How To Clean A Very Dirty Car Interior – Chemical Guys Car Detailing


Welcome back to Detail Garage! Today we’re doing a full interior detail on
this Lexus IS300. Now this car interior is one of the worst
ones we’ve ever seen in the Detail Garage! It’s full of anything you can throw at it: garbage, dirt, debris, hair, body oils, filth,
and trash throughout the entire vehicle. The leather upholstery, carpet, door panels, dashboard, center console—everything is absolutely trashed! We have a full day ahead of us just to bring
this interior up to par. As bad as this car is, we all either have
a friend who drives a car like this, and if you don’t, then, you are that friend
driving that car! So we’re gonna show you all the tips, tricks,
and products we’re gonna use to get the best results and restore the interior so it looks
brand new. We’re gonna show you all the steps, and all
the cleaners, protectants, and dressings, as well as accessories like brushes and towels
we’re gonna use to make this car look absolutely mint. We’re on the first step of the interior detail
on this Lexus. This is a really big job, we’ve got a lot
of work to do, so I’ve got my buddy Nick here from the store. He’s gonna help me out, and we’re gonna do
the whole interior of this car really quick. The inside of this car is really disgusting
as you can see in the photos. This looks like a Bio Safety Level 3, so we
need to suit up and not get in contact with any of the stuff inside the car. Just opening it up, the first thing we need
to do is throw out the garbage! There’s just tons of trash all over the car. If you come inside here on the driver’s seat,
we have used napkins, water bottles inside the car… We have some iced coffee drinks that have
seen better days… So we’re going right over here into the Chemical
Guys Trash Can! We’re just gonna start by throwing out tons
of trash from the inside of the car. We spoke with the owner of the vehicle, and
they want us to save some things. Any sort of food items that are not going
to perish, they want us to save. So if you look underneath the floor mats,
we have sugar packets! Look in the door: we have dozens of sugar
packets! They’re all over the whole inside of the car. They want us to save things like this and
anything else that is sealed. But older water bottles or soda cans, they’re
okay with us throwing out. Some other items you want to save would be
any personal items from the customer. Things like sun glasses, I’m not going to
throw out because they’re valuable. I’ll keep it for the customer. Nick and I will go through the car and sort
everything into bags so we don’t throw anything we’re not supposed to out. We’re done with the initial “Getting rid of
all the garbage from the car.” Look inside: just by throwing away the trash
and sorting through the paperwork, the car is actually looking a lot better already! But we still have a long way to go. There’s all kinds of dirt, sand, leaves, and
things embedded in the floor mats. The seats are full of body oils and they feel
real sticky. And you can actually see the layer of dirt
on the steering wheel. You can see I’m picking off the layer of dirt
with my fingernail. That’s not supposed to be there! This wheel is supposed to be black like that. You can see that that’s where it gets held, and all the oils from your body and hands end up on the wheel. It’s supposed to look something like this. The whole car looks like this steering wheel. Just to get started with the deeper cleaning
on the interior, we’re gonna vacuum. I have a big Shop Vac here. It’s got an extra-large capacity tank, which
Nick and I are gonna need because we’re gonna vacuum the car and fill up these vacuums. Generally, I like to vacuum the floor mats
in the car first, then I’ll take them out and vacuum the carpet underneath them. I’ll vacuum under the seats switching between
the large flat blade attachment and the thinner thin blade to reach into crevices between seats and center console, rails, door cards, and other areas inside the car. We’re done vacuuming the car. We picked up all the loose dirt and debris
from the floor mats and door cards and plastics elsewhere in the vehicle. Now we’re gonna move on to cleaning the dashboard,
door panels, steering wheel, and center console. There’s a lot of spilled soda in the center
console, and ground-in and grimy dirt and mess all over. Normally on a car that’s not too dirty, I’d
recommend cleaning the inside with the quick detail sprays for interiors: InnerClean. This car is kind of beyond what InnerClean
can do since we need to cut through heavy soda and thick garbage all over the center console. So we’re gonna bump up to Nonsense. Nonsense is an all purpose cleaner that has
no color and no odor. There’s no heavy perfumes or noxious smells
like heavy duty low end degreasers. All purpose cleaners are safe to use on things
like plastic, upholstery, fabric, exterior parts, engine bays, and even leather if you
dilute it enough. Nick and I are going to use Nonsense to wipe
down everything that is not leather. We’re gonna work on the dashboard, center
console, and doors all over the place. We’ll leave the leather for another chemical. We already have our Nonsense diluted, and we have it diluted 15:1 for this job in a Professional Spray Bottle. This will give us a lot of product in just
a few sprays. We’ll spray down our towels and then wipe
down the surface: I still don’t want to spray directly on parts
