Having a clean car interior is one of life’s little luxuries. Making an effort to stay ahead of the stains, dirt and dust that accumulate as a result of daily use can sometimes seem like a losing battle, but it also goes a long way toward protecting the investment you’ve made in your car. At trade-in time, a Kia that’s had a lifetime’s worth of interior care is going to be worth significantly more than one that’s had years of spilled coffee and granola bar wrappers strewn about the cabin that have gone ignored. Let’s take a look at a few cleaning tips that can help you keep your Kia’s passenger compartment looking its best at all times.
It can be very useful to divide your vehicle’s interior into those areas you can take care of yourself and those that are best left to the professional detailers at your Kia dealership. Basic tasks such as vacuuming up dirt and rocks from your carpets and removing and vacuuming floor mats are all easy enough to add to a regular interior cleaning schedule – as is wiping down cloth seats using a basic fabric cleaning spray, a firm bristle brush and a warm cloth.
Keeping your vehicle’s windshield, side window and rear window glass clean is also something you should try to stay on top of, as fingerprints, condensation and grime can build up and impede visibility. Standard glass cleaners – the same as what you would use on your windows at home – work perfectly in an automotive application, especially when applied with a soft microfiber cloth. Paper towels can be used in a pinch, but these can leave streaks on the glass that are frustrating to remove. One detailer’s trick: Try using newspaper to buff your windows after wiping excess glass cleaner with a cloth or a paper towel. You’ll be amazed at the streak-free shine.
Microfiber cloths are also an excellent choice for cleaning the plastic surfaces in your automobile, used in conjunction with a specialized liquid cream or spray cleaner. A good shop vacuum with a set of car-detailing attachments will also help get into the places where dirt and residue hide. A cheap paintbrush can help get dust out of hard-to-reach, sensitive areas like audio system controls and vents.
Plastic and vinyl are found throughout your Kia’s interior, and it’s important to choose a cleaning product that not only gets the dirt out, but also protects each surface from the harmful rays of the sun. Look for a cleaner that leaves a natural finish rather than a glossy finish, especially when cleaning your dash. This can help to prevent a glare problem on your dashboard.
After vacuuming, if you notice any ground-in stains or dirt that just doesn’t seem to lift out, you should consult with your Kia dealership’s detailing team about having them use a professional carpet extractor to safely remove these ugly spots. Professional carpet extraction cleans the carpet with steam and mild chemicals, and then extracts liquid from the carpet without soaking the pad beneath, which can lead to mold and even greater problems.
Leather upholstery is another special cleaning case. While there are many over-the-counter products available to help condition and treat leather, cleaning leather seats with the wrong products can remove the dyes and natural oils that are needed to keep the covering soft, supple and pleasing to the eye. Professional Kia detailers have the expertise and specialized leather cleaning products that will keep your seats looking their best for as long as you own your car.
Car care professionals at your Kia dealership are waiting to help you decide which aspects of your vehicle’s interior you feel comfortable cleaning yourself, and which areas should be left to their experienced team of detailers.