As Americans, we practically live in our cars. Between commuting, grocery runs, and road trips, we don’t just ride in our vehicles, we eat in them, sleep in them, and take care of our kids and pets in them. All that activity leads to dirt, grime and other debris building up on the inside, making the cabin of your vehicle an unpleasant place to be. However, with a little planning and a few minor changes, you can make the cleanliness of your car a lot easier to manage.
1. Use Baby Wipes
Baby wipes are handy for a lot of things, but did you know they also work great on the interior surfaces of your car? Not only are they cheaper than purpose-made car interior wipes, they’re safe to use on your skin. Keep a package on hand in your glove box to wipe up spills when they happen.
2. Keep Your Cup Holders Clean
No part of your car is more subject to spills, yet it’s one of the easiest places to overlook when cleaning your vehicle. Some cupholders are designed with an inner liner that can be pulled out for cleaning, while others may have parts that can be removed to make it easier to reach inside with cleaning tools. Use a cotton swab dipped in household cleaner to remove dirt and grime that builds up around the edges.
3. Add Some Organization
The right closet organization can make a huge difference when picking out your wardrobe in the morning, and that goes doubly so in a car where frequent turns can move objects all around the cabin.
There are loads of purpose-built organizers for your car’s seat backs and visors on the market, but there are also many other ways to help manage interior space. A tote bag with supported sides is a great place to store all the stuff that ends up rolling around in the trunk, whether it’s extra diapers, tools or an emergency kit, while a purse organizer works great for controlling items in the glove box.
Don’t forget the documents. It’s easy to just toss in the latest insurance card or repair receipt in the glove box, but after a while it can make important documents hard to find. Make sure you’re only carrying relevant documents and toss out outdated receipts. A cheap file organizer can help you keep your paperwork straight.
4. Defend Against Spills and Messes
You can keep your cup holders cleaner by placing a ceramic disc in them. These unglazed coasters absorb condensation from your cup, keeping the inside of the cup holder dry so debris is less likely to stick.
Consider getting a set of all weather floor mats. They act like rubberized trays, collecting moisture and debris from your shoes so they don’t make it to the carpet. Cleaning is as simple as pulling them out and rinsing them with water.
Like to eat in your car? Art caddies have solid sides and bottoms to seal in dripping paint and oils, which makes them ideal for containing messy items like dipping sauces and kid favorites like apple sauce.
If you need to travel with your dog, make a hammock in the back by tying the ends of a blanket to the front and rear headrests. This will give your pet a comfortable place to lie down and ensure there won’t be any fur to upholstery contact.
5. Set a Date
A lot of people have a schedule for when they do house cleaning, and the same should go for your car. Doing a little interior cleaning and vacuuming once a month can help keep dirt build-up under control.
6. Vacuum Frequently
Picking up large objects like errant French fries is a lot easier than trying to remove them after they’ve been smashed into the carpet. Always pull out the floor mats and vacuum them outside the car, then go around inside the car where they were to get any crumbs around the edges. While you’re there, take a quick look under the seats for any items that may have rolled under there.
A household vacuum with a hose works fine, but if you frequently find your floorboards covered in chips and cereal, it may be worth investing in a cheap shop vac. These vacuums are designed to pick up larger objects and draw out wetness from carpets after a spill. Their hoses also make it a lot easier to maneuver the head in tight places.
7. Get Professional Help
If you’re just starting to keep your car clean and organized, getting it back to looking how it should can be daunting. Instead of doing it all yourself, consider bringing it into Merton Auto for car detailing first. We offer a range of services from interior to exterior cleaning and beyond to make your car look as good as new.