like the dashboard, and get it all over the glass or parts that are sensitive like the
instrument cluster. Nick and I will wipe down the whole interior with Nonsense and show you how dirty these towels get! Now Nick and I are down wiping down all the plastics, dashboard, door panels, center console, and ashtrays. The car is looking, smelling, and feeling
a lot better! The big elephant in the room we still need
to take on is the leather! The seats and steering wheel feel very sticky
and look very dirty. It’s just not a good time, so we’re gonna
take care of all the leather. First thing we have to do is clean it, so
we’re gonna use Leather Cleaner. Leather Clean has no color, no odor, and it’s safe to use on all types of leather
like natural leather and sealed leather, which newer automobiles come with. This comes full strength. I can use it at
full strength on very dirty leather like what we have here. So I’m gonna use it full strength on this car. I can dilute it up to 6:1 if I’m working on
leather that is more sensitive, or not as dirty. I’m pairing this up with the Horsehair Leather
Cleaning Brush and a Workhorse Microfiber Towel. You’ll notice on the door panels that we used
Yellow towels. I like to use Yellow to make sure I’m not
wiping up any dyes from interior materials. I can see the dirt pulling off, and I can
tell if I’m done cleaning, or if I have to do more work. Just so I don’t mix up any wax, polish or
wheel grime on leather, I’m gonna use Tan towels so the color-coding helps me avoid
cross-contamination between parts of the car. You can see this leather steering wheel is
probably supposed to be this black color! And everything is looking kind of gray. The dirt is definitely thick, and stuck on
all over the steering wheel. Those body oils come from using the car and
touching it every day. I’ll take Leather Cleaner, and spray it on
the brush and directly on the center of the wheel. It’s very dirty! I’m not too worried about getting this anywhere… Leather Cleaner is gentle, and safe to use
inside any car. I’m not going to cause any stains, or damage
any surfaces. I’m getting good cleaning results. Let’s see where I’m at so far… This is severely damaged interior pieces. As we clean, we start to notice things like
paint starting to peel off all over the center console. This center part of the steering wheel is probably a painted vinyl, and we’re seeing that paint rub off. I’ll focus now and use the microfiber towel
to clean off the steering wheel. I’ll mist the towel directly, and scrub all
this thick gunk and garbage off the wheel. I’ll come in from both sides to make sure
I’m really cleaning all the way around the wheel. And you can see even on this tan towel all
the contamination that we’re pulling off! The entire wheel is like that! Now we’re checking out the leather seat of
the car, and you can see every seat panel has thousands of these tiny holes. These perforations help vent the surface,
wick away sweat from the driver, and keep the passengers cooler as they sit on the leather surface. Leather itself doesn’t really breathe, it’s
actually a very good insulator. If you’re sitting on that for hours on end,
it can get very hot and uncomfortable. So manufacturers put these tiny holes all
over the surface just to help it breathe. A lot of people ask questions about how they
should approach detailing this type of surface because they don’t want leather cleaners or conditioners
to soak through the holes and ruin the foam that the seat is made out of. I’m just going to show you how deal with a
surface like this. Instead of saturating the surface with the
cleaner, I’ll spray it into my brush instead. This gives me plenty of power as I scrub it
across the surface. And you can see this froth and foam it’s generating. This is what I want. This is lifting out all the oils and contamination
from the pores of the leather skin. Leather is skin off of an animal, so we’re
pulling all this contamination and body oil out from these pores. Now I’ll wipe up all this mess with the towel. Right there you can see all the gray and black
on the towel. That was all the body oils and filth that
was stuck in the seat! That’s just the first pass. I can still feel there’s a lot more work that needs to be done on these seats. We really have our work cut out for us on this car. First we’re gonna take care of all the perforated
leather and solid leather panels around the car. We have 5 seats to clean in this car, plus
the headrests, so we have a lot of work to do. One more tool I can use to clean leather besides
the Horsehair Brush, is a parts cleaning brush to take care of
other parts around the car. We came out with this: it’s called The Best
Detailing Brush. It’s made out of heavy-duty plastic, and it’s
a softer material than wood or metal. The ferrule you see on lots of brushes is
made out of metal, but if you knock into something like leather,
you might tear it, or chip paint, or damage wheels with a brush like that. This brush has a soft ferrule made of plastic,
so I’m not gonna damage anything even if I hit it with the brush. The brush itself is very durable, but soft
and it’s not gonna damage anything around the car. The brush also features a tuft of thick boars
hair bristles that are strong, chemical resistant, and gentle on leather, paint, and wheels. I’m not going to damage any of these parts. I like to use one of these brushes just for
