After purchasing a new car, most of us start out with a strong resolve to keep it clean. All sorts of promises are made, from not eating in the car, to never leaving jackets or other items in the back seat. There may even be promises of washing and vacuuming the car every weekend.
While most of us tend to relax our cleaning efforts after a few months, it does not mean our cars cannot look great, even as they age. There are a number of ways to keep a car clean that requires little to no effort. If you want to make your car look great and feel clean, here are some suggestions to consider.
One of the most common cleaning issues with vehicles is that sometimes allow miscellaneous items to pile up in the back seat. Jackets, books, homework folders, old clothes, and other items settle into the back seat and seem to take up space. All too often, these items can remain in the car for days or even weeks.
To eliminate the clutter, impose a twenty-four hour rule: any spare item that goes into the car must come out of the car within twenty-four hours. This is a great method because it helps keep your car clean from unnecessary clutter.
Trash is almost as much of an issue as clutter. To deal with this issue, always keep a small garbage bag tucked into the glove compartment or the pocket on the back of the seats. Use the bag to gather up any fast food containers, candy wrappers, or other discarded junk from the interior of the car, and then toss the bag into a nearby trash receptacle. This is something that should be done at least once per week. This allows you to keep the interior of your car trash free.
Households with kids know that taking food along on any road trip is necessary. However, eating while the car is in motion can be messy. To protect the upholstery, use spill-proof cups and simple plastic holders for finger foods. Many of these food holders have flexible bands across the mouth of the device, making it easy for your kids to reach in and grab whichever snack is available. If the holder is dropped, the bands keep the snacks from falling onto the seats or floorboard carpeting. While they cost a little more, these devices make it much easier to keep the upholstery in good condition.
Adults, of course, can also spill liquids in the car. For this reason, always use insulated cups that are equipped with lids for beverages such as coffee, tea, or colas. It is just as easy to enjoy your drink, but if the container does fall to the floor, only a small amount of liquid may spill onto the carpeting. This can make it much faster to clean if something happens to spill.
Many people do not realize how many surfaces they touch while in a vehicle. If your hands are greasy or dirty, some of the dirt and grime may be left behind each time you rub against the upholstery, touch the dashboard, or handle the steering wheel. To keep the accumulation of grime to a minimum, always keep hand wipes in the glove compartment. A quick cleanup after grabbing a burger at a drive-through can save you a lot of time later on, since you should not have to remove the grease.
Resealable bags are a great way to deal with all sorts of situations. Large bags can be used to keep wet clothing or muddy shoes from coming in contact with the upholstery or carpeting. Small bags are ideal for carrying along a moistened washcloth for cleaning an infant’s face and hands after a snack. Keep a few of these bags tucked into the glove compartment in case there is an emergency.
Even under the best of circumstances, some stains are bound to develop on the upholstery. Often, non-gel toothpaste can come in handy. For stains like ketchup or lipstick, quickly apply a little of the toothpaste to the stain, then rub gently with a wet cloth.
One final way to keep your car clean and fresh is to invest in a good quality hand-held vacuum. This device can be used to remove crumbs from the interior, thus eliminating the chance of oil stains while also keeping the area fresh and inviting. Remember to charge the battery on the vacuum now and then; this ensures the device is ready when you need it.
When cleaning your car, remember to avoid anything that can cause a spill or make a mess on your carpeting or upholstery. Although that is easier said than done, you should take precautionary measures to ensure the car stays clean. Cleaning the car often is a great first step to keep the car looking great. If your kids like to eat during road trips, be sure to seal the food and drinks in a container that makes it difficult to spill. Hand wipes also help significantly because they allow you to clean your hands before touching the upholstery.