Nobody enjoys a filthy car interior. If you’re like most people, you spend hours each day in your car traveling to work. You want a neat, odor-free car to convey you from place A to point B. So, what do you do when you come upon a filthy, sticky cup holder?

Perhaps you made a fast turn and some coffee spilled from the top of the lid. Perhaps one of your children left a half-filled paper cup of juice in the cup holder for a week. Whatever the cause of the sticky mess, these techniques will help you clean your cup holders again.

car cup holder

Cleaning a Removable Car Cup Holder

  1. Many automakers anticipate the need to clean automobile cup holders by including detachable plastic or rubber liners. These are the simplest cup holders to clean since they can be washed in the dishwasher on the top rack.
  2. After the cycle is finished, remove the cup holders from the dishwasher and inspect them for cleanliness. There may be some slime left over, which you may easily remove with a towel. Stubborn messes may require a second run through the dishwasher.
  3. You may also soak detachable automobile cup holders in a pail of warm, soapy water. Allow them to sit for at least 10 minutes before attempting to clean them. If filth remains, wet the cup holders for a longer period of time and clean them again. Rinse, dry, and re-install the cup holders in your vehicle.

Cleaning a Non-Removable Car Cup Holder

If your cup holders cannot be removed from the vehicle, you must clean them in place.

Follow these procedures to clean somewhat filthy cup holders:

  1. Fill a tumbler or other big cup halfway with an old sock.
  2. Spray glass cleaner or all-purpose cleaner on the sock.
  3. To remove small stains and spots, twist the tumbler around the cup holder.
  4. Finish by vacuuming the cup holder using a shop vac, which is an essential interior automobile cleaning supply.

How to clean your cup holders if they are very filthy?

  1. Squeeze a small puddle of warm, soapy water onto a towel and place it in the cup holder. Allow the water to stand for a few minutes.
  2. Insert a dry cloth inside the cup holder to absorb the water and remove the residue.
  3. If the stickiness persists, wet the cup holder once again.
  4. Wrap a dinner knife in a cloth and brush it around the edges to remove the stuck-on crud from the creases more efficiently this time.
  5. If black stains persist on light-colored cup holders, use a clean cloth to massage in a few drops of lemon juice.
  6. Rinse and dry the cup holders, then admire the immaculate results!

Tips to keep the car cup holders clean

You want your automobile cup holders to stay clean for as long as possible after you’ve worked hard to clean them. To avoid future blunders, try the following suggestions:

  • To collect crumbs and spillage, place silicone cupcake liners in your cup holders.
  • Always use travel mugs rather than open cups, and close the plastic tab when not drinking from the cup.
  • Stuff a folded straw in the opening of mugs without a plastic tab to prevent spillage while driving.
  • You shouldn’t be afraid to clean a car cup holder now that you know how.

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Chris Miller

Chris Miller is an auto journalist who specializes in reviewing new cars and providing helpful advice on family vehicles. He has a passion for cars and enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.

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