It sure doesn’t take long for the outside of the farm truck to get real dirty, but the inside can match it pretty fast! When you’re busy getting jobs done, you don’t really notice all the mud, dirt and grime, building up. Then there’s pop bottles, cans, receipts, wrappers, and a million other things that get left on the floor too. Remember when your truck was new, clean, and made you feel proud?
The good news is it looking that way again, and I’m going to tell you how to clean the inside of a farm truck and get it looking as good as new.
What You'll Learn Today
- How Do You Clean A Dirty Farm Truck?
- The Process of Cleaning Your Farm Truck
- How to Keep Your Truck Interior Clean & Tidy
How Do You Clean A Dirty Farm Truck?
With the right tools, products, and a bit of elbow grease, you’ll have your truck looking amazing and smelling fresh in no time!
Tools, Products, and Equipment
Tools & Equipment
First, let’s take a look at the tools and equipment you’re going to need:
- A wet and dry vacuum cleaner with a carpet cleaning nozzle attachment, or a powerful vacuum cleaner and a separate extractor device to remove the moisture from washed carpets and upholstery. These can be hired if you don’t own one.
- A steam cleaning machine. Again, this can be hired if necessary.
- A cordless drill with a brush attachment.
- A stiff bristle scrubbing brush.
- A round, long bristle brush or an unused paintbrush.
- Five to 10 microfibre cloths.
- Gloves to protect your hands from cleaning products. I use a pair of cotton gloves under rubber ones to prevent my hands from sweating.
Next, let’s see what products work best for the job:
- All-purpose (multi-material) cleaners such as 303 All-Purpose cleaner, are suitable for all surfaces.
- A heavy-duty carpet cleaning solution, the kind you put into a carpet washer machine. I recommend Bissell Deep Clean Pro 4X concentrated carpet shampoo. This needs to be diluted at 10:1, so ten parts water to one part carpet cleaning solution. I put it into a pump spray for easy use.
- An upholstery stain prevention spray such as 3M’s Scotchgard Rug & Carpet Protector to prevent future stains. Your carpets and upholstery will have been treated with a stain preventative during manufacture, but the chemical cleaning products will remove this, so you’ll want to replace it; otherwise, the vehicle will become soiled again faster and be more difficult to clean in the future. Follow the directions on the can.
- An interior glossing product such as Silk Shine Sprayable Dressing by Chemical Guys gives a deep shine to your truck interior.
- Leather cleaner and conditioner if there is any leather upholstery in your truck. Lexol Leather Cleaner and Lexol Leather Conditioner are great, and you can buy them together as a kit.
- A streak-free glass cleaner without ammonia such as Invisible Glass has a specially formulated auto range to get rid of grease, dirt, and marks from all windows and other glass parts inside the car. Don’t use household window cleaners, as they can damage vinyl, plastic, and leather. It may also strip window tint.
- I recommend removing the front seats of your truck, providing they are attached simply with four bolts. When putting them back in place after cleaning, it’s a good idea to use some Loctite Threadlocker Blue 242 on the bolts to ensure they don’t loosen over time.
NOTE: All of these products can be found on Amazon or at other good online retailers. Some can even be picked up at your local Walmart.
Always try the products first on a small, unnoticeable area to ensure you get the results you want and expect. Some products can change the color of fabrics, plastics, and leather. While others may strip finishes.
The Process of Cleaning Your Farm Truck
Let’s look at the step by step process of getting your truck really clean:
Step 1. Clear it out!
Before any cleaning can take place, first you’re going to need to clean your truck out. That means removing all the trash, spare change, documents, clothing, and so on. Don’t forget to look under the seats!
Make sure to recycle anything you can and to put items you want returning safely to one side.
But you’re not finished yet; next, you need to remove all loose parts such as cup holders, trays, steering wheel covers, floor mats, and so on.
Step 2. Seat Removal
To get the truck clean and make access to all areas easier, it’s a good idea to remove the seats. Most front seats are only held in by four bolts that can be undone with the appropriate wrench.
There is usually an electrical connection under the seat, but this is easy to unplug. Be sure to cover the connectors with something to prevent them from getting wet while you’re cleaning, taping a rubber glove over them works well.
The rear seats of a truck can be harder to remove in some models. Take a look at yours, and if they seem simple enough to take out, go right ahead; if not, leave them in place.
