If you’ve ever sent your car away for a professional valet service, you’ll know how great the results can be. Vacuuming a car is a particularly challenging task, which requires know-how and the very best tools for the job.
With the right approach and a little practice, you can vacuum your car to a professional standard. However, you’ll need the best vacuum cleaner for cars, along with the necessary attachments and accessories. If you have those, you’re halfway there.
Here are a few tips for cleaning cars like the professionals.
Collect the tools you need
The most important tool you’re going to use is the vacuum cleaner itself. Ideally, it should be powerful, bagless and mobile. A handheld or cordless option allows you to access every inch of your car’s carpets and upholstery. Look online for the best vacuum cleaners for cars, and ask people for advice on discussion boards and Internet forums.
The average valeter has a vast array of vacuum attachments at their disposal. After all, there are several different surfaces, nooks and crannies to vacuum in the average car. Here are just a few of the accessories that will help you to achieve professional results:
- A selection of wands
- A crevice tool
- Dusting brushes
- A bendable accessory hose
Start by removing any rubbish from your car. Make sure you lift up or push forward seats to check for bits of paper, leaves, grass and general debris. Getting any of these things in your vacuum cleaner could damage it.
Remove all your possessions
Your car will be much easier to clean if it’s completely empty. This means you need to remove books, CDs, letters, stationery, drinks, mobile phone holders and anything else that isn’t attached or nailed down.
Start with a basic vacuuming
Using a relatively large attachment, give your upholstery and carpets a thorough once over. This will ensure that all of the most obvious debris and dirt is removed. The idea here is to get rid of any loose dirt, or anything that smaller attachments will struggle with.
Use brush attachments to dislodge dirt and dust
It’s amazing how much invisible dirt and dust lurk in a car’s carpets and upholstery. The smallest particles are often trapped deep in the fabric, which is why brushing your carpets and upholstery as you vacuum is a good idea. You’ll dislodge those particles, ensuring a better final result.
Use crevice tools for hard-to-reach areas
One of the things that separates the amateurs from the professionals is attention to detail. You’ll know how difficult it is to vacuum down the sides of seats, along seat rails and in between the back seats. In fact there are countless areas in the average car that are very difficult to access with a vacuum cleaner — particularly one from a service station. Using crevice tools of varying lengths, vacuum every hidden or hard-to-reach area until you’ve removed every last speck of dirt and dust.
Use special measures for pet hair
If you have a dog or a cat, the chances are your car is often covered in hair or fur. While there are several low-tech solutions for removing pet hair, using a motorized brush roll developed specifically for pet hair delivers the best results.
A few final tips
There are no shortcuts when it comes to vacuuming a car like the professionals. Take your time, and work systematically in sections. A good way to approach the job is in four sections — starting on the driver’s seat and making your way towards the back of the car.
Spend a lot of time around your pedals, using the most appropriate attachments. You’ll also need to devote a lot of time to the hidden areas under seats.
Avoid the temptation to use a handheld vacuum cleaner that simply plugs into your car. These cleaners take their power direct from your car’s battery, so they often lack the power needed for a good clean.
Once you’re happy that your car’s carpets and upholstery are dirt and dust-free, sprinkle some baking soda over them — and leave it there for a couple of hours. Vacuum the powder, and you should be left with fresh, odour-free fabrics throughout your car.
Over time, you’ll develop your own way of vacuuming your car. As long as you have a powerful vacuum cleaner and the right attachments, you should be able to emulate the work of professional car valeters.