Your Ultimate Guide to Car Detailing Prices and More
The average cost for a deep car interior cleaning ranges from $230-$390, depending on the size and condition of the car interior. For a sedan, a full car interior cleaning and detail can cost about $80-$260. For many car owners, this is but a small price to pay to keep their car interior spotless clean.
This type of service is needed mostly by car owners who don’t have the time or the right tools to clean their car interior.
After all, when you have kids, pets, and errands to run, cleaning your car is the last thing you want to do. It’s a time-consuming and tedious task for those who have their hands full.
Those who do have time on their hands end up cleaning their car on their own, thinking that if they take it to a car wash, it will get dirty again anyway soon. But then again, after a long week, you won’t have the energy to do it on the weekends, especially if you just want to relax and spend time with your family and friends.
Besides, it can be costly and overwhelming when you research tools, chemicals, and products needed for cleaning your car’s interior. Plus, you have to know the right process to do it or else you’ll do more damage than what’s already been done.
The good news is that you landed on this blog and we’ll help you how to save money when cleaning your car interior.
5 Factors that Determine Car Interior Cleaning Cost
Ever wondered why car interior cleaning costs can be so cheap or expensive? Well, it depends on 5 things: the size of your car, its condition, the type and abundance of stains/pet hair/sand, and the quality of your chosen car detailer. Let’s go through each of these factors in detail.
1. Size of the vehicle
The bigger the car, the more costly it is to clean the interior. The reason being is it takes more time, labor, and chemicals needed to get the job done.
If you have a small car, a typical full interior detail usually runs between $100-$220. If you have a minivan, the price range is somewhere between $250-$320.
2. Condition of the vehicle
How dirty is your car interior? If your car has plenty of food stains, sand, and/or excessive pet hair, expect to pay somewhere between $230 to $380. In some cases where the condition is severe for a minivan or large SUV, it can go somewhere between $350 to $450. If the amount of stains is very minimal and you have leather seats, you can expect to pay around $80 to $260.
3. Biohazard stains
Vomit, blood, and pet urine are considered biohazard stains. They can transmit disease, illness, or virus if the person cleaning the stain is not careful or not wearing protective gear. Biohazard stains in your car interior are generally cleaned by trained professional car detailers like River Islands Car Salon.
Cleaning biohazard stains requires special chemicals and a more thorough process. Expect to pay somewhere between $260-380 for a biohazard car interior cleaning.
4. Amount of stains, pet hair, and/or sand
The amount of dirt and mess is also an important factor to determine cost. Sometimes, customers only need all seats deep cleaned, or only a particular section of the car carpet. If you only require a certain area in your car interior to be cleaned, the price range is between $80 to $150.
5. Professionalism and experience of your chosen car detailer
Would you let a random detailer clean your car because of their cheap price or would you hire a professional car detailer for top-notch results?
Choosing a car detailer you can trust, especially one with a lot of good Google reviews, is important because you know you will get great interior cleaning results. That being said, you will not be scammed or ripped off when you choose a professional detailer like River Islands Car Salon.
3 Types of Car Interior Cleaning Services and Average Costs: Which one to choose?
There are three types of car interior cleaning services: Light car interior cleaning (aka Maintenance cleaning), Full car interior cleaning, and Deep car interior cleaning. Knowing the difference between these three will help you choose which service is best for your vehicle. Let’s get to know them one by one.
1. Light interior cleaning
Best for well-maintained cars. If your car has very minimal dirt and dust, you’re only going to need light interior cleaning. Luxury cars and very high-end cars usually fall into this category. The average cost for this service runs between $80 to $150 and it only takes about 1 to 2 hours to complete. The interior cleaning process mostly consists of vacuuming and wiping down.
2. Full car interior cleaning
On the other hand, is great for moderately dirty cars. Most commuter cars and personal vehicles fall into this category. The average cost runs between $150 to $250 and it takes about 2 to 3 hours to complete. This full interior cleaning process usually consists of vacuuming, steam cleaning, leather seat scrubbing, and wiping down.
3. Deep car interior cleaning
Is perfect for minivans and families with kids and pets. This service is recommended for those who don’t have the time to clean the car themselves, especially those who are busy taking care of their families and other important matters.
The average cost runs between $250-$390 and it takes about 3 to 5 hours to complete. This deep car interior cleaning service usually consists of vacuuming, steam cleaning, using an air compressor, and extracting stains.
3 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Expert Car Detailer
Since you already know the average costs of car interior cleaning, let us help you decide whether you should hire a professional or do it on your own. You only need to answer these guide questions to come up with an answer:
1. Are you looking for professional results?
Hiring a professional car detailer can give you the best results and speed up the car interior cleaning process. If your main concern is spending money on a car detailing service, then we suggest doing it on your own.
2. Are you willing to do the work and spend time cleaning your car interior?
If the answer is yes, then DIY is your best option. If you’re feeling a little lazy and don’t have the time and the right tools to do it, then a car detailer can help.
3. Are you grossed out easily?
If you’re the type of person who can’t stand the look and smell of nasty stains like vomit, pet urine, or anything else, then hiring a car detailer can surely help. If you think you can handle it in some way, you can read our other guide to DIY: How to clean Vomit in your Car Interior
10 Items You Need To Clean Your Car Interior for Only $100
Not everyone can afford to spend $200 and up to hire a car detailer. If you have the time to clean your car interior, you can use the common household cleaners to accomplish the mission.
These are the items to invest in if you want to clean your car for less than $100:
1. Portable vacuum
The biggest investment you can buy for cleaning your own car interior is a portable vacuum which can cost about $50 to $100. This is one of the best ways to remove dirt and save money in the long run. Any portable vacuum will do as long as you do it thoroughly.
