The Importance of a Clean Car Interior

By Angela Monroe - September 21, 2021

The Importance of a Clean Car Interior h1

A car interior is like a temporary home. Australian city workers spend, on average, around 66 minutes per day commuting. How does your commute time compare?

If you find yourself spending considerable time in your car, having a clean car interior is just as important as a clean home.

Here’s how and why.

Firstly, why should you keep your car interior clean?


5 reasons!

  1. It’ll keep your car’s resale value high. No one buys a used car without checking out the car interior, so having a presentable one helps.
  2. Protects components. A/C, radio, navigation systems, turn signals and more all have homes inside a car and function better when clean.
  3. Keep yourself looking good (and smelling good). If you’re driving in work attire (or any attire), stains don’t look good, nor do bad smells. Clean car seats can really help with personal presentation.
  4. Safety. Smeared and hazy windows are really noticeable at night. Clean windows, on the inside and outside, improve your visibility when driving.
  5. Health. A big reason to keep a car interior clean is your, and your passengers’ health. Germs and bacteria can easily accumulate inside a car interior, some are airborne and some remain on surfaces like door handles.

Get cleaning!


The floors and carpets are a great place to start.

  1. Remove the floor mats. Some may be held in place with clips to prevent them from sliding, this is usually the case with the driver’s side.
  2. Give the floor mats a bang out and a vacuum.
  3. Before putting them back in the car, vacuum the floors too.
  4. Some vehicles may require extra attention or cleaning chemicals if they’re really dirty.
  5. Give the seats a quick vacuum too to pick up any loose debris.

Storage cubbies

If you regularly ferry kids to school and sports games, you’ll probably find wrappers and litter ‘stored’ in your car’s storage spaces.

These can include the centre console, door panel storage, rear parcel shelf, seat pockets and the glovebox.

Remove all litter and unwanted / unneeded items. Some may require an additional clean with a damp cloth or even cleaning products.


car seats

Cleaning vinyl, plastic and leather surfaces in cars is easy and doesn’t take long.

Products like Armorall make the job easy. Often, all you’ll need to do is wipe down the surfaces with a clean, damp cloth then go over them again with a car cleaning product.

Cloth seats may require some elbow grease, depending on how dirty they are. Some products contain scents to keep your car smelling nice too.

Avoid surface-cleaning products splashing on windows as they can leave marks.

Try to give the car interior a little while to dry after cleaning the surfaces.


car window

It’s surprising how dirty the inside of car windows can get. Often, grime and fingerprints are the most common problems.

The side windows are always the easiest to clean as they’re easy to reach. You may need to stretch a little to reach the lower-center part of the windscreen and rear window, but it’ll be worth it.

To get the windows looking good, use two microfibre cloths.

First, use Windex or another glass cleaner to remove the grime. This may take a few sprays and wipes over. You’ll be surprised how much ‘black stuff’ comes off sometimes.

Use the second clean microfibre cloth to go over the insides of the window again. No water or cleaner, just a plain, dry cloth. This will remove any window cleaner or water smears you might not be able to see in the daylight.

Cabin filter

The cabin filter is a small air filter that cleans (or tries to) a car’s A/C and/or ventilation system. 

These are usually located behind the glovebox, which means you’ll have to check how to remove it.

These filters can often get forgotten or neglected so mould and bacteria can build up in them. The air that passes through the cabin filter is the air you breathe when your A/C or vents are on.

Different vehicles have different sized cabin filters so check the size in your car owner’s manual or ask an auto parts retailer. 

Replace your car’s air filter if it’s recommended by the manufacturer. If it hasn’t been replaced in a while, you might notice fresher air within your car and increased airflow. 

It’ll be worth it

Having a clean car interior makes a car so much nicer to drive. Also, you won’t need to clean the interior as often as the exterior.

An hour’s work on a Saturday morning will have weeks, if not months, of clean driving.

Angela Monroe
Angela Monroe is the Community Manager at The Positive Group, specialising in giving people the information that they need when they need it, and putting you on the path to a fair financial future. She has 8 years of experience in helping Australians find the right finance solutions, and regularly contributes articles to empower Australians with the knowledge they need to become financially healthy.


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