We tend to spend a lot of time in our vehicles and keeping them clean can be a difficult task. Dirty roads, pet hair, rowdy kids, and rogue breadcrumbs make quick work of pristine-looking four-wheelers.
Still, the good news is that your habits make all the difference: a bit of effort every day goes a long way toward avoiding dirt and disorder later. You only have to follow some simple tips and use tools such as wipes to keep your car looking at its best.
Always Have a Trash Can
Having a trash can may seem like a no-brainer, but it is surprising how many car owners overlook it. An airtight travel trash container, cereal plastic container, or a plastic bag can all do the trick. As long as it is something you can seal, you will not have to cope with bad smells.
So, designate a spot, make a habit of putting trash there, and remember to empty when needed. Store some extra trash bags that can serve as a substitute for car seat protectors and capture straw, dirt, and sand.
Banish the Food Residue
Sooner or later, most drivers resort to eating and drinking in the cars. While this is certainly less-than-ideal, food containers can help you catch the crumbs. And if they do end up scattered around, you need to do the good old vacuum.
Furthermore, it might be necessary to employ a detail brush and weed out persistent crumbs that linger in the seams between the seats. On the other hand, an old toothbrush, in combination with baking soda and water, is a nice way to remove dried-on liquids.
Eliminate the Stains Promptly
Vacuuming only affects the top layer of interior dirt. To penetrate beneath it, you need cleaning supplies that can address those pesky stains. For the mat, you can utilize laundry stain remover. Just spray it over the surface, throw the mat in the washer, and let it air-dry afterward.
As for stains on the seat upholstery fabric, you can use a carpet cleaner. A bit of scrubbing with a toothbrush afterward is an effective method that requires no vacuuming, intense washing, or rinsing.
Preserve the Leather
Leather demands a bit of special attention, but the maintenance process is fairly simple. Wax the leather, spray it with leather cleaner, and wipe it down with hot water. This should result in a softer and cleaner surface.
Bear in mind as well that kick mats and car seat protectors come in handy in case you transport your kids in the vehicle. Likewise, those who own a pet might want to purchase a waterproof backseat cover, which keeps the seat clean and dry at all times.
Cleaning the Exterior
Dirt and mud from roads can swiftly render the outside of your vehicle unseemly. To restore it to former glory, sprinkle cream tartar on the surface and wipe it clean with a mixture of water and soap. After that, rinse with clean water.
Applying a coat of wax every now and then makes your exterior look even better and it also reduces the workload for the next time. Namely, wax protects the paintwork from road salt, debris, ultraviolet light, metal oxidation, and tree sap.
Take Advantage of Wipes
One of the most basic tips for keeping your car clean is to deal any mess right away. When a spill happens, a quick reaction prevents a permanent stain from emerging. Therefore, you should have a package of wet wipes, dash wipes, baby wipes, or Clorox wipes around.
Do not overlook areas that are harder to reach, such as glove compartments, cup holders, and air vents. Note that certain types of wipes are effective when cleaning windshields as well.
Keep the Clutter at Bay
Good organization and cleanliness always go hand in hand. Thus, commit to de-cluttering on a regular basis. For instance, make an effort to take something out every time you leave the vehicle. Avoid having a pile of belongings in the back seat or under it.
The benefits of these kinds of policies are two-fold. When you decide to clean, you will not have to waste time setting the stage. You will also gain more room for things you actually need to keep in your vehicle.
We have all been there— a dirty and messy car. However, a spotless vehicle calls for nothing more than minimum consistent effort. So, make sure to perform your chores regularly. You should be able to make your car look brand new and maximize your joy behind the wheel.