Everyone loves a new car interior. The smell, the sheen—but these things can’t last forever, right? Sun and dust, not to mention daily use, kids, or pets, can cause a good bit of wear and tear over time. The good news is, there’s a lot you can do to keep your car interior looking, smelling, and shining like the day it rolled off the lot. Beaverton Toyota loves a well-maintained interior. Below they’ve provided some pro tips on keeping your Toyota car interior like new.
1. The Inside Is Just as Important as the Outside
Most people wash the exterior of their cars pretty frequently. The satisfaction of a clean, shiny car is reason enough. But frequent car washes are also important because dirt, dust, and other elements that dirty up your car’s exterior can damage the paint over time if the car isn’t cleaned often enough.
This is true on the inside as well. The dust and grime that accumulates naturally over time can damage interior surfaces just as badly. This is particularly true for leather and vinyl seating surfaces and dashboards. If you want to keep your interior looking new, it’s helpful to keep an interior spray detailer and a microfiber cloth in your car. Whenever you head out to wash your car, whether you’re a DIY kind of person or a drive-through wash fan, give your interior a good wipe-down at the same time. If you think of the inside of your car as just as important as the outside, you’ll start to think of a “car wash” as a whole-car task. Frequent wipe-downs will keep dust and grime from aging your car’s interior.
2. Sun Protection
The sun is one of the largest factors in producing wear and tear on your car’s interior. For this reason, many cars today come with window film. Window film keeps the harsh UV rays from fading and potentially cracking your car’s interior. If your car does not already have window film, experts suggest installing window film or having your windows professionally tinted.
There are also simpler things you can do. Try to park in shaded areas, especially at home and work, where your car probably spends most of its time. If you have a sunroof, make sure to close it before leaving your vehicle. When it comes to the sun, an ounce of prevention can help extend your car’s interior.
3. Choosing the Right Accessories
One of the other important preventative measures to take is protecting your floor. It’s likely that your car came with floor mats, but a small investment in all-weather floor liners will keep every inch of your floor protected. Even better? When you buy your floor liners from a Toyota Accessories store, you’ll get liners that were specifically engineered to fit your Toyota’s interior.
A word of warning, though, be careful about “protective” accessories that can actually damage your car’s interior. Many steering wheel covers and headrests—if not engineered for the make and model of your car—can cause odd fading patterns or discoloration in your vehicle interior over time. If you want to keep things looking new, do a bit of research before decking out the inside of your car, or be sure to get your accessories from a trusted Toyota dealership.
4. Home Cleaning
If you’re already wiping down your Toyota car interior when you wash your car’s exterior, you probably only need to do a deep clean every three months or so. The important part of home cleaning is to make sure you have the proper products for your car’s materials. Here are some home-cleaning tips from the pros:
- When cleaning your windshield, make sure to use a windscreen cleaner made especially for cars. The average household window cleaner contains ammonia which can damage your windshield and will definitely damage any tints or window treatments on your windscreen. You can find auto-glass cleaner in almost any store’s automotive section. When you clean, sit on the passenger side for better access to the whole area.
- Whether cleaning vinyl or leather, look for a matte-finish product rather than a glossy one. New cars are clean and have a matte finish. Shiny finishes won’t make your interior look new. They may also make dirt, dust, and grime more apparent.
- When you clean, make sure to apply whatever product you’re using to your microfiber rag and never to the car itself. Many products will leave a spray pattern on your surfaces if applied directly to the car.
- Vacuuming is key. Vacuuming is the simplest and most important part of home cleaning and, ideally, should be done every week. An upholstery brush is the most useful vacuum accessory. It’s not only for microfiber seats but also to get in the nooks and crannies of your vents and dash.
- If you have leather seats, consider using a leather conditioner and cleaner rather than leather polish. It can help maintain the life of the leather much better over time.
- If you’re looking for that new-car smell, make sure to have your heating and cooling system looked at by a pro. It’s much better to prevent odors than to try to cover them up with air fresheners.
5. Pro Detailing
While home cleaning is an easy and even satisfying task, sometimes you need help from the pros. Unless you’re the kind of person who loves researching all the parts of your car and stocking your garage with everything you need—a professional detailer can be a huge help. Detailers have all the equipment that most people don’t keep around. Wet-dry vacuums, tiny tools for the smallest crevices—for most people, the difference between home maintenance and a professional detail will be well worth the time and money.
Maybe you want to keep your Toyota’s interior fresh to keep up its resale value. Maybe you just love a brand-new, pristine interior like we do. Either way, these tips will have your car looking as perfect as the day you bought it.