Are you fed up with that “stale” smell your car has? If so, you’re not alone. Growing numbers of motorists find that they just don’t have the time to keep their cars clean and sparkling all the time. They view their cars as just modes of transport rather than anything else. It is especially so if they own a low-value car.

The thing about not keeping your interior clean and smelling like new is that it can harbour some pretty nasty germs and bacteria. As you might have gathered, germs and bacteria can have an adverse impact on your health, as well as the health of people that sit in your car.


thekcb (Flickr)

The focus of today’s blog post is to give you some handy pointers on how you can make your car’s interior like new again. The great thing about these tips is that they won’t take you long to do if you do them on a regular basis!

Remove any rubbish from your interior

Everyone that owns a car will doubtless store some garbage in their vehicle’s interiors. The golden rule here is to make sure you take away any rubbish with you when you exit your vehicle.

One convenient way to do this is to keep a dedicated “rubbish bag” in your car. That way, you can empty it when you get home each day and replace it the next day before you go to work.

If you don’t remove any rubbish from your car, it can stain your carpets and seats. Not to mention that some rubbish can stink to high heaven after a while!


Each week (or weekend) you should take the time to clean your car’s interior. Any surface that your vacuum cleaner can get to should get cleaned. The areas that you should ensure are clean include:

  • Carpets;
  • Seats (including underneath the seats);
  • Headlining;
  • Dashboard;
  • Centre console;
  • Boot.

A valeter friend who works for a used cars West Midlands dealer says you should use nozzle attachments for hard to reach areas. My nozzle of choice is a long and narrow one, as it’s useful for cleaning between the seat rails and the gaps in dashboard plastics.

Wiping down

There is a plethora of products on the market you can use to wipe down marks and stains on car interior surfaces. I find the cheapest and easiest thing to do is to use a clean cotton cloth with warm water and a tiny bit of Fairy Liquid.

Some dashboard cleaning products leave a greasy film on the surface. Whereas others can damage certain plastics or coverings. Be sure to dry any wet surfaces with a clean cotton cloth. I recommend using a lint-free cloth.

Air freshener

My final tip is to use a nice smelling air freshener in your car’s interior. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer the popular Magic Tree fresheners or those that clip onto your air vents.

Be sure to change them when they stop smelling nice. Otherwise, your car will smell stale again!