24 Brilliant Ways to Detail Your Car at Home!

June 29, 2020

Written by Alyssa Cordwell.

For singles, couples and families too here are our top tips to detail your car at home…

Washing your car on a Saturday morning is almost a ritual for a lot of Aussie families, but for me it’s never that easy. Living in an apartment building in an inner city suburb makes it less convenient to get out my car care products and give my car a good thorough detail. Plus I love a good sleep in so there’s that too!

Well there was that, until I went and got some actual quotes on car detailing… WOW talk about gob smacked! To detail my car inside and out I was looking at between $100-$300 and I can think of plenty of other things I would rather spend that money on! So I thought I’d scour the web and see what I could pull together on DIY car detailing at home. Here are 24 of my best finds…


1. Car wash

When washing your car make sure you use the right detergent. Dish washing liquid is a great dirt remover but it also is great at removing important oils right out of your paint’s finish – so before you start make sure you have the right soap!

Photo cred: familyhandyman.com

2. Windscreen

Clean your wind screen using steel wool and glass cleaner, then treat it to a coat of SmartKote rain repellent.

**You’ll only need to clean it this way a couple of times per year

3 .Wind screen wipers

Wipe down your wind screen wipers with alcohol wipes to prevent them smearing all over your wind screen when you use them.

4. Grille

Get stubborn bugs out of your grille (and off your bumper) with the help of dryer sheets. Just soak them in some warm water and then wipe away the bugs!

Photo cred: Mitsubishi Motors

5. Cloudy headlights

Shine up your cloudy headlights with a little toothpaste and water, coca cola works too! Check the difference in this before and after shot!

6. Windows 

When cleaning your windows with glass cleaner don’t forget to wind them down before you start wiping, otherwise you won’t get all the dirt & grime from the top.

Photo cred: familyhandyman.com

7. Wheels

Use a cleaning powder and water to clean your wheels from dirt and brake pad dust.

Photo cred: Holden

8. Clay bar

After washing the outside of your car, use a clay bar to pick up bits of grime that water won’t rinse off. This will give your freshly washed care the ultimate shine!

Photo cred: familyhandyman.com


Now that the outside is complete, lets look at how we can detail the inside of our cars. I know you’ll probably want to get straight in and clean your carpet floors but its really important to do them last! The reason is you’ll waste time cleaning you carpets only to dirty them up again as you clean the rest of your interior!

9. Remove the rubbish out of your car

Remember to slide all of your seats all the way forward and pull out your floor mats, so nothing escapes your notice. Use a plastic grocery bag to collect rubbish as you go.

10. Air conditioning vents

Use a cheap foam brush or paint brush to dust between the air conditioning vents – HOT TIP: add a little bit of furniture polish to pick up the dust as you go. You can buy these brushes from a $2 store or craft store like Spotlight!

Photo cred: familyhandyman.com

11. Vacuum & sweep

As you sweep the dust up catch it right away by using a vacuum as you brush it off, just so that it doesn’t settle anywhere else in your car!

Photo cred: familyhandyman.com

12. Use the vacuum + brush combo

Use the same vacuum and brush combo listed above to clean the dash, console, door panels as well as all of your car’s knobs and buttons!

Photo cred: Hyundai

13. Air filter

Remove and replace your air filter to get rid of any odours in your cars interior! You’ll have to check your owner’s manual to see if your car has a removable air filter first.

Photo cred: Shutterstock.com

For other ways to remove odours from your car’s interior check out this blog on removeandreplace.com

14. Vinyl / leather

Use a Magic Eraser to scrub any sticky things off of vinyl and leather if you have it! To do this gently rub dried on gunk with the Magic Eraser — don’t rub too hard, because you don’t want to damage the fabric!

Photo cred: honeybearlane.com

15. Vinyl / plastics

If dirt has embedded itself in the textures of your vinyl, some detail scrubbing with a toothbrush might be required! Dish washing detergent & warm water should so the trick!

16. Dashboard

HOT TIP: Use a little bit of olive oil to condition and polish your dashboard.

Photo cred: Pinterest


17. Upholstery

If you have a pet, you can get rid of animal hair from your car upholstery with a spray bottle of water and a squeegee. Similar to this carpet cleaning trick. Then, vacuum up all the clumps of animal hair.

Photo cred: careabearasara.tumblr.com

18. Seat cushion seams

Use a toothbrush (or fine thistle brush) to get dirt and crumbs out from the seams of your seat cushions & then vacuum up.

Photo cred: Autotopia.org

19. Wax / Crayons

If you’ve got kids and they’ve left their crayons in the car during a heat wave you’ll have quite a problem on your hands. You can use paper and an iron to remove melted wax (like crayons) from your upholstery.

Photo cred: Frugalhomemaking.com


20. Shampoo upholstery

Shampoo the seats in your car with diluted all-purpose cleaner, a sponge or scrub brush, and washcloths. Use white or un-dyed washcloths, though, so the colour dyes in the cloth don’t rub off onto your car’s fabric.

Photo cred: Wetshine.net

21. Floor mats

Spray your dirty floor mats with stain remover and throw them in the washing machine. Pretty much the easiest thing ever! Or scrub them with a DIY upholstery cleaner

Photo cred: allthingsthrify.com

22. Kids seats

Enlist the help of a lint roller, bristle brush, toothbrush, dish soap, steam cleaner, and baking soda if you need to clean a kids car seat. This is not an easy process, but you can do it!

Photo cred: Britax.com

23. Complete with a THOROUGH vacuum of your cars floor!


24. DIY air freshener 

When everything’s fresh and clean, keep it smelling that way with a baking soda air freshener, check out the recipe here.