Q. My car is full of a winter’s worth of trodden-in crisps, brazil nuts, chocolate, mud, dog hairs and worse. Any spring cleaning tips? I really don’t know where to start.
SG, Banstead, Surrey
A. Pick up all the loose debris and then remove the floor mats, which can be vacuumed and wiped down. While leaving them to air-dry, vacuum the carpets and, assuming they’re not leather, the seats too. Try to use a regular household vacuum; car vacs have less suction and struggle with an excess of animal hair.
Use a damp cloth (or some interior cleaning products such as Halfords Dash Wipes, £2.49 for 24 at halfords.com) to wipe down any plastic, vinyl and fabric surfaces, starting at the top with the headlining before moving to the dashboard, centre console, seat backs, door trims and so on. In order to dust hard-to-get-at places such as air vents or around switches, an unused, soft paintbrush is ideal.If your car has leather seats or trim it will need regular treatment or it can become dry and eventually crack (and once it’s cracked it stays that way). The CarPlan Leather Connoisseur Renovation Kit includes the cleaner, protector and cloths you need (£17.99, motor-world.co.uk).
To tackle the interior glass, try Black Diamond Quick Glass, which should remove greasy marks, nicotine, silicone residues and worse without smearing.
It also works on the exterior glass and mirrors. And don’t forget to include the boot and hatch area in your cleaning regime.
Dave Pollard has written several Haynes manuals and has tested just about every car-related accessory
GOT A PROBLEM?
Email your question to email@example.com or write to Car Clinic, Driving, The Sunday Times, 3 Thomas More Square, London E98 1ST, with a daytime phone number,
your address and as much detail about your car as possible. We can’t reply in person, so don’t send original documents or SAEs. Advice is given without legal responsibility.