Deep Clean your Car Interior: Tips from an Expert Car Detailer

how to deep clean car interior - mobile car detailing

When was the last time you gave your car interior a deep cleaning?

Take a quick look inside. If the floor’s dusty, the cup holders have trash, and the seats have stains, now might be the best time to deep clean it.

The most common problems with dirty car interiors are food and coffee stains, pet hair, pet pee, vomit, and sand. If not addressed properly, germs might fester and other health problems may arise. Before it gets any worse, it’s important that you clean your car’s interior as soon as possible.

However, some people don’t know how to clean their car interior and some don’t have time to do it. Others may know how to clean and have the time to do it but they just don’t have the right tools and proper chemicals. But don’t worry, we are here to help.

In this blog, we will give you tips straight from our expert car detailer on how to deep clean your car interior. Plus, we’ll spill the beans on the best tools and cleaning solutions you can use to make sure you’re doing it right.

But first, let’s take a look at the many benefits you can get from deep cleaning your car.

mobile deep interior car detailing

The Benefits of a Clean Car Interior

More than making your car look and smell good, there are many other benefits of a clean car interior. Perhaps knowing these will make you want to have your car detailed regularly. Here are the top 6 benefits of a car that’s been deep cleaned.

1. It lets you breathe easier

When you get inside a dirty and dusty car, the first thing you’ll probably notice is how bad it smells. You can perhaps open the windows and let some air in and wait for the smell to disperse but the dust, food and drink stains, and trash inside will remain. No amount of car air freshener will totally freshen up the air in your car.

Only a deep car interior cleaning can do that. So, if you want to stop holding your breath every time you enter the car and keep your nose from tingling because of the dust, give your car interior a nice deep cleaning. You’ll be able to breathe easier and better while you drive in no time.

2. It gives you a sense of comfort

Driving a clean car can do wonders for your mind. In general, tidy spaces – such as your home, office, and yes, even your vehicle – can help relieve stress and make you feel more energetic and happier. The cleaner your car interior is, the more comfortable you are behind wheels, even on long drives.

You may also find yourself calm and relaxed even when the traffic’s terrible all because you’re comfortable and happy behind the wheel.

3. It prevents you from contracting germs and bacteria

As your car accumulates dirt, dust, and stains over time, some disease-carrying germs, bacteria, and allergens can rapidly multiply and fester inside the enclosed environment.

If this goes unnoticed and you keep driving your cluttered car for long, it may pose a serious threat to your health and those you have close contact with. Allergens from dirt, dust, and pets can affect the air quality inside your car and in turn, trigger your allergies.

Getting your car detailed can help get rid of these contaminants so you can avoid any health issues.

4. It minimizes the risk of choking and food poisoning

Kids and a dirty car just don’t go well together. While you keep your eyes on the road, kids keep their eyes on the days-old food wrappers or drinks stashed in the side pockets of the vehicle. And if they can get their hands on it, they’ll immediately put it in their mouth.

This can put your child at risk of choking or food poisoning. Deep cleaning your car interior regularly can help prevent this from happening. Keeping your car clean can also keep your kids safe.

Have a look at how deep interior cleaning can transform your car interior!  

The Ultimate Guide to Deep Cleaning Your Car Interior

When it comes to deep cleaning your car interior, you will face any combination of these four enemies: sand, stains, pet hair, and vomit.

If you are able to defeat them all, you’ll be able to give your car interior the deep clean it deserves. Don’t worry, you’re not going to defeat them alone.

We’re going to guide you through them one by one. Let’s start!

Remove Sand from Your Car Using Air Compressor and Drill Brush

Spring and summer are the perfect time for families to go camping, visit the beach, and have fun! But when the fun ceases and the day ends, you’ve got to deal with the stubborn sand that’s all over your car’s interior.

You can’t just vacuum them away, in fact, vacuuming is the least effective method in removing sand from your car.

Why? Sand are tiny particles that are difficult to vacuum, especially when they’re still embedded within the carpet and upholstery. Even when the carpet or seats look clean, you know there are still residues left there somewhere.

