Keeping your car clean when you have kids can be a very challenging endeavor. Regardless of their age, kids tend to leave a trail behind whether it’s: food wrappers, clothes, toys, sports equipment, or bodily fluids, a mess is inevitable! Unfortunately, your car is more likely to be on the receiving side of the mess after every time it comes in contact with your kids. Fear not!
These easy 8 tips will help you keep your car clean even in the presence of little ones!
1. Cover Your Seats
A good way to protect your seats from getting messed up is to cover them. You can cover your seats temporarily with a cloth sheet or purchase a more permanent solution with a plastic cover. Cloth sheets will need to be washed more frequently but can easily be removed. Whereas a plastic cover is fairly easy to wash since things tend to wipe off easy, so no need to remove.
2. Trash Storage
If a plastic bag in your car isn’t very effective for putting trash, try being more creative and using different containers as a make shift garbage can. Put a plastic bag in a cereal bowl or box and instruct your kids to throw the trash in the mini trash can. Small clothing baskets, shoe boxes or tissues boxes can even do the trick.
3. Remove Odor
A car can trap odors from even a single spill of the wrong thing. A good, nonconventional tip to remove bad odors from the car is to keep a box of baking soda underneath your seats. Since there are no chemicals in baking soda, feel free to add one under the driver, passenger and backseats. Best part is if you forget its there past the 30 days recommended use for absorbing smells, no harm will be caused. If it spills, it’s easy to vacuum or wipe up. A good old air fresher on your dash or rearview mirror will also do the trick!
4. Keep the Surfaces Clean
Kids of all ages are curious and antsy so tend to put their hands on anything they find fascinating. Chances are your car’s interior might be dirty because of ice-cream stained little fingers, spilled Gatorade or a greasy burger. To clean these surfaces, use baby wipes. If wipes can handle a baby’s bum at its worst, surely your car is no comparison. Plus they are small and compact enough to just keep a pack in your glove box or center counsel.
5. Cup Holder Cleaner
Cup holders are pretty tricky to keep clean for both children and adult usage so here’s a clever tip to get those hard to reach places. Take an old sock (because surely if you have kids you have one lying around somewhere!) and soak it into detergent water, then insert it into the cup holder and clean it by twisting it thoroughly. Works like a charm on coffee and sugary drinks alike!
6. Vacuum Regularly
Though it might not be the most convenient thing to do, if you make a point to vacuum your car out once every few months, then slowly increase to once a month or as needed it will drastically increase your car’s appearance. Seeing smashed cookie crumbs, juice boxes and chips on your floor can be stressful. Just take a few minutes and vacuum that stuff up!
7. Use Organizer
Consider putting a little portable shelf or a travel organizer in the back of the car to keep your kids’ toys, snacks, extra clothes, tissues, Band-Aids—or whatever you need that ends up on the floor— properly arranged.
8. Use a DIY Stain Remover
If you have cloth seats you need to be extra careful to avoid stains. We recommended keeping a stain remover, like a Tide Stick in your car at all times. If you want a DIY solution squirt a bit of dish soap, 1/2 cup club soda and 1/2 cup of vinegar and mix them up. You’ll have the perfect stain remover to get rid of any stubborn stain. Simply keep it in a water or spray bottle in the trunk and hope you never have to use it!