Your Complete Guide to How to Vacuum a Car

Owning a car requires a certain amount of upkeep and maintenance to maintain the appearance, performance, and efficiency. Keeping the car clean on the outside is common, but many people neglect their car interiors. There are several benefits to enjoy when you clean the car interior regularly, including the elimination of odors, keeping your clothes clean when driving, reduced wear on carpets, removing harmful allergens, and maintaining the value of the car for resale. Many car owners don’t know how to vacuum a car properly, and this is important if you want to make the best use of a car vacuum. In this article, we will look at how to vacuum a car without causing damage.

The Importance of the Right Car Vacuum:

Car Vacuum

The first thing to consider is the car vacuum that you will use to clean the interior. This cleaning tool needs to be a mobile handheld vacuum that is bagless, and it should have plenty of power. A cordless vacuum cleaner will allow you to access every inch of the car upholstery, carpets and rugs easily.

A professional car valet will have a wide array of attachments to clean the various surfaces, nooks, and crannies throughout the interior. Some of the more useful attachments include dusting brushes, a crevice tool, cleaning wands, and a bendable hose for the cleaning tools.


Start with the Rubbish and Your Belongings Left in the Car:

To start cleaning, remove all the trash and lose personal items that tend to find their way into the car. Place these items in the trash or secure the personal belongings in a safe place as you work. Don’t forget the floors, holders, door pockets, and other places where these items tend to congregate. Now you’re ready to learn how to vacuum a car quickly and efficiently.

Steps of How to Vacuum a Car:

It’s easier to tackle this task if the cleaning process is divided into three main areas, they are the carpets, seats, and interior trim. Let’s look at each cleaning area in more detail.

How to Vacuum Carpets in a Car:

Step 1: Remove and Clean the Floor Mats in the Car

These can be cleaned separately with a standard vacuum or garden hose if they are rubber. Shake the loose material loose before you begin, and this task is much easier. If you’re using the car vacuum, a multipurpose attachment works well to suck the dirt from the mat. Make long and slow passes at around one inch per second for the best results.

These passes should be overlapped to remove the maximum amount of dirt. The thin cleaning nozzle works well on impacted dirt that needs to be loosened. When the floor mats are clean and dry and the car interior is clean, they can be replaced.

Step 2: A Final Check of the Car for Loose Objects

There may be some loose objects left on the floor that you don’t want to suck up into the vacuum cleaner to be lost forever in some cases. Set aside any items that you find and want to keep until the car interior is finished.

Step 3: Vacuum the Carpets in the Car

The multipurpose attachment can be used to remove the dust and dirt from the carpet with slow overlapping passes. Each section of the carpet should be completed before moving on to another area. Start with the driver’s side because this area is the most used and usually the dirtiest section of carpet in the entire car interior.

Step 4: Vacuum Hard to Reach Areas in the Car

Vacuum carpets in a car

A thin upholstery nozzle should be used to clean the crevices and other hard to reach areas. This is usually the corners and areas where the carpet meets the plastic trim. Another problem area is under the console, and a long reach may be needed to clean the dust and dirt from those areas. Take care to avoid scratching the plastic trim with the nozzle because there brush is not required.

Step 5: Vacuum the Trunk

The trunk is often overlooked during detailing and dirtiness will be determined by how often this area is used and what’s been transported. The process for cleaning the carpets in the trunk is the same as the process outlined above.

Vacuum the Car Seats

The cleaning process will vary depending on the car seat material, such as: fabric, leather, or synthetic leather. But this area of the car, vacuuming is very similar.

Step 1: Vacuum the Surfaces of the Car Seats

Make overlapping slow passes with the car vacuum in the same way as the carpet vacuuming process shown above. If the seats are fabric, use a multipurpose tool and if they are leather or synthetic leather attach the cleaning brush. Remove as much dust and dirt as possible and work slowly to prevent scratches on hard seat surfaces.

Step 2: Vacuum the Crevices

The pivot points where the seat pad meets the seat back are the usual locations for dust, dirt, food particles and other debris. Use the thin crevice cleaning tool to remove this debris from the seat joints and seams.

How to Vacuum a Car Interior Trim

The plastic and/or wood trim surfaces can act as a magnet for dust that can cause drying and cracking.

Step 1: Install the Correct Attachment to Vacuum

To clean the interior trim, you should install a round attachment with softer bristles to a flexible vacuum hose. A brushless attachment should not be used because it will scratch the plastic surfaces.

Step 2: Vacuum the Trim

Run the attachment over the trim surfaces with a light touch to remove the dust and dirt. The tight problem areas include the instrument cluster, shifter crevices, rear seat trim, and air vents. These areas may need a few passes at different angles to lift the dust.

At this point, the car has been vacuumed thoroughly, and this is when the glass can be cleaned and the surfaces are polished with your favorite car cleaning products. When you’re done it’s time to reinstall the floor mats and place the items that you need back in the car. If the car is vacuumed every month, this process is much easier because the dirt and dust doesn’t have time to accumulate.

FAQ’s-How to Vacuum a Car

How do you vacuum hard to reach places in a car?

The exact cleaning tools that you have will vary depending on the car vacuum that you choose. The most useful tool for hard to reach areas is the appropriately named crevice tool. But, there may be other cleaning wands that can be tested to clean various areas without scratching the trim.

How do you vacuum water out of a car?

How to Vacuum a Car

If you want to vacuum water out of the car, you’re going to need a wet/dry vacuum cleaner that will usually double as a carpet shampoo applicator. A full description of this process is beyond the scope of this article. But, as a cautionary note, it’s important to read the owner’s manual carefully and to ventilate the car after use to speed up the drying process.

How do you clean car seats?

Fabric car seats should be vacuumed with a brushless multipurpose attachment. Leather or synthetic seats need to be brushed clean with a round brush attachment. Remove as much dirt and dust from the surfaces to prevent scratches and wear and tear on the car seats.

Conclusion-How to Vacuum a Car

Now that you know how to vacuum a car properly, it’s important to establish a routine to make the process even easier. Cleaning the exterior and interior of the car on a monthly basis will prevent the accumulation of too much dirt and dust. This will help you to enjoy your car and maintain the value for a future resale when you’re ready to part with it.