2. Microfiber towels
Microfiber towels are great to use for car cleaning because they’re gentle, soft, and won’t scratch surfaces as long as they are clean. They are good absorbent and collect dust easily, perfect for drying your car off after a wash.
3. A ph-neutral all-purpose cleaner
An all-purpose cleaner is a common household cleaner that is safe and effective in cleaning plastics, dashboards, and cupholders. Make sure to get a ph-neutral cleaner and dilute it at 1:10 or 1:20 depending on how strong you need it. It works wonders if you add a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle so it would lather up when you’re cleaning.
4. Car interior brushes
You need around 3 to 4 brushes. Make sure to get brushes with long, medium, and small bristles because they’re perfect for getting into hard-to-reach nooks and crevices and also for cleaning vents. If you have leather seats, get a leather brush to avoid damaging the seats.
5. Baking soda and vinegar
These two chemicals are household items that work wonders for stain removal. All you have to do is apply baking soda on a cloth or carpet stain, let it dwell for 10 to 20 minutes, and then spray some diluted or straight vinegar on the affected area. Just scrub and mop the area with a microfiber towel and voila, goodbye stain!
6. Spray bottles and hot water
Get about 4 spray bottles for your hot water and chemicals. Heat plays an important factor when it comes to stain removal. It makes the fabric soft and makes the stain particles easier to remove. In short, it loosens up the stain.
7. Hydrogen Peroxide
This chemical is best used for light disinfecting and removing organic stains, particularly coffee, vomit, and pet urine. Make sure to dilute it and do a test spot to see if it will change the color of your fabric and upholstery. Once you removed the stains, apply hydrogen peroxide for further cleaning.
8. Isopropyl alcohol
IPA is best used for disinfecting and cleaning glass. You can dilute it at 1:1 and spray it onto the glass and wipe it off. It will make your glass look super clean without any streaks.
This chemical is common for cleaning ovens, stove tops, and other greasy surfaces. Dilute it at 1:15 and spray it on very dirty doorjambs or sticky cupholders. Do a test spot first to see if it’s safe and won’t discolor the surface. You can also add a few drops of dish soap to lather when cleaning.
10. Gloves and masks
It’s important to wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect yourself when dealing with biohazard stains and chemicals. If possible, get protective eyewear.
How To Clean Your Car Interior at Home
If at this point you’re convinced that you can clean your car interior at home, we’ll teach you how to do it. Cleaning your car interior at home is no different than hiring a professional car detailer. In fact, it’s a very similar process. Here’s what you need to do:
If you changed your mind and thought that is one too many steps that you’re willing to take, don’t worry, we’d be glad to take that burden off your shoulders. Our expert car detailers can do all these steps for you with the best results.
Things to Consider in Choosing the Best Car Detailer to Clean Your Car Interior
If the average cost of interior cleaning is within your budget, then choosing a car detailer is your next step. With many car detailers to choose from and offering the same service, here are some tips to help you narrow down your choices.
1. Real reviews
Does the car detailer have reviews online? If not, think twice. Having real reviews online means a detailing service you’re choosing has a proven track record of providing quality interior car detailing service. So much better if they have mostly 5-star reviews!
2. Before and After photos
Does the car detailer have proven results? Looking at the before and after photos help you decide if they do quality work.
3. Clear Communication
A detailer who communicates well and is open to answering your questions shows that they are trustworthy. A good detailer can clean a car but a great detailer understands what exactly you need.
4. Transparent Pricing
Does the detailer have hidden fees or charges? Is the pricing sheet confusing? If your detailer has a confusing pricing sheet, it can reflect miscommunication and missed expectations. Hiring an expert car detailer with simple and transparent pricing makes it clear for both parties what needs to be done and what services will be provided.
Timing is everything. If your detailer is punctual, it demonstrates efficiency and respect for your time. As a professional detailer, we value your time by working on your car as efficiently as possible so you can drive it as soon as possible.
6. Attentive and Considerate
An expert car detailer is not only good at what he does but also with what you need. They need to be aware of their surroundings and be able to communicate and inform you ahead of time when they will use a loud air compressor. It’s important to be considerate especially if you have a baby sleeping or an online meeting going. It’s also important to hire someone who’s attentive when conserving water.
Now that you know what to look for in hiring a professional car detailer, you can choose the best among the rest. Well, you don’t have to look far and wide because River Islands Car Salon checks all the boxes! If you want a high-quality car detailing and cleaning service with the best results, it’s best to give us a try.
To summarize, the average cost of car interior cleaning in California is between $80-$390. This price ranges from a lightly stained sedan to a full-blown stained minivan or large SUV. Of course, prices may vary according to the different factors that affect a car interior cleaning cost.
You’ll have to consider the size of the vehicle, its condition, the types of stains present, and how much stain there is, plus the expertise of the car detailer. Add all these together and you get the price of a car interior detailing service.
Ultimately, if you have time on your hands, you can clean and detail your car interior yourself. Just know that you have to spend time researching the right method, processes, tools, and chemicals just to make sure you’re doing it right. If not, you might end up damaging your car’s interior rather than cleaning it.
If you don’t mind paying for a car detail service as long as you get the value out of what you pay for, hiring a professional car detailer is your best option.
An expert car detailing service can give you the best results and will address whatever specific concerns you have with your car interior.
If you’re willing to DIY, we hope our guide will be a great help. If not, we’re here for you. Let us do the dirty work so you can spend more time with your friends and family.