Throughout the winter, it’s almost impossible to keep the inside of your car clean, with muddy shoes, wet leaves and sodden coats bringing the outside in. This can spell disaster for car mats, carpets and upholstery, and leave your car smelling damp and covered in nasty germs and bacteria.
Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep your car interior clean in winter, and we show you how in this practical car care guide.
Protecting Carpets and Upholstery
With rain and snow comes mud and moisture – bad news for your interior fabrics and trim. After a few trips out in wintry weather, the inside of your car can start to look like a ploughed field, especially if you’re travelling with kids and the family dog.
Here, we look at ways to clean and protect car upholstery in the winter.
Mats take the brunt of winter, so you need to take care of them. We’d recommend investing in a set of rubber mats for winter use, as these are water and dirt resistant, can be easily washed, and offer the best protection for the carpet underneath.
If you’d prefer to stick with carpet mats, take extra care to protect them against the worst of the weather. Consider keeping another pair of shoes in the car so you can change out of your muddy boots after walking the dog, or else cover the mats with plastic or newspaper.
With mud and leaves clinging to a wet carpet, your car can start to smell and if you don’t clean the stains quickly, they can be hard to remove.
To clean interior carpet that’s suffering the effects of winter, make sure it’s completely dry before you try to remove any mud or dirt, as scrubbing it while it’s wet will only make it worse. Hoover first to get rid of loose dirt, before using a carpet cleaner to scrub the affected area.
Leave the carpet to dry again, before applying our Odour Neutraliser spray, which removes bad smells from carpet fibres. Doing this every time you take the car out in bad weather can be a bit of a chore, so invest in some mats or carpet covers which you can wipe down more easily.
Top tip: Invest in a rubber liner to protect your car’s boot from wet shopping bags and coats, muddy boots and of course, a big soggy dog.
If you’re caught in a downpour, you just want to be able to jump in your car for shelter without worrying about the interior. Unfortunately, car seats will absorb the rainwater from your coat, especially if they’re made from upholstered fabric and not leather.
While the seats will dry on their own when left overnight, you should treat and clean them beforehand to avoid water and salt marks, and unpleasant odours. The brush head on our Upholstery & Carpet Cleaner is great for cleaning deep into seat fabric fibres, helping to left stains and odour. Spray the seats with an odour neutraliser before leaving them to dry, so they’ll smell fresh and good-as-new.
If you spend a lot of time in the car in winter, get yourself a set of seat protector covers, like these, and you won’t have to worry about piling into your car wearing a sodden coat after walking the dog or running from the office.