How Clean Do You Keep the Interior of Your Cars?

Just curious what the range of acceptability is? Years ago I had a co-worker who’s SUV was a total mess, the floors, seats were coated w/ various dried out breakfasts from years past. Toast crumbs, jam, yogurt, bacon pieces, eggs, coffee stains, you name it. Apparently his kids would eat breakfast in the van while being driven to school. Another co-worker’s car, by contrast, was spotless, he wouldn’t even let me drink a lidded cup of coffee while I was riding in his car. Nothing on any of the seats at all, nothing in the visible storage areas. I’m sort of in the middle, gym bag and a pile of newspapers I plan to read (eventually) on the rear seat. Pencils, pens, flashlights, small tools in the visible storage areas. A flattened can or two I’ve found in parking lots, which I put on the rear floor. I’ll eventually deposit those into my home recycling bin. A post-it note on the dashboard reminding me to do something. Not much in the way of food products, except maybe some cookie crumbs here and there.

So what does your car interior look like?

I keep the inside of my car clean. I vacuum regularly, condition the leather seats once a month, wipe down the dash when it is dusty, and clean all interior glass about once a month. People get in my three year old car and think it is brand new. But I do allow eating and drinking in my car since I clean so often.

I don’t mind if other people’s cars aren’t as clean as mine, but I do object to having to clear off my seat or make space for my feet in the foot well if you knew I was going to be traveling with you. And I HATE the smell of cigarette smoke saturated into carpets and upholstery.

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You aren’t alone on this point. Years ago I offered to drive a group of 4 other co-workers to lunch. One of them objected to riding in my car b/c I had to first remove the gym bag and newspapers to the trunk. So I suggested he drive instead, and we’ll all ride w/him … lol … He couldn’t object at this point, so away we go in his econo-box Hyundai. His car interior was pretty good, leather seats, nothing in the way, but not spotless either. Worst part, the car had a questionable rear seat ride quality, but hey, I’m not paying for the gas, it’s a compromise :wink:

Quite clean. Not OCD clean. But pretty darn clean. Especially windows as I do get a bit OCD with windows.

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Depends on which car but I don’t spend much time in them anymore so just keep what I need in mine. I’ll blow it out if I expect guests.

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Wifes car is the transport vehicle, She just vacuumed and cleaned a week ago. Mine, cluttered a tad, back seats folded down to hold the clubs and leave room for when she uses it to go shopping. Noticed today the dash is a little dusty, leave it till spring I thought. We do get an occasional golf day in Dec. And Jan, no reason to move the clubs. No food garbage but Gatorade for the course as we walk the golf course.

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I try to keep my cars relatively clean, meaning nothing which will smell or attract vermin. I never eat or drink in my cars, and I don’t allow anyone else to either. The ONLY exception is bottled water.

I don’t bother to vacuum, but I do clean the hard surfaces with paper towels and Windex when they get dusty, and pull the floor mats to dump out the dirt and gravel which accumulates there.

I keep music CDs in the front door pockets and coins, etc. in the center storage bin. Other than that, I do not keep stuff inside the car, and I certainly don’t allow garbage to accumulate.

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Mine is very clean. The only objects sitting out are the black umbrella and black snow brush on the black floor behind the driver’s seat. Everything in the trunk is in one black bin. Although it doesn’t do a perfect job, I have a cordless hand vac right next to my car in the garage that I use on the floor mats as soon as it’s needed. For winter, I have a second set of floor mats, where I will let the salt go for a month or so before trying to clean that up. Careful eating and drinking is fine, but of course I’d clean up any crumbs or spills immediately. My car is seven years old, but I’ve had more than one person ask if it’s brand new.

My wife keeps a few more things out in her car, but it’s her car and her decision (although I sometimes move things to the cargo area when vacuuming just as a gentle suggestion).

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I use a leaf blower to get all the dust and debris out of the cabin believe it or not.It takes seconds! :grinning::grinning:


No leaf blower but I might try it with my shop vac blowing instead of sucking!