Most rear seats flip up anyway, so getting underneath them shouldn’t be difficult. The type that is fixed in place often has storage compartments underneath, so be sure to clean those out too.
Step 3. Suck it up!
The first process is to get your vacuum and use the stairs attachment on the hose. Give the entire inside of your truck a really good clean-out.
Make sure you start with the vacuum empty and listen to the sound it is making. If something gets stuck in the nozzle or if the container is full, the pitch of the sound will change indicating you need to give it some attention.
You want the machine to be working on optimum suck, so if it isn’t find out why and fix it.
To help you lift more stubborn, ground-in dirt, use the hard scrubbing brush to make it easier, then use your long bristle brush in all the nooks and crannies such as seat seams, door sills, and so on. I find a narrow metal brush is helpful to get into narrow spaces or between seats
While you’re vacuuming your carpets, don’t forget to scrub and vacuum the foot pedals too.
Step 4. Washing
Once you’ve got all the main dirt sucked up, you can begin to get the deep cleaning treatment underway.
I use warm water to dilute my carpet shampoo ten parts water, to one part carpet cleaner, and then put it in a spray bottle.
Using your scrubbing brush, focus on any deep stains or inground dirt on your carpets and upholstery. Apply the product, give it a few minutes to work its way in, use the scrubbing brush, and then the wet and dry vacuum or extractor with the upholstery nozzle to suck up the dirt and moisture.
Very quickly your carpets will start to look clean, although it can sometimes take a couple of goes to make them smell fresh.
I find it best to work from the front of the truck to the back, doing the same process.
I often just spray the entire area first and then pay extra attention to the more stubborn stains.
While you’re working on the front seat area, make sure to clean the foot pedals too.
To clean the doors open them and use your scrubbing brush or drill with the brush attachment, depending on how dirty the doors are. Apply the multi-surface cleaning product and work it up to a light foam. Again this can often be diluted, refer to the instructions on the packaging.
Generally, I have found it easier to spray on the cleaning product, then use the brush to tackle the ground in dirt.
Don’t forget the door pockets, if you’ve got kids, then you’ll know what kind of sticky, mucky messes can end up in those!
Once clean, wipe off the product residue using a microfibre cloth that you’ve dipped into clean warm water and rung out.
Finish by finally giving them a wipe-over with a dry microfiber cloth.
The door sills are often incredibly dirty and very hard to get clean. Again using your multi-purpose cleaner and your electric drill brush, give the sills a really good scrubbing. Be sure to work up a good lather.
Rinse the product with clean water and a microfibre cloth and finally dry off with a dry cloth.
I use a bin liner that I’ve cut open, as a plastic sheet. I place it over the clean carpet to protect it while I work.
With the multi-purpose cleaner, a clean microfibre cloth, and your long bristle brush, work your way over the entire dash area including where all of the control buttons are and below the steering wheel and glove compartment.
To clean effectively between any deep groves, such as those around your steering column, use the edge of your microfibre cloth in a flossing action. Your long bristle brush will get into all the vents and between buttons.
You can even use small cotton swabs in these areas if you’re going for true perfection.
Don’t forget about the sun visors!
Gear Shift and Parking Brake Area
As for your dash, keep using the tools that work best to clean these areas with the multipurpose cleaner.
The headlining fabric often gets marked, so use a little of your multi-purpose cleaner on a microfibre cloth and give it a gentle wipe. You don’t want to soak this fabric, as usually it’s stuck on and the cleaning solution may affect the glue, causing your headlining to become detached.
Everything should now be looking much cleaner, so it’s time to pay attention to the seats. Depending on what they are made from, use the appropriate cleaning products.
Using harsh cleaners on leather can cause great damage, making the leather discolor, dry out and crack. Just like your skin, it needs moisture and oil to keep it soft, supple, and looking its best. Use a specially formulated leather cleaner followed by a leather conditioner, dressing, or leather food.
On fabric seats, you can opt to use the diluted carpet cleaner or the multi-purpose cleaner. It is often a good idea to try each on a small area and see what works best.
If the seats are vinyl then the multi-purpose cleaner will do the job just fine.
Partner your chosen cleaning solution with a microfibre cloth, long bristle brush (or scrubbing brush for fabric seats) to get into all of the seams. Don’t forget to also clean any plastic and metal components on the seats too.
