18 Car Parts You May Be Forgetting to Clean

We use our cars every day. For many people, being alone in your car feels more like your space than your living room at home. You commute in your car, take adventures in your car, and sometimes just enjoy a nice sunset from the driver’s seat. We may remember to clear out the car trash and sweep out the autumn leaves that blow in. We even remember to regularly wipe down your console screen and steering wheel. What we don’t remember to do is get down into the nooks and crannies armed with an Armor All cloth and the vacuum hose. We don’t remember to wipe the wipers and scoop the sticky change from the door pockets.

When you’re looking for that awesome feeling of a pristinely clean car (or you’re about to have company you want to impress) use this checklist to find those areas of your car we all forget to clean.


Cleaning Your Car’s Interior Nooks & Crannies

  1. Inside Your Sun Visors
  2. Pull down your sun visors and see what happens. Tall drivers who rarely use the visor often find old mail, maps, notes, and take-out menus shoved up there. You might find an old pair of shades or even cash. Or just dust and a mirror that could use a polish.
  3. Deep in the Door Pockets and Cup Holders
  4. Reach into the door pockets. When you scoop the first layer of debris, scoop again for the small and heavy stuff. For busy drivers and families, the door pockets and cup holders become universal receivers, which means they need constant cleaning. You might also find a few dollars in change, old lozenges, and long-lost hair clips.
  5. Between the Seat and Console
  6. You clean under the seats, but what about that unreachable space between the front seats and the center console. If you don’t find a mummified fry and a straw wrapper, you’ll find loose change, pen caps, or lost buttons instead.
  7. The Far Reaches of the Dash
  8. You clean the buttons and screens of your dash, but what about the long stretch toward the windshield. This space gathers dust and we rarely clean it because its hard to reach.
  9. Between the Back Seat Halves
  10. Your vacuum hose can fit between the seat cushion sections, but don’t forget the deeper space between the two sections of cushion that fold or are removed separately. Fold down one half of the back seat, then the other to help clear the space of crumbs.
  11. Under the Floor Mats
  12. You vacuumed your floor mats, now lift them to discover an ecosystem of dirt and pebbles under the mats. To remove the floor mat under the driver, you may need to turn small plastic bolts at each corner.
  13. Around the Door Jams
  14. Open your car doors and polish the limbo space between the interior and exterior. Scoop dust out of the spaces and wipe down the area where dirt and grime can collect.
  15. Behind the Pedals
  16. When you remove the driver seat mat, take time to clear the entire space behind the pedals. This area often fills with leaves and pebbles kicked away by the driver or fallen off your shoes.
  17. Around the Front Seat Tracks
  18. Under your seats is easy enough to scoop out, now check all the way around the tracks of your front seats. Include the space between the cabin frame near the door and the outside of each track seat.
  19. The Trunk or Hatchback Storage
  20. Clean, wipe, and vacuum out your trunk or hatchback storage space. Clean the inside of your trunk or hatchback door as well.
  21. In the Spare Tire Space
  22. Now lift away your trunk or hatchback foam liner to reveal the spare tire space. Lift out the tool kit and clean the space. Consider storing an extra first aid kit and emergency supplies when rebuilding the storage space.


 Keeping the Exterior Details Clean

  1. Wipe the Wiper Blades
  2. The smoothness of your wiper blades determines how well your wipers work and how long they last. If you remember to wipe them and clean the grooves of leaves every now and then, you’ll get better performance in both ways.
  3. Polish the Door Handles
  4. Your door handles see the outside world and are high-touch. Polish your handles even if you quick wash the rest of the exterior.
  5. Window Exterior
  6. Washing the inside and outside of your car windows is the best way to get a clear view all the way around the vehicle and make your passengers feel more welcome.
  7. Scrub Out the Wheel Wells
  8. Wheel wells pick up mud, sticks, and other debris.  Buildup can weigh down your car and/or damage the tires. Clean out your wheel wells for better appearance and performance.
  9. Clean the Front Grille
  10. The front grille of your car is your air conditioner intake. Use a tough spray of water to get into the deeper areas that are tough to reach through the mesh.
  11. Clear the Exhaust Pipe
  12. Your exhaust pipe sees a lot of filth and builds up some serious grime. Spend a little time scrubbing the exhaust back to a gleam.
  13. Undercarriage
  14. The best way to clean your undercarriage at home is with a simple oscillating sprinkler. Place the sprinkler under your car and let it do a few passes, then move the sprinkler to get the full length of your car.


Taking just one weekend afternoon every few weeks can make your car much more enjoyable to drive and ride in. Whether you’re polishing your commuting vehicle to feel fresh and clean every morning, preparing your car to chauffeur someone you care about, or are recovering a well-used car from a messy owner, this checklist can help you find every nook and cranny. Switch on the radio, grab a few shop towels, and you’re ready to go.

Once your car is vacuumed and polished, you can make other decisions like how to update the appearance and personalize your ride. Elite Window Tint can help you adapt your vehicle to your desired style, passenger comfort, or brand design with an expert team of vehicle enthusiasts ready to help you. Contact us today to consult on your tinting plans.

Kenley Wallis