interiors, and another one just for wheels, so I never mix and match them. To clean the seat, I’ll spray right into the
brush, and spray the solid leather panel here. Same as before, I’ll scrub it down for a foamy
agitation to pull out all this dirt. This is a great brush to use. The stiff bristles make scrubbing down this
whole panel easy. This is the perfect brush for this job. We’ll agitate all this out, flip the towel to a dry side, and wipe to see the difference on this panel. Right away, it’s looking very crisp and new,
and all the dirt is now on the towel. Your leather is supposed to look crisp and
matte, not shiny and greasy like the rest of the seats look now. Nick and I will continue on and take care
of all the seats and leather throughout the car. This steering wheel will pose a great challenge
for sure, so we really gotta press on. After we clean the leather, it’ll come time
to condition it, protect it, and nourish the skin to restore a soft, supple feel. We’re on to the final stretch of the full
interior detail on this Lexus. Nick and I cleaned all the leather, steering
wheel, seats, back seats, arm rests, and all the door panels. Now we need to protect the leather. Remember that leather is skin: it was on the
skin on an animal. So once you clean it, it’s gonna be dry, beaten
from the sun with UV damage, and abrasion You need to nourish the skin and protect it. You need to put lotion on it. For that, we’re gonna use Leather Conditioner
for the seats, and we’ll use Leather Serum for parts the driver will touch like the steering wheel. Leather Conditioner and Serum both finish with a dry-to-the-touch-feel, so they’re not going to be greasy, they both help nourish leather to restore
a soft, supple feel that won’t be slick or sticky. But Leather Serum finishes with a more matte
look with more UV protection. It’ll do a better job protecting leather over
a long period of time. Leather Conditioner nourishes the leather
to make it feel nice and soft, and it’ll leave it looking a little shinier. It’s not as shiny as the seats were when they
were really dirty, but it’ll be shinier than Leather Serum. The owner of this car wanted more of a “wet”
look on the seats, and we advised him that he would want a crisp, dry feel on the steering wheel. This part is always seeing the sun, and you
can already see sun damage on the wheel already. But if we protect it Leather Serum now, the
rest of the wheel will have a chance to stay soft, and intact for a long time. I’ll get started by putting some Leather Serum
on the steering wheel. The Workhorse lineup of microfiber extends
to applicator pads. I’m going to use the Tan Workhorse Applicator
Pad for leather to apply Leather Protection to the car. I’ll place a couple dots of serum on the pad,
and spread it out on the applicator itself. Now when I rub it in to the leather, I won’t
have any excess and I won’t waste any product, and I can apply it very neatly as well. I’m spreading it over every leather piece… I’ve worked Leather Serum into every leather
surface on the steering wheel, and the leather soaked it right up. You can tell this leather was very dry and
needed to be conditioned and protected. Just to ensure a dry-to-the-touch feel, I
don’t want any slippery feel, I’m gonna buff it off really well with a microfiber towel. That way when the driver gets in the car and
starts driving, he won’t slip off the wheel. He won’t get any greasy feel on his hands
and spread it to the shift knob or handbrake or anything. We’re not gonna increase the risk of any accidents
just from cleaning the steering wheel. It’s okay to condition parts like the steering wheel or shift knob: just do a good job removing any excess. That way you ensure a crisp, dry feel on the part. Now this wheel feels very smooth, crisp, and
clean like it should. This is how it originally left the factory. It doesn’t look shiny or greasy, so this is
the look and feel that we’re going for. Now we’re on to the perforated leather seats. A lot of people ask about how they can detail
perforated leather without ruining the foam underneath with the cream. There’s a really easy trick whenever dressing
these areas so you don’t damage any of the foam, and you can still condition and protect the
leather so it can last for years to come. I’ll use the Leather Conditioner and put a
couple lines on my applicator pad. Rather than spreading it out with these big
fat lines, I’ll first spread it out across the applicator pad. I’ll smear it into the microfiber itself so
now when I spread it over the surface, I don’t have any fat globs or blobs that saturate through the perforations and ruin the foam core of the seat. You can see that spread very evenly very quickly. Work it into the leather just like lotion
on your skin. The seat is starting to smell like leather again. Leather Conditioner is nourishing the leather
as its replacing all the essential oils and nutrients that the leather was missing. Now it’s smelling like brand new leather again. I’ll take my clean Workhorse microfiber towel… And now that I’m buffing it off, I’m hardly
removing anything. The leather was very thirsty, it drank the
stuff up right away. You can see seat looks a whole lot better
just in the one part where I put the Leather Conditioner. Now the seat feels nice and smooth, nice and
soft, and the leather itself is nourished again. You can see up here where we haven’t nourished