The best way to remove sand in your car is by using compressed air and a drill brush. Using these two will help make sure your car’s sand-free until your next beach trip!

C.H.A.T Method Explanation (Chemical, Heat, Agitation, and Time)

Remove Stains From Your Car Using C.H.A.T

In case you’re wondering, C.H.A.T stands for Chemical, Heat, Agitation, and Time.

If you bring food and drinks inside your car and eat while you drive, you’re bound to get your fabric seats or carpet stained. This can be quite difficult to remove especially when not addressed right away.

With the power of C.H.A.T. even stains that have bonded on the fabric or hard surfaces can still be removed.


Technically speaking, the pH is a numerical scale that goes from 0 to 14, with pure water representing a pH-neutral solution of 7. A pH below 7 is an acid while a pH above 7 is a basic (or alkaline).

How is this relevant to cleaning stains? Cleaning products with different pH values can remove specific types of dirt or for this matter, stains.

As a general rule of thumb, acidic cleaners are suitable for cleaning mineral deposits while alkaline or basic cleaners are meant for cleaning oily or greasy stains.

Since the stains found in your car’s interior are mostly food and grease-based stains, you can use Flex Fire as a carpet and upholstery pre-spray which has a pH of 12-13. hen you should use Flex Ice as a neutralizing agent with a pH of 3-4. This two-punch combo removes 90-99% of the most common car stains. 

Pro Tip: Always wear a protective mask, eyewear, and gloves when dealing with vomit. Vomit residue can be contagious if some residue splatters onto your mouth or nose.


Steam cleaning also plays an important role in terms of removing stains. High heat and pressure not only soften the carpet and upholstery but also kills germs and bacteria that are bonded on the fabric or hard surfaces. It helps a lot in removing very stubborn stains and sticky substances.


We also use a drill brush to help in the mechanical agitation of the fabric. This aggressive movement of the brush helps loosen dirt, stains, and other debris.


The dwelling time of chemicals in your seats and carpet plus the repetitive action of brushing and steam cleaning can further increase your chance of removing even the most stubborn stains.

Remove Pet Hair From Your Car

As a pet owner, you know you can’t just leave your pets behind when you go on trips even if it means having pet hair all over your car interior.

If you think a good vacuuming can remove pet hair from your car interior, think again. Vacuuming alone can’t do it.

In order to effectively remove pet hair from your car, we recommend you to use a Lily Brush and pumice stone. All you have to do is keep scrubbing the area until you have collected all the pet hair and then vacuum it.

For stubborn pet hairs, you can use diluted fabric softener and Nitrile gloves. You simply dilute fabric softener 1:10 and spray it onto the carpet.

Scrub the area with a pet hair brush and/or use your gloves to collect it. You can then vacuum right after.

Remove Vomit From Your Car

You can clean vomit stains from your car interior using steam cleaning, acidic chemicals, and alkaline chemicals while using the C.H.A.T method. Read more to learn in detail about cleaning vomit from your car.

Pro Tip: Always wear a protective mask, eyewear, and gloves when dealing with vomit. Vomit residue can be contagious if some residue splatters onto your mouth or nose.


Now that you know how to deep clean your car interior with the proper tools and chemicals, doing it should be easy. No amount of sand, stain, pet hair, or vomit can get in the way of you driving a fresh and clean car.

Invest in an air compressor to remove sand. The pressurized air vibrates the fabric and the tiny sand particles which is useful for removing them. When it comes to getting rid of stubborn pet hairs, use diluted fabric softener and/or nitrile gloves.

For removing stains on your carpet or upholstery, always remember C.H.A.T. Use the same method for removing vomit but kill the bacteria and germs first by using a steam cleaner.

The most important thing you must not forget is to always wear a mask, protective eyewear, and gloves when dealing with chemicals and vomit.

Your car is not going to clean itself and if you find that you don’t have the time or the proper tools to do it, River Islands Car Salon can always do it for you!

Contact us today for mobile deep interior cleaning services!

Check out interior cleaning services in action below! 

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