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How to Clean the Interior of your Car before Selling

How to Clean the Interior of your Car before Selling

Not long ago, we put together a post outlining how to clean the outside of your car so it’s clean enough to sell to a dealership. The idea was to make your car look as good as it can so you can get the highest value you can.

 

We continue today with the interior. A car has to look good inside and out, which brings us to today’s topic. Clean the interior of your car before selling to match the gleaming exterior.

 

Clear out the car

 

Your first job when your clean the interior of your car is to clear out the trash, remove your personal items and depersonalize the interior of the car as much as possible. Clear out any ashtrays, door pockets, glovebox, trunk and under the seats.

 

Clear out everything that doesn’t need to be there, from candy wrappers to old parking tickets,

 

Vacuum the car

 

Next up, vacuuming. Remove any car mats and seat covers you might be using. Start with the car seats and work your way through carpets, nooks and crannies, trunk, under the seats, door pockets and anywhere you see dirt.

 

Note any areas that are dirty for later.

 

If you come up against dog hair or stubborn areas, use a firm brush to work it loose and suck it up with the vacuum.

 

Clean the mats

 

Lay the mats out on your drive or flat area to clean them. If they are rubber, give them a wipe down with a damp cloth and warm soapy water. If they are textures or carpeted, vacuum them and then wipe down any areas that need it.

 

Use your firm brush on any stubborn areas to work loose dirt and debris and vacuum up. Keep going until they look as good as they can.

 

Interior surfaces

 

Wipe down the dashboard and any surfaces with a dry cloth to remove as much dust and dirt as possible. Then use an old toothbrush or Q-tip in tighter areas, air vents, edges and those little recesses between trim elements.

 

Use an interior cleaning solution or warm soapy water to wipe down the surfaces until they are as clean as you can get them. Give stubborn dirt extra attention as required.

 

Do the same for the steering wheel, door cards and any surface in the car.

 

If you want to use a specific interior surface cleaner, go ahead. Some of them are more effective than others. If it makes the car look better and more sellable, it might be worth spending a few dollars on the right tool for the job.

 

Interior smells

 

Don’t be afraid to use a car air freshener if needed. If there is a source of smell in the car, try to identify and clean it. It could be old food or worse, so it’s better to clean it out than cover it up.

 

Never underestimate the power of smell to make a car attractive. While it won’t necessarily add value, it can help the appraiser or buyer view your car more positively, which is never a bad thing!

 

Making it look as good as it can when selling your car to a dealership may not get you more money but it increases the chances of a sale exponentially. That has to be worth doing, right?

 

For any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us here!

 

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