By Justin Pritchard

Part of being an automotive journalist is keeping test-vehicles immaculately clean at all times in case a photo opportunity presents itself. Obviously, cleaning a vehicle’s interior isn’t something I like to spend a whole afternoon doing – so here are some of my tips to get the job done in mere minutes.

First off, get yourself a small bag you can keep the basic quick-cleaning supplies in. My bag includes a can of aerosol glass and surface cleaner, some heavy-duty paper towels and a fine-bristled paintbrush.

Find a pay-vac at your favourite gas station or car wash. Bring a loonie or two with you, and park as near as possible to the vacuum and a garbage can.

After removing all litter, yank out the floor mats and get vacuuming. Don’t forget to get under the seats and in all the nooks and crannies. Once you’re finished with the carpet, vacuum the mats or shake them out.

To remove light salt or dirt stains from carpeting on the go, dampen the stain with glass cleaner before vacuuming, then just suck it up.

Use your paintbrush to get rid of dirt and dust in the cracks between interior panels, around trim, or anywhere else the vacuum won’t reach.

Mist the glass cleaner over your instruments, dashboard, console, scuff-plates and door panels. Then, use a rag or paper towel to wipe it all off. This removes dust and grime, and leaves behind a fresh smell.

Voila! With a bit of practice, you can go from a mess to a sparkling clean interior in about five minutes.

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