A Guide to Vacuum Cleaning Your Car
Often, a vacuum cleaner is thought of as a household tool, there to keep our floors free of dirt and dust. However, so many of us spend a significant amount of our time travelling to and from work, school or just the shops in our vehicles (research suggests the national average is around 68 minutes per day!) In that case, why not make use of your vacuum cleaner to spruce up your saloon or refresh your roadster? Here’s our full guide on how to get the best, not to mention cleanest, results!
This is the area of your car that accumulates the most dust and dry dirt over time, and is often the most in need of a clean, with crumbs and fluff being immediately obvious to you and your passengers, and not particularly attractive to sit on. You might tell the kids not to put their feet on the seats, but unfortunately just the getting in, sitting down and getting back out of car travel leaves dirt, hair and skin particles to build up. Some plush upholstered finishes are particularly stubborn at trapping debris, so follow these tips to achieve spotless seats!
- It doesn’t matter if you have an upright or a cylinder-style cleaner, as here you’ll want to make use of the hose and tools supplied with your cleaner. For ease and convenience, you may also wish to consider choosing a specialist car vacuum cleaner. These generally plug into the 12v socket in your vehicle, so there’s no need to worry about reaching the nearest plug socket. For best results, use a tool with rotating brushes, as these will help to agitate debris from the upholstery, as well as lifting pet hair if you have a regular furry travel companion!
- Use the crevice tool supplied with most models to get right into the gap between the base and the back of seats. Some seats have stitching that creates contours in the seat, which are also a convenient area for debris to settle, so are best tackled in this way too.
- Don’t forget the headrest and the back of the seats too! Both trap hairs, skin particles and debris from clothing, easily by a rotating tool!
Car Mats & Footwell
For the duration of your journey, your feet rest on mats placed in the footwells of your vehicle, or straight down on the carpeted footwell itself. This means that muddy boots or wet trainers have ample opportunity to rub the contents of their soles deep into the carpet fibres. Most car mats are carpeted and designed for comfort, so tend to have thick, plush fibres – ideal for trapping dirt and debris. Here’s how to use your vacuum to valet your vehicle’s floor.
- For best results, remove car mats from the vehicle before cleaning them. Firstly, shake or beat each mat outdoors to remove larger outdoor debris such as stones, which could damage your vacuum cleaner.
- Take the mats into your home. If your mats are carpeted, vacuum with the main floor-tool or rotating brushbar of your vacuum cleaner. This will help agitate dirt and debris trapped within the plush surface of the mat. Rubber or metallic mats can be vacuumed too; treat these like hard floors in your home and avoid using a rotary attachment on such types of mat.
- Don’t replace the mats just yet! Firstly, return to your vehicle and vacuum the footwells, using the same rotating tool as you used to clean your seats. If there are narrow corners here, or awkward areas around the pedals, then a crevice tool can help reach these. Finally, simply replace the clean mats into position.
The Dashboard & Everywhere Else
Your vacuum cleaner can also help keep some of the less obvious areas of your vehicle where dirt and dust build up clean. With all the electronic gadgets on the dashboards of modern vehicles, static charge can lead to dust being attracted to settle, and most dusting cloths simply spread this around your car’s atmosphere. Your vacuum traps this dust, helping allergy sufferers and creating a clean environment for all passengers. Here’s our guide to tackling these areas.
- Use your vacuum’s soft dusting brush, as you would use on furniture around the home, to free dust from the dashboard, steering wheel and gearstick areas. Some models may also include a soft-bristled attachment with their crevice tool, which is ideal for getting between buttons and levers in these areas. Gently brush to agitate dust and allow your vacuum to collect this.
- Don’t forget the parcel shelf and your boot lining too! These are carpeted areas in most vehicles, and if you use them to store equipment such as golf clubs or power tools, you will find debris traps with ease over time just as in the rest of your vehicle. As with seats and mats, your rotary attachment is the tool to choose here, as it will lift loose and embedded debris.
Have you vacuumed your vehicle recently? Do you have any tips for cleaning vehicle interiors that you think we’ve missed? Let the world know by leaving a comment below!