I keep mine clean. My wife leaves gum wrappers, receipts, etc in her door pockets. I always throw that stuff out as soon as I stop. I clean the interior of her car every time I do an oil change on it. Vacuum the carpets, leather cleaner/conditioner, etc. She’s not “messy” with her car. I’d say she keeps it cleaner than average, to be honest. But…I’m probably borderline OCD, although I don’t care for the interior dressings on the dash and trim panels all that much.

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? This is inside my truck today. Hey, if you’re going to drive old junk like me, it might as well be clean old junk.

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I think Checker Motor Company had the right idea with cabs that interiors that could be hosed out at night.
I often transport musicians with their instruments in my Toyota Sienna minivan. The college students I transport are very respectful and don’t drink or eat in the van. It’s the geezer musicians that have spilled coffee and other beverages. One couple my age when we went 50 miles to play a gig, set up a smorgasbord between the first and second row of seats and passed food to all the passengers.
I have a shop vac that I use to clean out the interior. I also have a Bissell “Little Green Machine” that I use once a year to clean the upholstery.

Our car’s about four of them,all pretty clean,all with weather tech floor mats.twice a year interior detailing before and after winter with body waxed too,vacuum,armor all the dashboards,clean glove compartment taking old paperworks etc. also the trunk area checked also,spare for air pressure all the tools check.

I like the leaf blower idea, but it wouldn’t work for me b/c I have various notes, receipts, other paper stuff I want to keep. Off-topic, but I use the blowing technique to clean the underside-coils (i.e. condenser) of my refrigerator . Works really good at getting almost all the dust off. Once the fridge is pulled out, takes just a couple minutes. I use a shop vac in blow-mode rather than a leaf blower for that job. If you decide to try this, be sure to wet an old sheet and place it out it front, to catch the dust that’s blown out. It’s hard to believe that much dust could accumulate in 6 months, but it does somehow…

We had 2 dogs and 2 cats and a fridge with underside coils, what a mess. Got the last fridge with rear mounted coils, probably 20 years and have not had to clean them once. Never hosed a car condenser or radiator but definitely have done AC, maybe once every 5 years.

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I use compressed air and got a whopper shop vac mounted on the wall for use once in a while.

I have a standing rule of “No food or drink in my cars”. Need to eat something? We’ll stop at a restaurant/gas station and you can get something to eat. But you won’t be eating it in the car. This dramatically cuts down on trash in my cars. No wrappers, no petrified french fries that fell between the console and the seat, no spills, etc. I really only need to give the interior a decent cleaning maybe once a season. The interior does get a full-on detail twice a year (coincides with the exterior detail).

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Very clean. I have shop-vac which I hardly use now since a couple of the local car washes offer FREE vacuums. Just drive up and vacuum vehicle and then drive away. During winter I’ll also wash it.

Every spring and then once or twice before winter I do a deep cleaning. I have a nice portable steam cleaner. Winter months with road salt and sand that gets on boots will end up in the vehicles. I also have winter mats made by WeatherTech.

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Heh heh. I always have coffee or coke, and cars are made to use. I will say though that I have had cappuccino or whatever it is spilled on my carpet and there is no way to get it out. One was on red carpet and the other on black carpet. Creamy milky junk in coffee? Way to ruin a cup of coffee.

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I keep mine clean. Absolutely no trash on the floor or in door pockets, etc. I have a small floor “over the hump” trash bin for any trash such as used tissues. And that gets cleared out several times a week.

The interior does get dusty and some grunge tracked in on the floor mats, primarily the drivers footwell. But I keep the car vacuumed out and interior hard surfaces wiped down periodically.

In the trunk I have a pair of tote boxes I put grocery and other purchases in and/or the occasional odd items. And my hiking pole lives in the trunk for days I need it for stability when walking.

I do drink water in the car and sometimes a soda but very rarely eat in the car. And the used containers get removed at the next stop.

Only things visible in my car are a box of tissues on the passenger seat, an umbrella stowed in a seat pocket, and the little trash bin on the back floor where I can easily reach it. The CD travel case lives in the center console storage bin along with a few odds and ends.

Basically, I’m not obsessive but do keep a clean car. And no one is allowed to smoke in it or trash it or make a food mess in it.