For many of us, our car is an extension of our home, except that it’s on wheels. It does not only bring us to our work and back; the morning drive to work decides our mood for the day.
You know how tiring it is to drive for an hour through the pollution, dust and heavy traffic. Imagine if you had to add unclean and drab car interior – that can be a pretty frustrating prospect to face every day!
Yes, that’s such a letdown, but no, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can do something about it. Let me give you some easy tips to maintain and restore interior car parts and accessories.
Tips to Keep Your Car Interior Shining Like New
Over time, your car’s interior will accumulate dust and grime, especially around the corners. And although we carry a rag for a quick wipe-off, it isn't enough to get a fresh and clean look, especially on leather interiors.
1. Use an interior car protectant to keep the dashboard and interior car parts in mint condition.
The dash is the first place you lay your eyes on when you jump into your car. Can you think of sitting in a car looking at an old-looking dashboard covered in dust, hairs, or maybe even smudges from what your friend ate last night? Those things might seem mundane, but they can ruin your day and even make you feel unclean on your commute to work.
So let me tell you some industry-standard car interior protectants to keep your interior car parts and accessories shining like new.
- Innerclean – this is an interior quick-detailer and protectant that you spray on plastic, vinyl, glass, and rubber interior car parts to repel dust and pollen from the dashboard and other surfaces. It’s also perfect for LCD navigation screens and steering wheels. The crisp pineapple scent chases away bad odour from inside your car. This spray also comes with an advanced UV protection formula that protects against cracking and fading of interior car parts and accessories.
- 303 Automotive Protectant Spray – with SPF40, this product provides ample UV protection for plastic, vinyl, and rubber interior and exterior surfaces. It contains organic chemical compounds that absorb UV rays and keep the car's interior and plastic components from fading and degradation.
2. Apply leather cleaner and/or conditioner to protect leather interior.
A supple leather-finished interior is hard to go unnoticed. When it comes to leather seating, carmakers often use richly-hued and visually stunning leather variants. All these qualities have only made it more challenging to clean leather surfaces and restore their factory-fresh appearance.
The best way to restore car interiors is by keeping them clean and using a dust-repellent car interior protectant and leather cleaner/conditioner. It’s best to regularly clean up interior car parts and accessories at least once in three months.
- Leather cleaner – leather surfaces require more attention, and you should always use the right conditioner for reviving its supple surface and protect it from fading due to UV exposure. Not all car interior protectants can be used to clean the leather interior of your car. Choose the right solution to clean your luxurious leather seats; otherwise, you will only damage the colour and texture of your car’s leather.
- Leather cleaner and conditioner care kit - this is easy to apply and wipe off, and it removes dirt, oil, and any harmful substances while protecting against UV rays and restoring leather to its smooth texture.
How to Use Leather Cleaner and Conditioner for Car Interior
You need to clean away any oils and dirt first. Spray a small amount of the leather cleaner onto a horse-hair brush and gently scrub the leather seats to dislodge embedded dirt and deep stains. Wipe off the spot with a cotton cloth. Then apply leather conditioner onto an anti-abrasion sponge, gently apply it over the leather interior parts, then wipe it with a cotton cloth again. Repeat this procedure to other damaged leather surfaces in your car. Leather conditioners nourish both naturally-tanned leather hides and synthetic ones, and prevent them from fading, drying out, and cracking due to UV rays and wear-and-tear from regular use.
That should keep your interior leather looking and smelling new and prevent any fibre deterioration.
The items above are fantastic tips to protect my car interior, but what if severe problems like rusting and scuff marks won't go away?
3. Use WD-40 to remove scuff marks and rust.
Yes, you heard me right, WD-40.
Can I really use WD-40 to remove scratches on my car?
I understand your skepticism. The answer is, ‘Yes, you can.’ WD (short for Water Displacement) was first used in Atlas Missiles to prevent rust and corrosion. Then it slowly began to appear in all stores in San Diego, California and has become a staple for every car owner since the late 1950s.
WD-40 loosens the bond between rust and metal surfaces by penetrating and loosening the porous layers of rust. All you have to do is spray it on the rusted surface and leave it for around ten minutes. You can then scrub it away with a light abrasive. It gives excellent temporary rust protection by avoiding further damage to the paint.
