· Bright Ideas · This Is The Cheapest Way To Make Your Car Look Brand New
Bright Ideas · This Is The Cheapest Way To Make Your Car Look Brand New

This Is The Cheapest Way To Make Your Car Look Brand New

Could the interior of your car use a little TLC after the winter wear and tear? This cheap and easy car upholstery cleaner will leave your car's interior as clean as the day you bought it!

While it can be tricky to keep the floors in your home clean during the wet winter months, it’s nothing compared to how dirty you car’s floors can get! My car’s floor mats are caked in a layer of dirt, debris, and road salt after a winter of non-stop snowstorms.

Related: DIY Armor All Wipes

But thankfully, the weather has been warming up in the past couple of weeks. And now that the sun is out, I’ve been thinking that it’s high time I give the inside of my car some much needed TLC! So today I’ll be sharing an easy recipe for a great DIY car upholstery cleaner, just in case your car could use a good cleaning as well. 🙂

Why Make Your Own Car Upholstery Cleaner?

There are a couple of reasons why it’s worth going the DIY route to clean the interior of your car. The first reason is that it’s surprisingly easy! You only need a few simple ingredients to make this cleaner, and it doesn’t actually take that long to use it. In just an hour or two, this cleaner will leave your car looking as clean as the day you drove it off the lot at the dealer.

My other favorite thing about this particular cleaning solution is that it’s really affordable! The ingredients are very inexpensive, AND you’ll be saving a small fortune by doing the actual cleaning yourself. (Have you ever paid to have your car’s interior detailed? It can easily cost upwards of $100!) Using this DIY approach will leave your car’s interior clean and fresh without emptying your wallet in the process.

So let’s get down to business, shall we? 🙂

How To Make A DIY Car Upholstery Cleaner

You’ll need:

3 Tbsp grated Fels Naptha soap
2 Tbsp borax
2-4 cups boiling water*
10 drops lavender essential oil (optional)
Sponge or scrub brush
Clean, damp cloths

*Note: If your car’s interior is really dirty or stained, use less water for a more concentrated cleaning formula. Otherwise, I’d recommend using closer to 4 cups of water for a less concentrated, easy-rinse formula.


Step 1 – Make The Cleaner

Add the soap, borax, water, and lavender oil (if using) to your bucket, then stir until the soap dissolves and the mixture is foamy.

Step 2 – Scrub

To clean cloth seats, dip a sponge into the cleaner and dab stains and soiled areas. (If you made a more concentrated cleaner, use it sparingly to make it easier to rinse later.)

To clean carpeting or floor mats, follow the same steps above but use a scrub brush instead of a sponge. Carpeting is more resilient than cloth seats are, so don’t be afraid to give them a good scrub.

Step 3 – Rinse

To rinse cloth seats, use a clean, damp cloth to absorb the loosened dirt and the cleaner out of the seats. I find it helpful to keep a bowl of clean water nearby while I do this so I can rinse out my damp cloth as I go. (If your upholstery is really dirty, don’t be surprised if you have to replace the dirty rinse water a few times!)

To rinse removable floor mats, it’s quicker and easier to just spray them down with your garden hose. Spray them until the dirt and soap are all rinsed away, then use a few dry towels to soak up any excess water.

Step 3 – Dry

Once you’ve rinsed out all the dirt and cleaner from your seats and/or carpets, you’re done! Find a sunny spot to let everything dry for a few hours, and reward yourself for a job well done.

Related: 17 Of The Best Cleaning Hacks For Your Car

Now, who’s up for a road trip? 😉

What’s your best tip for keeping the interior of your car clean?

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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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