You’ve been hard at work on your car, and the wheels are shiny, the engine bay is clean and polished, and the interior is squeaky clean. But the one area you’ve neglected is staring at you, a dark and dingy crevice that looks like it hasn’t seen a washroom since your last trip to the mall. Luckily, this area is usually easy to clean if you know how to approach it properly.
Begin by vacuuming the area thoroughly to suck up any loose dirt and dust. If your vacuum has a crevice tool, use it to get into the nooks and crannies of the door panels, including any storage pockets and armrest areas.
After the vacuuming, apply a cleaning solution to a microfiber cloth and wipe the surface of the panel. Make sure the cleaner is safe for the material on your door panel, and that it has a good level of UV protection. Using a cleaner without UV protection can cause the colors on vinyl and plastic surfaces to fade, so it’s important to be careful when you clean your door panels.
For any stains that you can’t remove with the cleaning solutions, try using a soft scrub pad. Just be very gentle; too much scrubbing can remove color from the surface of your door panels, so always gently scrub and rinse. For stubborn stains that have soaked in, a good amount of isopropyl alcohol on a cloth can help break up the stain. If you’re stuck with a really tough stain, some baking powder mixed with water can sometimes help lift it. Always be careful when you’re handling chemicals, and be sure to wear gloves when working on your vehicle’s interior, especially when scrubbing with a stiff bristle brush.