How Uber and Lyft Drivers Clean Car Interior
Ever since getting a car with cloth seats, I know first hand how hard it can be to clean the interior with your car. Leather is pretty easier to clean. Use a leather cleaning solution, spray on and then wipe off. Usually the dirt comes off like that. With cloth interiors, the dirt is soaked into the seat and requires a carpet cleaner to properly clean it.
The cheap way:
The wet dry vacs at the gas station or car wash is usually much stronger than what you have in your household vac. I always hated using a household vacuum because its usually requires it to be plugged in. I have a car wash near my workplace that has free vacuums so its a no brainer for me to go there and use those vacuums. Many places have the vacuums for just a dollar or two for 10 minutes so if you only clean once a month, it makes sense to use one of these vacuums.
The convenient way:
I was using this one at my cousin’s house and liked it so much I got one of my own. It is the Black and Decker 20V Max Lithium Ion Pivot Vacuum Cleaner. It is very lightweight and has plenty of suction. It has a waste bin that collects dust and you can empty it out. It is not a wet dry vacuum, but rather just a dry vacuum so it is great for cleaning the interior of your car. It doesn’t come with many attachments so it is mainly for spot cleaning in your home or cleaning your car. This is your best bet if you are looking for an affordable option.
If you can splurge on a better vacuum, I would recommend the Dyson DC44 Animal Vacuum. I have been using it for the past year and I totally recommend it for hardwood floors. When I got it, it was already an older model but I figured it would work well and I was right. It works great on hardwood floors and for car interiors. Its battery powered so you can easy clean your car at any time. No need to worry about plugging it in. The run time is about 20-30 minutes on a full charge. The dirt bin is easy to clean out and doesn’t get clogged from hair. Take a look below for a selection of them:
I would recommend to get the Dyson V6 Trigger version (under $200 brand new) and then get the Dyson Genuine Handheld Tool Kit for another $57. I personally only use the narrow small tool for my hardwood floors and the brush tool for the car interior. If you have carpet, they have motorized heads that are meant for rugs and carpet. If you have carpet, you would need one that has the motorized head. It would be cheaper to get that as a set, rather than trying to buy it by itself with the V6 Trigger.
Carpet Cleaner (for cloth seat stains):
The cheap way:
A guy at the Autozone taught me this way to clean cloth seats. Get boiling water (or really hot water) in a spray bottle with a few drops of detergent, spray it on your seats, then use the wet/dry vacuums at the gas station or car wash to vacuum up the water. You may need to pour some water onto the seats to get enough liquid on the stain. It takes a few passes to get most of the water out, and even when you’re done the seats will stay damp. I have successfully used this method to get pizza oil from my car seat. It may take some time to do the entire car and you may need to pay for the vacuum a few times to clean the entire car but it seriously works great for small stains.
The convenient way:
I just recently got a portable carpet cleaner. The huge downside is that it needs to be plugged in but I didn’t want to waste my time for the battery powered one. The special thing is that they have a special nozzle to spray just below the vacuum nozzle so you can spray and vacuum in one motion. It can be a huge time saver if you need to do the entire car. The one I have is the BISSELL SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner. Below you will find a list of different portable carpet cleaners:
I think after doing this a few times, the machine already pays for itself. Most car washes charge at least $60 for an interior detail and some people who offer on Craigslist or Taskrabbit charge around $30-50 to clean the interior. The cleaner I got was about $105 (I got it used) so after three details, it pays for itself.
This is not needed for leather seats. For leather seats, all you need is some leather cleaner and a clean rag. The dirt usually stays on the surface of the leather and can be easily removed. Stains may require steam clean but unlikely to require a carpet cleaner. Below is a kit that has both as separate items (don’t use the combined cleaner and conditioner).
You can either use the kit above (or similar) or use some mild dish or laundry detergent. Put some of the formula onto a rag and rub the leather until it looks cleaner. Make sure to use a dry clean rag to wipe down the seat to remove the rest of the dirt. Work in small areas. Then make sure to use some warm water and wipe down the seats one last time to remove the remaining dirt and detergents.
The next step is to condition the leather. Any auto store would have “leather conditioner” or “leather moisturizer.” Put some on a clean dry rag and then work rub it into the leather. Follow the instructions on the bottle. The leather will absorb the moisturizer. After 30 minutes, put a bit more in spots where it looks dry. Leave overnight and the rest will get absorbed into the leather.Have more questions about Uber or Lyft? Head on over to our Rideshare Driver Training Course! Driver Promotions