Most of the time, cleaning the trunk is an afterthought of most car owners. The trunk is where most drivers store dirty boots, motor oils, empty bottles, coats, and many other items. This often leads to different stains that is aesthetically unpleasing and trunk’s foul odor.
When not cleaned properly, this odor can get its way into the car's interior. That is why cleaning your trunk on a regular basis is also necessary. Good thing Philkotse.com has prepared a step-by-step guide in cleaning car trunks.
I. Things to prepare before cleaning
First, let’s list down the things you’ll need:
- Vacuum cleaner
- Mild dish detergent
- Hard-bristled brush
- Towels or other thick clean cloth
- Glass cleaner and/or hairspray
- Borax and/or Club soda or baking soda and cat litter
Shampooing a car trunk
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II. 6 steps to clean the trunk
1. Empty the trunk
It is common that there are lots of things stored in your car’s trunk. So, before starting, remove all the items and leave the trunk completely empty. It will allow you to see and determine the stains that are needed to be removed.
Before starting, remove all the items and leave the trunk completely empty
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2. Vacuum the carpeting
Once the trunk is completely empty, vacuum the carpet thoroughly to get rid of the obvious dirt, as well as all the tiny dust particles that are hard to remove manually. Also, check if there are object lodged in areas like the spare tire well. If there are, remove it as well.
If trunk carpet is removable, remove it and wash the carpet in warm water with soap or detergent and lay it flat to dry. Use a clean cloth that is dipped in the mixture of water and dish detergent or car shampoo, to scrub the smooth surface of the trunk.
Using another clean cloth dipped in the bucket of clean water, wipe the areas to remove the liquid detergent mixture then dry it using another clean cloth. If the trunk carpet is not removable, stick to vacuuming then continue the next step.
Once the trunk is completely empty, vacuum the carpet thoroughly to get rid of the obvious dirt, as well as all the tiny dust particles that are hard to remove manually.
3. Remove the stains
You can target gas spillages first since some car owners store cans of gas in the trunk leaving spillages at times. You can use cat litter in removing gas stains because it has excellent properties in absorbing gas from upholsteries. Leave some cat litter on the stain for 1-2 hours.
Then remove the cat litter and use a mixture of water and soap to soak the stain before brushing and cleaning. Once it is dried, a smell of gas may still prevail, but coffee grounds can absorb such odor. So, you can put some coffee grounds in the affected area.
You can also use different household items in cleaning stains in the trunk like glass cleaner. It is a handy cleaning product that lifts stain from carpets or carpeting without leaving suds behind.
It is more preferable to use than dish detergent because it doesn’t create a soapy film. Soak the stain with glass cleaner and leave it for 5 minutes. Use a dry cloth or hard-bristled brush to remove the stain.
You can also use hair sprays because it also has properties that can remove ink stains. Spray a light coat of hairspray on the ink-stained area. Let it sink for 5 to 15 minutes or until the ink begins to fade and rinsing it with cold water is enough.
You can target gas spillages first since some car owners store cans of gas in the trunk leaving spillages at times
For grease stains, you can use cornmeal. Pour cornmeal on the stained area, just enough to thoroughly cover the stain. Leave it overnight (so if you plan to clean your trunk tomorrow, you have to pour the cornmeal the day before so, that will be today). Then, vacuum it up the next morning.
Removing stains from the carpeted area of the trunk is like removing the stains from your car’s interior and upholstery. The most effective is the glass cleaner and the hairspray
4. Dry the trunk
Let the washed carpet dry before placing it back again in the trunk. If the trunk's carpet is not removable, leave the trunk door open until the trunk carpet is dry. This is to avoid leaving moisture and bad odor built up because of undried carpeting.
5. Don’t forget the trunk lid and seal
Most car owners would forget to clean the trunk lid. There are hidden crannies and nooks in the trunk lids that need cleaning as well. The trunk seal should also be cleaned as well.
You can use a moisturizer wipes to clean the rubber seals. The moisturizer wipes will also moisturizer the surface and protect it from the heat. Wipe the trunk lead the same way you wipe the smooth surfaces on the trunk.
Most car owners would forget to clean the trunk lid
6. Get rid of odors
Use borax to absorb general odors
Liberally dust your carpet with borax. Give an hour or more to absorb the smell. Then vacuum up the borax. If you don't have borax available, you can use cat litter or baking soda as a substitute. Mix the baking soda and cat litter on equal parts and sprinkle it to your carpet.
Liberally dust your carpet with borax
Track down the source of the odor
If the trunk still smells, its best to track the source of the odor. Then, apply the same process using borax, cat litter, and baking soda. Then you can spray the trunk with some air freshener for your trunk to have some fresh scent in it.
Most often car trunks are neglected and left there until the car aged. Well, the trunk is a very helpful and functional part of a car. It is the cargo storage of the car where you can put almost everything you need during a car ride. Like your car’s interior and paint, car trunks are needed to be cleaned too.
Once you abandon your trunk, the spills can create foul odors that can linger into your car’s interior. Left moisture and dirt in the trunk can also be the root cause of corrosion that can spread through your car without you knowing.
When taking care of your car, make sure that all its parts are well taken care of, even those that aren't usually used as the trunk. When cleaning your car, make a quick look at the trunk if it needs cleaning as well.
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