By now the interior of the truck should have started to dry out and you’ll be able to see if any areas are still looking dirty. If so, give them an extra scrub.
Step 5. Deep Steam Clean
Most of the deep dirt and grime should now have been removed, but to get everything more hygienic and to remove any of those remaining, extra stubborn stains, it’s time to bring on the heat!
A steam cleaner will get right down into carpet and upholstery fibers as well as make plastic and metal surfaces more germ-free.
Don’t use steam on leather or vinyl, as it isn’t suitable for these.
Once you’ve gone over it all, you can again use the wet vacuum or extractor to suck up all of the excess moisture.
Step 6. Floor mats, drinks holders, and so on
Remember all of those bits and pieces you took out earlier? Well, now’s the time to clean them.
Using the exact same methods, start by vacuuming, wet cleaning, and steaming until they are spotless.
Step 7. Glass
Once you’ve got everything else clean, there’s just one element left. The glass. Your windshield, windows, mirrors, and dash covers. Using an ammonia-free, streak-free glass cleaner, give all of the glass a really good clean, first inside and then out.
To do this take your cleaning product and apply it liberally to the glass, using one microfibre cloth, clean the window. Then using a second microfibre cloth, dry it. Get a fresh microfibre cloth if the one you’re using becomes too soiled or wet.
If you like, you can follow up with a demisting spray to help keep your glass fog-free on cold days. Try this out on a small area first, as I find some of these sprays put a streaky film on your glass.
Don’t forget to cover your carpets with a plastic sheet while you do this.
Step 8. Protection
By this time your truck should be looking, and hopefully smelling great inside. But now you need to think about how you’re going to keep it looking this good.
Firstly you want to add a protective layer. Using a stain-resistant product, apply to the carpets and upholstery as advised on the product’s packaging.
Remember to do the same to the mats too.
If you have leather seats and steering wheel, apply protective, nourishing leather cream to help keep them looking their best.
Step 9. Shine baby shine!
When your car was brand new, it would most likely of had a glossy shine to all of the hard interior surfaces. This shine just cannot be emulated without using a specially formulated product designed especially for the job.
This is when you want to break out that “Silk Shine” formula. Spray it onto a cloth and wipe over all of the hard interior surfaces. Be careful not to get any on your windows!
Put all the extra bits back into place, your cup holders, and so on, and give them a touch of gloss too.
Finally, once your carpets are completely dry, give them one final vacuum and apply some Loctite to the chair bolts before replacing the seats and putting the foot mats back in.
There you have it, one super clean, looks like a new interior!
In this video, you can see the transformation of a Ford F350 truck after a super deep clean:
How to Keep Your Truck Interior Clean & Tidy
You’ve put a lot of time, effort, and some expense into getting your truck interior looking its best. But how can you maintain it that way for longer?
Putting removable seat covers on can help to keep the upholstery fresh and when they are dirty, simply remove and throw in the washer.
Not having enough storage in your truck is one of the main reasons why “stuff” builds up. You can buy special storage devices to fit inside vehicles that come in all shapes, sizes, and materials.
Clever things that slide down between your seats and the central column area, chair organizers, accordion files for your glove compartment, there are loads of great storage solutions on the market. Just take a look and see what’s best for you.
Small, cordless vacuums that you can charge in your truck are great for just giving things a quick once over.
It’s always easy to throw the tools you’re going to need for a job in the back of the truck, only to find once you’ve done the job you never see them again.
Invest in a good quality tool organizer or saddle toolbox, where you can keep all of your most commonly used tools neatly arranged in their own specific place. It can often be easily transported to any job, or between vehicles.
Providing you faithfully return the tools to their proper home after each use, you’ll never lose them again.
In order not to take up too much space, some deep, narrow, zip-up bags make it easy to keep your clean and dirty clothing safely stored away.
When you’ve got some dirty clothes to clean, just take the bag out and carry it inside.
To keep things smelling fresh, sprinkle some baking soda onto the carpets, upholstery, and in the trunk every few weeks. Leave for a few hours and then vacuum it up. Using a good quality natural air freshener can also help!
By doing a little every day, or even once a week – removing any rubbish, shaking out the floor mats, having a quick vacuum, and wiping over the surfaces with a clean microfibre cloth, you could really limit the mammoth cleans to perhaps as little as once or twice a year.
To read more truck blogs, or helpful farming articles visit our site.