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[<< Prev][Next >>] Post: July 19th 2011
Home+Grown Interior

We our continuing with our installation of Home+Grown. For those of you that are not familiar with Home+Grown (get used to it!) itís where one of Your Car Care REPs will walk you through a do it yourself maintenance, upgrade or car care procedure to your vehicle. Today Your Car Care REP Brian Nicholson will discuss how to properly protect your carís interior. Take it away B. Nick!

OK, when it comes to your car, you spend most of your time inside your ride so you should have it looking and smelling as good as you can. The type of interior you have will determine the type of products you will need to purchase for this episode of Home+Grown. Are you ready? Lets get into our equipment list:

Tools Needed:

Upholstery cleaner
Vinyl protectant
Leather cleaner
Leather conditioner
Anti Fog Glass cleaner
Vacuum (plus attachments)
Microfiber cleaning cloth

1. Start out by grabbing your deodorizer and removing your floor mats. Apply deodorizer to all your removed floor mats and interior carpet. Do not vacuum removed floor mats immediately. Let them sit. Weíll get back to them in a little while. Next, get your vacuum. A car vacuum is perfect to work with, but a home vac can do the trick if you have attachments to get into those small areas. Vacuum between the seats; under the seats; on top of the dashboard console; door panels and all other possible areas in which dirt and salt can build up. Even vacuum the roof or ceiling of your ride. Dust tends to rise and get lodged up there. One good thing about vacuuming is that you tend to find a handful of coins or other useless items left by passengers. Iím still trying to find out who left that pocket-size pepper spray (??) in my ride.

2. Lets move on to the top of our interior Ė essentially your rides ceiling. Depending on what type of interior you have (vinyl, cloth material, leather), use your upholstery cleaner to clean off your ceiling. Cleaning will also loosen up dirt, dust or microbes that might have risen to your ceiling and gotten lodged up there. If you have noticeable water damage in your ceiling, it could mean you have a leak somewhere. Most commonly itís because of a faulty sun/moonroof. Upholstery cleaner can remove most of these water stains. The brands that we like and recommend are Blue Coral upholstery cleaner or Armor All carpet & upholstery cleaner.

3. Moving onto your windows. Grab your glass cleaner. Note that we listed Anti-Fog glass cleaner. You ever notice that when you get into your car on a cold evening your windows immediately begin to fog up? Thatís because your body heat is changing the temperature of the inside of your cockpit. This immediate change in temperature causes condensation to appear on your windows. Using an Anti-Fog glass cleaner can help prevent foggy windows. We like to use Rain-X brand Anti-Fog glass cleaner to prevent any window fogging. Use your glass cleaner to remove dust, smears, fingerprints, etc from all glass panels. If you have tinted film on your windows do not over saturate it. This will cause tint film to bubble.

4. OK its time to break out your vinyl protectant. Use it with your microfiber cleaning cloth to wipe down your dashboard, steering wheel and console covers. Use your Q-tips to get into crevasses and other fine areas where your cloth cannot remove dirt. You will be surprised at how much dirt a Q-tip can remove. Cleaning your dashboard doesnít only give your interior a beautiful lustrous shine, it also protects it from drying out. Once a dashboard dries out, extreme high temperatures can cause it to crack. This is not a pretty site and expensive to repair. There are several manufactures out there that make dashboard protectants. Brands we recommend are Black Magic, Vinylex and Nu Vinyl.

5. Depending on the type of seats that you have you will be using your upholstery cleaner, vinyl protectant or leather cleaner to clean seats. Use leather cleaner to remove marks that have gotten on seats from jeans or other articles of clothing that tend to rub off on light-colored leather seats. Use sparingly as you donít want to over saturate leather. Clean all seats thoroughly, back front and sides.

6. After seats are dry, grab your leather conditioner (if you have leather seats of course). This will ensure that your leather seats wonít dry out or crack. It will stay soft and supple, while giving them a noticeable shine. There are several leather cleaners and conditioners out there. We prefer to use Lexol or Zymol brands. Lexol comes in a handy wipe package thatís easy to use especially in between major interior cleanings.

7. Grab your car vac for a final vacuum of your previously removed floor mats. Make sure you thoroughly get these floor mats clean. Dirt and odors can really accumulate on these mats (especially if you travel with a pet) thatís why we applied our deodorizer at the beginning of our task list and let it sink in. This ensures maximum neutral odor to your floor mats and cars interior. Note: your deodorizer should be a neutralizer/bacteria killerÖ it should not contain any kind of fragrances. Continue to do a final vac inside your ride to gather up any fallen dirt or dust that collected while cleaning out your interior.

8. Now that your interior is sparkling clean itís almost complete. No interior is complete without a fragrance that makes it smell as good as it looks. Every one has their personal scents and fragrances that they prefer so weíre not going to suggest a particular scent. But how these scents are released through your cars cabin is important. If youíre still driving around with that little green tree hanging from your rear view mirror let Your Car Care REPs get you up to date. Your air freshener should not only smell good but should conform to the look of your interior as well. Air freshener products that we recommend are those that clip onto your air ventilation system or those that attach to your headrest. These products not only smell good but also conform to the look of your cockpit. They release a controlled scent according to how much air flows through them. These products come in a variety of scents and donít obstruct your driving vision Ė that really stinks. So there you have it. This is Your Car Care REP, ďB. NickĒ with this edition of Home+Grown.

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