It’s difficult to keep a truck clean because trucks do so much work. Whether it’s hauling gardening or construction supplies, moving houses, off-roading, or hunting trips, the inside of a truck can get as dirty as the outside. But keeping the interior clean helps to extend the life of vinyl and leather components, as well as increase the value of your truck.
How to return the interior of your truck to showroom condition
Remove all the clutter
Empty the cup holders, center console, door pockets, and the glove compartment. Essentials can be put back in the truck later, but getting them out of the way not only makes cleaning easier but protects these items from spray cleaners.
Remove floor mats and seat covers
Shake them free of debris outside the truck. Use a scrubbing brush if necessary to free dirt and gravel. If they are washable, wash them separately and allow them to air dry while you are cleaning the rest of the interior.
Vacuum the interior
Thoroughly vacuum the carpet, reaching as far beneath the seats as possible. Apply carpet cleaner or stain remover as necessary, taking care to not get treated areas too wet. Vacuum the seats thoroughly, using a crevice tool to get all the nooks and crannies. Vacuum all the edges, including dashboard and door panels. Use a soft brush attachment and go over the dashboard and vents, using the vacuum suction to remove superficial dust.
Clean the interior glass
Using a clean microfiber cloth or chamois, clean the inside of the dashboard, windows, and mirror. Roll the windows down partway to expose the top quarter inch, which is often missed when cleaning.
Clean the front panel
The dashboard area can be difficult to clean due to all the detail around vents, knobs, and gauges. A can of compressed air is helpful to get inside dusty vents and free loose debris. Superficially wipe down all the surfaces to remove loose dust and debris before using a leather or vinyl cleaning product on the dashboard. To create a fine detailing cleaning tool, simply wrap a microfiber cloth around a screwdriver (or cotton swabs, if you want to be gentler) to allow you to clean all the tiny nooks and crannies.
Clean the door panels
As with the front panel, wipe the area down before following up with the appropriate leather, vinyl, or upholstery cleaner.
Condition the panels
Now that the dashboard and door panels are clean, apply a polish or dressing to protect the interior from fading or cracking.
Clean the seats
If the seats have accumulated any dust or debris while the interior was being clean, wipe them down again. Use a leather, vinyl, or upholstery cleaner as appropriate, and try to avoid using stain removers that introduce a lot of wetness and moisture.
Clean the floor
While we began with vacuuming and perhaps applying a stain remover, it’s best to leave thorough detailing of the floors and carpets for last. The cleaning process itself involves a lot of getting in and out of the vehicle, as well as using a spray cleaner and freeing up dust and debris, so the floor may have accumulated more dirt during the cleaning process. Use a spray-on carpet cleaner, and brush it in thoroughly. Make sure to dry the carpet afterward, using a towel to blot it if necessary, to avoid moisture that may cause mildew.
Condition the seats
After the seats are clean and dry, use a conditioning product to protect the material.
Allow at least an hour for the seats to dry completely before driving the truck. If you have floor mats and seat covers, both the truck interior and the covers should be thoroughly dry before replacing them inside the vehicle.
If you don’t have seat protectors, they are strongly recommended to help keep the inside of your truck looking new and preserve the sparkling clean you just achieved. Seat protectors extend the life of your truck seats and make your next cleaning job much easier. When buying seat protectors, make sure you get the correct fit for your truck and year.
Here are some options on truck seat covers to consider:
Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra Work Truck Seat Covers in Gray Endura Front 40/20/40 Split Seat with Manual Controls and Without Console
These Durafit seat covers are designed for 2003-2007 Chevy Silverado trucks, and will also fit GMC Sierras. The gray endura is a neutral color that matches well with many truck interiors. These seat covers are waterproof, offering extra protection for the seats during hard use and bad weather. Customers say these seats are easy to install and work well.
The Regal Custom Toyota seat covers are an exact fit for 1984-1995 models. They come pre-treated with stain protection and are machine washable. They also have added foam for extra comfort. The charcoal color and double stitching ensure enduring style. Reviewers love the high quality and attractive look of these seat covers.
Made for 1999-2007 Ford F150s, these Durafit covers offer long-lasting style and protection. The heavy-duty waterproof canvas provides great protection for a working vehicle, and customers love the perfect fit and ease of installation. Endura gray matches the existing interior, and these covers can be cleaned without removal.
While most work trucks aren’t prized for their cosmetics, keeping the interior clean and protected makes your ride a little more pleasant, and preserves the resale value when it’s time to trade it in. Making time for periodic deep cleaning, and investing in quality seat protectors will pay off in years to come.