How to Clean Dirty Cup Holders in Car: A Simple Guide

I'm part of Amazon Associate and some other affiliate programs, If you buy through links on this site, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn More

dirty car cup holders

Do you ever struggle with cleaning your car’s cup holders? You’re not alone. Many people find that, even after multiple attempts to clean cup holders in their car, they still end up looking dirty and unkempt.

In this article, I will guide you through the process of effectively cleaning your car’s cup holders, ensuring that they look and feel clean without any trace of dirt or grime.

Gather The Materials

Before you begin the cleaning process, make sure you have all the necessary materials at hand.

Here’s a list of items you’ll need to clean your car’s cup holders:

  • Vacuum: A portable car vacuum or a regular vacuum with a hose attachment will be helpful in removing loose dirt and debris.
  • Microfiber towels: These soft, absorbent towels are perfect for wiping away dirt and grime without causing any scratches.
  • Car interior cleaner or all-purpose cleaner: Choose a cleaner that is safe for use on car interiors, preferably one that is non-toxic and free of harsh chemicals.
  • Detailing brush: A small, soft-bristled brush will help you reach and clean tight corners and crevices in your cup holders.
  • Steam cleaner (optional): If you have access to a steam cleaner, it can provide an extra level of cleaning power, especially for tough stains and stubborn grime.

Once you have gathered all the necessary materials, you’re ready to move on to the next step in the cleaning process.

Steps To Clean Dirty Cup Holders In Your Car

Here are the exact steps I do whenever I clean dirty cup holders in literally any vehicle.

Step 1: Remove Any Loose Dirt

The first step in cleaning your car’s cup holders is to remove any loose dirt and larger specks of debris. By doing this, you’ll create enough free space to clean the cup holders properly. Use your hands to pick up any visible trash, such as wrappers or crumbs, and discard them.

If your car cup holders have removable liners, be sure to take them out as well. This will allow you to clean both the liners and the cup holders themselves more thoroughly. Once you have cleared out the loose dirt and removed the liners (if applicable), you can proceed to the next step in the cleaning process.

Step 2: Vacuum Cup Holders

Next, it’s time to vacuum the cup holders and liners (if you have them). Using a narrow vacuum attachment, thoroughly vacuum the cup holders, making sure to reach all the nooks and crannies.

The more effectively you vacuum, the easier it will be to clean the cup holders in the following steps. By removing as much dirt and debris as possible with the vacuum, you’ll make it simpler to tackle any remaining grime during the subsequent cleaning process.

Step 3: Spray Cleaning Solution On Cup Holders

After vacuuming, it’s time to apply your cleaning solution. Use a car interior cleaner or diluted all-purpose cleaner (APC) for this step. Spray the product directly inside the car cup holder, making sure to cover the entire surface. If you’re using a concentrated APC, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s dilution guidelines to create a safe and effective cleaning solution.

By spraying the cleaner directly onto the surface, you’ll be able to loosen up any stubborn dirt, grime, or residue that may be clinging to the cup holder. Allow the cleaning solution to sit for a moment to let it work its magic, and then proceed to the next step.

Step 4: Agitate The Area With a Detailing Brush

Once you’ve applied the cleaning solution, it’s time to agitate the area with a soft detailing brush. This will help to break up any stubborn dirt and grime that may still be present in the cup holder. If necessary, you can spray some additional cleaning solution directly onto the brush to further enhance its cleaning properties.

Gently scrub the cup holders, paying special attention to any tight corners or crevices where dirt might be hiding. Be thorough, but take care not to scratch or damage the cup holder’s surface. If your cup holders have liners, don’t forget to clean them as well, using the same method.

Step 5: Wipe Cup Holders With a Microfiber Towel

After agitating the cup holders with a detailing brush, it’s time to wipe them clean. Take a fresh, clean microfiber towel and thoroughly wipe the cup holders and liners. Make sure to reach every corner and crevice, removing all traces of dirt, grime and cleaning solution.

The microfiber towel will not only help to pick up any remaining dirt, but it will also absorb the cleaning solution and leave the cup holders and liners completely dry.

Step 6: Steam Clean Cup Holders (Optional)

In some cases, even after thoroughly cleaning the cup holders, stubborn stains may persist. This is particularly true if the cup holders were extremely dirty to begin with. If you find yourself in this situation, consider using a steam cleaner to tackle those tough stains.

A steam cleaner is a powerful tool that uses heat and steam to remove 99% of stains from cup holders. In fact, unless the plastic is damaged, I’m confident that a steam cleaner can remove virtually any stain.

To steam clean the cup holders, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific steam cleaner. Make sure to use caution when working with hot steam, as it can cause burns if not handled properly. Once you’ve steam cleaned the area, immediately wipe it off with a clean microfiber towel.

How To Keep Cup Holders Clean

Now that you’ve learned how to clean your car’s cup holders effectively, it’s essential to keep them clean moving forward.

Here are some tips on how to maintain the cleanliness of your cup holders and prevent them from getting dirty again:

  • Use a car interior protectant: Applying a car interior protectant can help make your cup holders non-static, which prevents them from attracting dirt and dust. This will help keep your cup holders cleaner for longer periods.
  • Purchase liners: If your vehicle doesn’t have cup holder liners, consider buying some. Liners provide an extra layer of protection against spills and messes, making it easier to clean your cup holders when necessary.
  • Clean spills promptly: If you accidentally spill a drink or drop some food in your cup holders, clean it up as soon as possible. This will prevent stains from setting in and help maintain the cleanliness of your cup holders.

Bottom Line

Cleaning your car’s cup holders might seem like a small task, but it’s an important aspect of maintaining a clean and comfortable vehicle. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively clean your cup holders and keep them looking their best.

If you found this guide helpful, I encourage you to check out my detailed guide on detailing your car’s interior and exterior. This comprehensive guide will provide you with valuable tips and techniques to keep your entire vehicle looking its best, both inside and out.

Similar Posts