How To Detail The Interior Of A Used Car Before Selling It Or Trading It In – Your Simplified Guide

Car Maintenance, Tips, Used Cars

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car interior detailing

Most of us wash our cars pretty regularly – but it’s much more rare for us to detail and clean the interior of a vehicle. But if you’re about to sell a used car, cleaning the interior is definitely worth the investment of time and money.

A car with a clean interior will sell for quite a bit more than a car that’s chock-full of crumbs, dust, and debris, and has stained upholstery. But you don’t want to spend an entire weekend detailing your interior. What should you do? Follow this simple 6-step guide, of course! Let’s get started.

1. Take Everything Out Of The Car

Yes, everything. Trash, personal items, jumper cables, windshield wiper fluid that’s been knocking around your trunk, floor mats – take out everything that’s not essential for the vehicle to function. Throw away the junk, and keep the rest of your stuff outside of your car. You don’t want it getting in the way when you clean.

2. Start With A Thorough Vacuuming

You can use your own vacuum, though a shop-vac or a vacuum at a coin-op carwash often will offer better cleaning power, and be more flexible. Give your car a thorough once-over. Begin with the driver’s side, getting the vacuum into all of the nooks and crannies where junk, trash, and crumbs may be hiding.

Vacuum one section at a time. After you finish the driver’s side, move to the passenger’s side, then the rear seats, the trunk, and so on. Take your time, and make sure you get as much debris as you can.

3. Remember To Move Seats And Other Interior Components Around While Cleaning

While vacuuming, make sure you move your seats around – for example, you should move your driver’s seat all the way up, and make sure that you vacuum around the rails, and underneath it. Fold down your seats, and vacuum the back of the seat. If you have an SUV or another car with compartments underneath the seats, make sure you vacuum these, as well – they can collect quite a bit of debris.

4. Wipe Down Every Surface In Your Car

You can use a general-purpose cleaner to wipe down plastic, finished wood, and metal components of your car. Leather cleaner should be used for any leather components. Take the time to wipe down these surfaces thoroughly.

You will also likely want to dust before you do this step, as this will help you wipe down each surface more effectively. Again, work in sections, doing small parts at a time, and taking your time to be thorough.

5. Consider Renting A Hot Water Extractor For Upholstery

If you have an upholstered car, a hot water extractor can help you restore the condition of your seats, and remove tough stains and dirt. Commonly used for carpets, you can rent one of these at a home improvement store like Lowe’s or Home Depot, and some high-end car washes have one at their facility.

If your car is upholstered in leather, you should use a leather soap to clean the leather, and oil the seats or treat them with a leather protector, to ensure dirt and stains are removed.

6. Remember The Trunk

Chances are, your trunk is a bit more dirty than the rest of your car. That’s fine – it doesn’t have to be squeaky-clean – but take the time to vacuum, wipe down, and treat the trunk, and get rid of major trash, debris, and stains. Car buyers will be looking at every part of the car – so don’t neglect the trunk!

Sell Your Car After Detailing It – Get The Best Deal!  

This detailing guide is simple, and the best way to get a clean car without spending hours going over car components with a toothbrush, specialized chemical cleaners, and expensive polishing supplies. By following these tips, you can maximize the sale or trade-in value of your car.

Looking to sell a car? At Ride Time, we offer market-leading trade-in rates for used cars in Winnipeg and Canada! We’d be happy to buy your car – even if you choose not to purchase a vehicle from us!

Come in today for a free appraisal. There’s no commitment, and you can get a great rate on your used car, and shop our selection of high-quality vehicles


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