it yet, it’s very stiff and the leather is starting to crack because it’s not conditioned. Down here, it’s nice and supple again, and
nice and soft. So we’ll continue on, Nick and I will condition
all the leather throughout the car. We’re gonna use Leather Conditioner on the
seats, and we’ll use Leather Serum on the door panels since we want a different look there. See you in a minute! We’re moving on to one of the final steps
on the detail: cleaning the floor mats. These floor mats have seen better days; in
case you can’t tell, they’re supposed to be black! All this grayness in it is dirt and debris
ground in by the driver’s feet and heels as he works the pedals. To help take care of some of this stuff, I’m
gonna use a couple all purpose cleaners to clean the stains and extract the dirt from
the carpet and fabric. I’m also gonna use a powerful brush. This carpet is fairly durable, so I can use
a more aggressive brush on a drill attachment to help scrub out and agitate the contamination
for a thorough cleaning on the floor mat. To get started, I’m gonna first try Nonsense. I’ll use Nonsense full strength because these
carpets are very gross. I’ll give it a couple quick sprays in this
area here. I’ll let that sit for a quick second while
I tell you about the Drill Brush. The Drill Brush comes in three different colors: red is a medium duty brush; yellow is an aggressive brush that’s good
for scrubbing extremely heavy duty carpet or concrete; and we also have a very soft gray drill brush
attachment. Gray is very forgiving and soft. I can even
scrub leather seats with this brush, as well as sensitive carpets and upholstery. For this rug, I’ll go with a medium duty brush
to test out what kinds of results I get. I’ve attached it to the chuck of the drill
for a solid bond that won’t spin off. So I’ll scrub down the carpet. I went ahead and scrubbed down this spot on
the carpet, and as I blot out all the contamination with
the yellow microfiber towel, you can see just how dirty that carpet really was! You see all the nastiness that we pulled out,
and that the carpet was actually black! I need to do some more work, and I’ll try Lightning Fast Stain Extractor for the heavier duty stains. Especially here where you can see where the
driver’s heel presses in and ground the carpet flat. I’ll try Lightning Fast where the dirt is thick and heavy and see if I can make this rug look new! See you in a few minutes… You can edit this to make it look good, right? (uhhhh…..) Now we’re on the final step of this full interior
detail of this Lexus. All I need to do is clean off the optical
plastic that the driver looks at every day. I need to clean all the fingerprints, dust, and grime on the instrument panel and navigation screen. The trick to getting a streak-free look on
any glass, clear optical plastic, or mirror is to use two towels. As long as you use a high quality glass cleaner
like Chemical Guys Signature Series Glass Cleaner, you can take care of any dirt, debris, or
fingerprints quickly and easily. But if you use two towels, you get a perfect
streak-free look every time. I’m not going to spray the cleaner directly
onto these parts. I don’t want any cleaner getting behind the
gauge cluster or spots I don’t want it to. I’ll mist the towel instead, and once I have
enough cleaner on the towel, I’ll come down to the screen first and wipe
off any fingerprints or contamination from the navigation screen. Now that I have all the dirt removed, I’ll
use the second clean and dry towel to buff off any streaks, and remaining cleaner or
dirt from the part. Now you see I have a perfectly clean screen,
and there’s no streaks at all! I’ll do one more part, just the instrument cluster. Just a couple more squirts of glass cleaner,
then reach around the wheel and wipe off all this clear optical plastic. You need to be really careful whenever you
clean plastic windows or clear optical plastic. If you’re ever working on a helicopter or
airplane and you’re cleaning Plexiglas windows, those windows are very sensitive to abrasion. If you use the wrong type of towel like terrycloth,
or a dirty rag, or even a good microfiber that’s full of dirt and garbage, just wiping the Plexiglas with those materials
can scratch and cause a lot of damage that’s easy to see when you’re driving or flying
into the sun. It lights up the whole windshield. You can’t have that, so you need to be very
careful when you’re cleaning those sensitive areas. So there you go! You see how fresh and clean this interior
is starting to look all around the car. We’ve got a few final touches like replacing the floor mats and get the seats back up and squared away, but we’re basically done with this interior detail! Now we’re done with the full interior detail
on this Lexus! It’s looking, feeling, and smelling a million times better! First thing’s first, me and Nick threw out
all the garbage, vacuumed out all the trash, then we cleaned the leather, cleaned the plastics,
and cleaned the door cards before we conditioned and restored the soft
touch and supple feel to all the leather and plastics. If you like this video, go ahead and make
sure you give it a thumbs up, and subscribe to our channel to learn about
all the latest tips and tricks about how to detail just about anything! You’ve got a nice car, let’s keep it clean
with Chemical Guys!

About the Author: Michael Flood

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