I recommend covering up the painted surfaces while using the light abrasive to avoid leaving marks on the ‘good’ sections.
To remove scratches or scuff marks on your car, clean up the affected surface, spray it with WD-40, and leave it there for 5 to 10 minutes. Then wipe it off with a soft cloth. Repeat the process until the scratch is no longer visible.
Can I safely use WD-40 on car interior parts and accessories?
Yes, you can use it on car interior plastic parts to remove scratches and scuff marks. It can also act as a sealant and protect your interior car parts and accessories from accumulating dust in the future.
Warning: Don’t use WD-40 on leather interior parts because petroleum base oils constitute more than 25% of WD-40's composition. It may result in the darkening of your car's leather interior. Only a leather cleaner and conditioner can give the best for your leather interior car parts and accessories.
I've discussed here the most effective solutions to maintain your car interior. Still, some of you might ask, "Why not try those hundreds of DIY hacks to restore my precious interior car parts?
I have only one answer, "If it's precious to you, you won't be trying DIY on it."
Don't ruin that leather by skimping on car interior maintenance – it’s simply not worth it. For other questions you may have, please read below some more FAQs and their answers. For more tips and car owner guides, please see our blog. Now, if you need car parts and accessories for your car’s interior and exterior parts, and especially mechanical and powertrain parts, send us a request and we will be right back to you!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I clean my dashboard with Clorox wipes?
Clorox wipes are easy and convenient and safe to use on a variety of surfaces. They are effective against common bacteria such as E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella enterica and can ward off viruses that cause colds and flu. Clorox wipes are good for scrubbing but should not be used on upholstered surfaces as they can stain or fade fabrics. Worse, its alcohol content may ruin your perfect car interior and turn leather interior surfaces dry and brittle.
2. Is olive oil safe for my car dashboard?
Olive oil cleaning hacks have been all over the internet for as long as I can remember. It comes in handy when you don't have the right cleaning product to use. It can keep your plastic dashboard and other interior plastics look great. However, it isn't intended to be a replacement for industry best practices for cleaning car interiors.
3. Can I use Vaseline on the car dashboard?
Vaseline is a petroleum jelly, also another way to shine your car's dashboard and plastic interiors with the things available in your medicine cabinet. It can diminish minor scratches and improve the look of a car's dashboard. You can drop a small amount of Vaseline to a microfiber cloth and wipe your car’s interior plastics with it. Although Vaseline can shine car interior plastics, I won't suggest it for leather interiors. Choose a gentle leather treatment or leather cleaner and conditioner instead.
4. How do you get scuff marks off car interior plastics?
Scratches and cuff marks on plastic car interiors can be so annoying – they just stand out! Worse, they can be tough to remove, especially when there’s dirt embedded deep into the grain. This is where you’ll need an abrasive to dig in and remove the stains. Clean the area with a scrub brush and trim cleaner. This can help you see the remaining scuffs and remove them effectively. Then the only thing you will need is a magic eraser, some water to lubricate it, and a towel to wipe down the previously scuffed area.
5. Does Magic Eraser really work? Can it remove car scratches?
Yes, Magic Eraser can remove car scratches, but not the scratches on the painted polished exterior of your car. Magic Eraser sponges are made up of a material known as melamine foam, an effective abrasive cleaner. One other thing – it’s not magic but polymeric composition. It works similar to fine sandpaper, making its way into the tiny pitted areas of a plastic surface to remove dirt. This means that when rubbing against plastic panels with a slightly dampened or lubricated eraser pad, you can remove the otherwise ‘impossible’ scuffs from your car. Magic Eraser is also good for removing your child's crayon artworks and greasy hands on your door card.
Be cautious while using Magic Erasers because it can leave scratches on surfaces that are not sufficiently hard.
To learn more about maintaining your car, please don't hesitate to visit Carpart.com.au! And if you'll ever need auto parts and accessories, we will be delighted to assist you in locating even hard-to-find car parts. This service is FREE; you only need to send us a car parts request by filling out this online form! So what are you waiting for? Send us a request now!
By Sooraj Sj