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How to clean your car’s interior

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Maintaining a clean and uncluttered interior is easy and makes you look smart and organised.

Maintaining a clean and uncluttered interior is easy and makes you look smart and organised.  

By Mustafa Ziraba & Jude katende

Posted  Thursday, June 12  2014 at  01:00
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Some car owners mind their car’s exterior because it is what the public sees. But taking no care of the interior is something many car owners practice. Mustafa Ziraba explains how easy it is to maintain a clean interior.

Nothing can be more upsetting than getting bashed right in the middle of town or even seeing a dent on your beautiful vehicles. Damage like that takes so little effort to create but the repair cost can sometimes be enough to make you wail in despair. At the very least, you will experience a great misery brought on by the cost estimate by your mechanic. pg 4

Not less than 17 minor car accidents happen in Kampala every day, okay I just made up that statistic but I doubt I am far off. Some people are calm while some seem like hell has broken loose. Fact of the matter is, we all want our cars to look as good as new, well up until you throw in the towel, usually after a year or two when you realise you simply cannot keep up.

Obsession with the exterior
More often than not, people tend to focus more on the car’s exterior as they wash and polish it frequently, but the interior is often neglected. The primary reason would be most cars have edgy interiors and this makes the cleaning up process much more difficult.

However, it is advisable to clean the car’s interior at least once a month and more frequently if your car serves several people, especially children, who might pour anything and everything in your back seats. You know that feeling when you get into someone’s car and it just doesn’t smell right.


Costly venture
Sending your car for interior cleaning every so often can be really costly, but because of self-assumption that you do not know how to clean a car’s interior, you would just send it to the professionals. However, here are some simple steps that will teach you how to clean a car’s interior.

How to clean inside your car
First of all, remove the floor mats and place them on a clean surface. For rubber or vinyl mats, you can scrub and clean them by using multi-purpose cleaners or suitable detergents. Do not wet your embroidery car mats because they take a longer time to dry up.

If they do not dry up completely before you put them back into your car, the moisture will turn into odour. For these car mats, you should use the vacuuming method. Rubber mats are cheaper and easier to clean compared to rug mats. Then, start vacuuming the car seats and the car boot. If you vacuum frequently, it actually prolongs the lifespan of your seats and carpets. Pay more attention to the edges in your car, especially the ones that are hidden and seldom vacuumed. Go underneath and between the seats to make sure that all the parts are thoroughly cleaned.

What detergents should I use?
For leather seats, there are specially formulated cleaners for sale in supermarkets. Do not use liquid detergents or solutions because this will speed up the aging process of your leather seats. Read and follow the instructions of the cleaners correctly before using them on your seats for best results.

You can clean your dashboard with multi-purpose cleaners and a damp cloth.
Lastly, and more importantly, keep all the trash out of your car, yes you people who think the back seats are a rubbish bin. Most of us spend eight to 15 hours a week inside our cars, so it makes sense that we should keep them neat and tidy.

FLOOR MATS

Just like with car seats at times being abused by occupants other than you, floor mats too can at times get messed up though not in a “bloody” way. I like that sound bite, “It’s going to be bloody!” It was made by one of our MPs. But seriously speaking, car owners want their floor mats free from dirt. Rainy days just bring shudders to their brains. Some car owners treasure their cars like babies and perhaps more than their spouses especially we men.

From the bloody boots of abattoir men to the grassy sneakers of soccer fans including your children, dirty feet and your carpeting simply don’t play well together. You can boost your interior with a set of quality floor mats.

After acquiring the car, you may have silently told yourself that you were going to do everything to keep it clean. But, lately, thanks to spilled food and beverages, muddy shoes on your car’s floors are starting to look awful.

Carpet versus rubber floor mats
Floor mats come in several different styles. Which type do you go with?
When deciding whether to go with rubber or carpet floor mats, there is a lot to take into consideration.
Custom floor mats add style and comfort and are a great option. Carpet floor mats come in several different colours.

That said, rubber mats offer the best protection. Not only are they easy to clean, when washed they dry faster than the carpet mats. Rubber floor mats are great for all-weather protection. They are tough enough to keep mud and dirt off your carpets. And, they keep spilled beverages and food contained, making it easy to clean up.

You can look for those with your car logo if available at places such as Kisekka Market among other places dealing in car accessories. They will accentuate your car’s value and make it seem they are the original ones (in case the car is old).

Pricing varies with material and type of vehicle. A set of floor mats for most mid-sized cars starts at Shs40,000 to about Shs80,000 while for Toyota Ipsums and Toyota Noah, they are priced at Shs100,000 including mats for the boot. But it also depends on one’s negotiation skills because some dealers at Kisekka sell Noah mats at Shs120,000.

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