4 Tips To Keep Car Interior Clean On a Dirty Road

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If you often drive on dirt roads, you know that it’s almost impossible to keep your car interior free of dust. However, there are some things that you can do to reduce the amount of dust that enters your vehicle, and today, I’ll show you a few simple tricks to tackle that.

Key Takeaways:

  • You can’t fully prevent dust from entering your vehicle, especially if you often drive on dirt roads.
  • Closing car windows will prevent most of the dust from entering your car.
  • Using a recirculation button is extremely important when going through dusty areas.
  • Rubber floor mats are easy to clean and help with keeping your car dust-free.

Tips To Keep Car Interior Clean on Dusty Roads

car on a dusty road

So, here are the detailed steps on how to keep your car interior clean on a dirt road. Just follow these, and you will successfully prevent dust and dirt from entering your car.

1. Close The Windows

Leaving your windows only 2 inches open will lead to plenty of dust inside your car after just a few minutes of the ride.

Check if all the windows are closed, and you are ready to go. It will prevent dirt and dust from entering your car.

2. Use The Air Recirculation Option

recirculation button

The air recirculation button is used to only circulate the air that’s inside your car. It won’t suck up air from the outside. That way, it’ll prevent any dust from entering your car through ventilation ports.

The recirculation button is usually placed somewhere near the A/C buttons. In every car, it looks almost the same. If you don’t know what it looks like, check the picture above.

3. Drive Slowly

Driving too fast will surely help dust and dirt to get into your car. There isn’t a car that’s 100% hermetically closed. When you drive faster, all the car parts make tiny movements, which is more than enough for the dust to pass.

Keep your foot off the accelerator pedal; you’ll get there 2 minutes later, but you’ll save the car interior and passengers’ health (which is worth more than 2 minutes of your time).

4. Use Rubber Floor Mats (Optional)

Here is one more thing you could do to keep your interior cleaner. If you are able, use rubber floor mats instead of carpet ones. 

You can find them for a very cheap price on Amazon.

Motor Trend FlexTough Floor Mats for Cars, Deep Dish All-Weather Mats, Waterproof Trim-To Fit...
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Well, those were the easy 4 steps for keeping your car interior clean while driving on dirt roads. Let’s see some other interesting facts about dirt and dust and what they can cause to your car and passengers.

Does Dust Damage Your Car Interior?

car driving on a dirt road

Dust will damage your car interior with time. But what I want to explain to you here is that the “normal” dust from the air and the dust from a dirt road aren’t the same.

Dirt roads are full of sand, soil, stones, mud, glass, and much more. All those tiny particles are dangerous for your car interior.

Since those particles are so tiny, they end up in every pore in your car interior, which is almost impossible to wipe off. Further, your car’s dashboard may lose color and become rough with time.

Dirt and Dust are Dangerous for People

Not only is dirt and dust destroying your car interior, but they are also very bad for passengers. The health of the passengers should be more important than the look of your car. 

Here are some conditions that dust can cause if inhaled:

  • Irritation of the eyes
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Hayfever
  • Asthma

To read more about it, check the article about the health effects of dust.  I would suggest all of you read it.

How To Clean Dust From Car Interior?

Since dust is sometimes a bit tricky to clean, here are some tips you can do to remove it completely from your car.

Cloth Parts

Firstly, for most surfaces, such as seats and carpets, vacuuming will be enough. So, grab the vacuum cleaner and clean the dirty areas. If you have rubber floor mats, even better. Shake them out and then wash them.

Hard Surfaces

Dust is a bit harder to clean on hard surfaces, such as a dashboard, door handles, and other plastic, gum, or wooden parts. Also, if you have leather seats, use the methods below instead of just vacuuming them.

So, here are the tips for cleaning hard surfaces:

  • If you have a vacuum with brush attachments, use them to vacuum all the areas.
  • Wipe down surfaces with a microfiber cloth dipped in water. With it, you can clean anything (wheel, door handles, handbrake, leather seats, etc.).
  • For cleaning vents and unapproachable parts, use a toothbrush or soft paintbrush to clean them. Just be careful, don’t scratch any of the surfaces.
  • Now, you can use an interior detailer to treat the surfaces. I highly recommend Meguiar's Gold Class Interior Detailer
  • For leather seats, use some special leather conditioner like this Meguiar's Gold Class Leather Conditioner.

Be sure to check if you can apply an interior detailer to your steering wheel (some of them are making it slippery). 


The easiest way to clean all glass parts is to use just warm water, a kitchen sponge (or microfiber cloth), and some dry cloth.

  • Wipe off your windows with a kitchen sponge dipped in warm water. Change the water a few times if it becomes too dirty.
  • Wipe off the surface with a dry cloth.

Just be sure to go part by part. For instance, clean one window with a wet sponge, then wipe it off with a dry cloth. After that, go to the next one. Otherwise, water will dry out on your glass, and it will be dirty again.

If you want the cleanest windows possible, check out how to clean car windows like a pro. It’s a detailed article with much more information.

RELATED: Steps For Deep Cleaning Your Car

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