacuum up the dust as you brush it off, so it doesn’t immediately settle somewhere else in the car.
3. The vacuum+brush duster combo also works to clean all your car’s knobs and buttons.
4. Remove and replace your cabin’s air filter to get rid of stinky smells.
You’ll have to check your owner’s manual to see if your make and model has a removable air filter first. From here.
5. Get all of the trash out from every nook and cranny.
Slide all of your seats all the way forward and pull out your floor mats, so nothing escapes your notice. Use a plastic grocery bag to collect trash as you go. From here.
6. Use a Magic Eraser to scrub gross sticky things off of vinyl and leather.
7. If dirt has embedded itself in the textures of your vinyl, some detail scrubbing with a toothbrush may be necessary.
8. Use olive oil to condition and polish the leather on your dashboard.
9. Banish animal hair from your upholstery with a spray bottle of water and a squeegee.
10. Use a fine-bristled brush (like a toothbrush) to get dirt and crumbs out from the seams of your seat cushions.
Then vacuum up. From here.
11. Use paper and an iron to remove melted wax (like crayons) from your upholstery.
This tutorial is for carpet, but the same trick works on many different fabrics.
12. Shampoo the seats in your car with diluted all-purpose cleaner, a sponge or scrub brush, and washcloths.
13. Spray your dirty floor mats with stain remover and throw them in the washing machine.
Easiest thing ever. Read the tutorial here.
14. Or, scrub them with a DIY upholstery cleaner.
See the recipe and tutorial here.
15. Enlist a lint roller, bristle brush, toothbrush, dish soap, steam cleaner, and baking soda if you need to clean a kiddo’s car seat.
This is not an easy process, but you can do it! See the full tutorial here.
16. When everything’s fresh and clean, keep it smelling that way with a baking soda air freshener.
Get the how-to here.
17. ~Super clean~ your windshield using steel wool and glass cleaner, then treat it to a coat of Rain X.
You only need to clean it this way a couple of times per year, though. Learn more about this here.
18. Wipe down your windshield wipers with rubbing alcohol to prevent a smeared windshield.
See how here.
19. Get stubborn bugs out of your grille (and off of your bumper) with the help of dryer sheets.
Soak it in warm water, and wipe. See the full tutorial here.
21. Remember to roll down your windows before you start wiping them with glass cleaner.
There’s grime there too! See more car cleaning tips at Family Handyman.
22. Use a cleaning powder and water to clean your wheels.
23. After washing your car, use a clay bar to pick up bits of grime that water doesn’t rinse off.
Read more about how this works (and what you should do afterward to keep that shine shiny) here.
23 Ways To Make Your Car Cleaner Than It’s Ever Been