For both professional & amateur detailers it is so important that we pay the utmost attention to detail and most people with an interest in valeting do exactly that.
We keep our cars clean and shining with coatings of wax, our dashboard is gleaming and even your leather seats soft & nourished but the one part of your car that seems to ALWAYS be overlooked is, you guessed it, the air vents! It really is amazing how common it is to see a cars vents neglected and for the small amount of time it takes to clean them, it’s hard to see why.
if you fit in this category of people that neglect your vents, it’s OK, we’ve all been there but today you can change that because today I will show you, step by step how to clean the vents in your car.
The Three Stages Of Neglect
The method which you will want to use will actually depend on how bad the condition of the vents are. Most of you will find yourself fitting into one of the first 2 categories but if you’re vents have seriously deteriorated you may fall into the third category.
General Grime – Dust, Fingerprints & Grease
The majority of you guys will likely fit into this category and good for you because by tackling your vent grime now you are preventing them from deteriorating any further and the dirt will disappear quite easily.
The reason why so much dust and smudges gather on vents is because of the nature of their purpose, they blow air around your and in doing that they also blow dust around. The smudges are caused by passengers moving the vents to suit them, it can’t be helped but if you clean your vents frequently you will prevent a build up, keeping your vents nice and clean.
Bad Smell When Using Air Conditioning
When you turn on your A/C and you get a bad smell it can be a number of things. Your air filter may need to be changed or cleaned, your A/C system may need serviced (not something to worry about, at the end of the day cars are only machines and every so often parts need serviced) or you may have an accumulation of mould in your A/C & Vents.
Seriously Filthy Air Vents
In some cases the vents may be in such poor condition that restoring them becomes very difficult if you don’t have the right cleaning equipment.
How To Clean General Grime From Your Vents
Thankfully general grime such as dust & fingerprints can be removed quite easily if you use the correct products and if you regularly clean your vents (once a month is a good habit) they never have a chance to build up so cleaning them is a 10 minute task.
What You Will Need:
- Soft Bristle Brush – A Brush Similar To This One Is Perfect
- Your Favourite Interior Detailer – I Like To Use Meguiar’s Ultimate Interior Detailer
- A Clean & Dry Microfibre Towel
Step One – Spray some of your detailer either on the brush or directly on your vents.
Step Two – Rub the brush along the vents, there’s no need for any hard scrubbing a light scrub is all it should take.
Step Three – Use your microfibre towel to wipe away any excess cleaning product and your vent should now be clean and have a nice shine depending on what detailer you use.
Bad Smelling Air Conditioning
If your air conditioning smells bad there can be a number of causes.
- You may need to change or clean your air filter.
- Your A/C System may need to be serviced by a mechanic.
- You could have a build up of mould in your A/C or vents.
You can combat the bad smell from mould in your A/C by spraying your favourite air freshener for your car directly in your vents so that when you turn the A/C on the fresh scent of your choice is blown around your cockpit and not the foul smelling mould. My favourite is Turtlewax Odour X – New Car Scent.
Although this solution does not get rid of the mould it does mask the bad smell excellently, but there is a way to prevent mould building up in the first place.
Unless you live in a hot part of the world your A/C is likely to be dormant for the entire Winter and maybe even Summer months, this is the problem, this is a common cause of bad smelling A/C. What I do to overcome this is pick a day of every month and leave a reminder on my phone to use the A/C on 3/4 or more strength for 10 minutes, this will greatly increase your chances of avoiding mould.
How To Restore Extremely Neglected Air Vents
In some cases, if the condition of the vents is so bad that standard cleaning just isn’t up to the job then you should consider the possibility of buying a Steam Cleaner. A steam cleaner emits powerful pressurised steam that can make grease, mould, even the crusty layer of dirt along the vent blades disappear.
For a long time actually didn’t bother for steam cleaners because they were a little bit more expensive than the cleaning tools I would regularly be buying but when the time came and I did need to buy one to finish a job I discovered that they are also great for a number of household tasks so investing in one isn’t a bad idea.
Step One – Slowly spray the nozzle at your vents and you should already see a lot of dirt disappering.
Step Two – Use a microfibre towel to wipe down and dry your vents.
Step Three – Why not use some of Meguiar’s Ultimate Interior Detailer to add a nice shine to your vents.
Step Four – To top off your restoration why not spray some of your favourite air freshener for your car to leave a nice, fresh scent in your car.
There you have it, no matter what state your vents were in previously, they should now be sparking clean so enjoy your fresh smelling car and do yourself a favour,
Clean Your Vents Monthly To Avoid Build Up!!
What Products Work Best?
Hope I Helped!
I really hope you enjoyed reading this tutorial and I hope you now have everything you need to restore those vents back to their former glory! If you have any questions or you, yourself have experienced restoring your vents make sure to leave a comment and I’ll be sure to get back to you, I love hearing from you!