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Get that New Car Look

How to Keep Car Interiors Looking Like New

By Chad Heath

Keeping the interior of a car looking its best is very simple when you have the right tools and know how professional detailers do it.

First, remove all floor mats and give them a vigorous shaking. Then, using a strong vacuum cleaner with a crevice tool, get under and between seats. You would be amazed at the junk that accumulates. Vacuum the floor mats too.

When the interior is as clean as you can get it with the vacuum, use an automotive-specific interior cleaner. Eagle One's ZAP spot remover is ideal for removing tough dirt, cola and coffee spills from your car's carpet and seats. Simply spray it on the desired area and, using a stiff-bristled scrub brush, scrub the area.  Follow with a clean towel folded into quarters and wipe the area clean. Keep turning the cloth until all dirt is removed and allow to dry.

Next, focus your efforts on the interior door panels. Again, using a product such as ZAP, spray liberally onto the surface. Use the same brush to scrub panels clean and wipe dry with a towel.  That's it. You will be amazed at how much different your door panels will look just by using a scrub brush. Use this method on the rest of the interior until clean. Once you get used to this method, it shouldn't take more than 30 minutes to clean the entire interior.

Now that the surfaces are clean, you should use a top-quality protectant such as Eagle One's protectant lotion. Since it is a lotion, you can control the application. Simply pour it onto a towel and wipe it on the desired area. If you prefer a traditional spray protectant, make sure you apply it to a towel and wipe it on the area. This done, go ahead and buff the surface with a clean towel. This will really give it a professional look.

If you are fortunate enough to have a leather interior, the above methods apply — just make sure you use products that are specifically formulated for leather. Since leather is a natural product, you have to replenish the oils that are lost from exposure to the sun. Also, make sure the products you use do not contain silicone or alcohol. These will dry out leather and defeat the purpose. While you can use leather products on vinyl, you should not use vinyl products on leather.

Chad Heath operated a professional detailing business for 12 years prior to joining Eagle One in 1995.  He serves as technical advisor on product development.  His advice and unique tips on auto detailing have been featured in leading automotive magazines and newspapers, as well as on TV and radio programs.  Eagle One is a leading marketer of premium waxes, polishes, wheel and tire cleaners and other appearance care products.