All those fast food runs, Starbucks pit stops and carpooling co-workers and friends can contribute to the overall filth in your car. Even the most disciplined of drivers seem to struggle with keeping their cars clean. As a former car wash employee who detailed cars for a couple years, you’d be surprised at the amount of trash people voluntarily decided to drive next to. So to combat this epidemic and give your car it’s “spring cleaning” we’ve compiled the top 8 surprising yet practical car care tips for you to follow. Who knows, you might just restore your car back to showroom status.
1) You Bring It In, You Take It Out
One of the easiest ways to keep you car in tip top shape is to follow one very simple rule, you bring it in you take it out.. Hold your passengers responsible for their cups, food, toys, papers, books and any other item they bring in your car. You can have even more fun with this and limit your kids or other passengers to one item per car ride, or simply make them put all their junk in backpacks.
2) Keep a Bag Handy
Always keep a trash can size bag handy in your car at all times. This could be great for storing all your fast food bags, cups, trash, or any dirty clothes or shoes until you get home. You can also keep smaller bags handy for you to store any food or treats to hold you over so you don’t have to make a stop at a fast food restaurant while out.
3) Hold off on the extras
When taking your car to the carwash stick with their basic packages. Most places who offer top of the line packages with rust proofing will charge you twice as much as the basic but give you no added value. Effective rust proofing is applied to brand new metal, in order to seal it from corrosive materials like road salt. So any aftermarket treatment purchased at car washes is just throwing your money away.
4) Use Kid Friendly Products
When traveling with young children take advantage of the many spill proof products that are currently available. You can use these products to ensure your child doesn’t spill their cheerios, goldfish or any other crackers they might like. There are even products that can screw on the top of many drinks making them spill proof. These products can be found at Babies-R-Us or online at www.snacktrap.com.
5) Stop and Eat
It may seem like a very simple and straight forward method to preventing the madness within your car but eating inside rather than going through the drive through could make all the difference. It’s much safer too and allows you to spend some quality time with your friends or family.
6) Protecting Your Carpets
Buying a cheap set of rubber mats and placing them in your car can go a long way in preventing those stains within your car. You can find many different styles and colors and are all relatively cheap. Places like Auto Anything sell rubber mats for as low as $16.90! Another good tip to use while shopping for a new car is to buy a vehicle with black carpeting. When I detailed cars back in the day, black carpeting was the easiest to clean and could easily be made to look brand new. Tan carpets were the worst.
7) Emergency Kits
Keeping an emergency cleaning kit in your car is a great way to be prepared for any disaster. Some items to keep within the kit can include:
- Small plastic grocery bags
- Large plastic trash bags
- Hand towels
- Paper towels
- Carpet cleaning solution
- Glass cleaning solution
- General cleaning solution
- Baby wipes
8) Cleaning Your Leather
Lexol Spray Leather Cleaner and Pinnacle Leather and Vinyl Cleaner both work very well and are easy to use. If your leather is really dirty and has a lot of dirt in the crevasses, try taking some soapy water and a brush and clean before applying the leather conditioner. Some places like carsdirect.com recommend conditioning your leather at least once every three months to help restore the leathers natural oils. If you don’t your car’s leather upholstery can begin to dry out and crack.
Did we miss out on any? What are some of the tips and tricks you use when trying to keep your car in tip top shape? Sound off in the comments and let us know!