Around work, kids, pets, housework and general life maintenance, keeping a car clean is a huge hassle. So what do we do? Well, many of us ignore it. We leave it to amass dust and grime; clothes and rubbish, until it becomes such an unpleasant place to spend time that we cave in and clean it.
If this sounds like you, then we’re pleased to tell you keeping your car clean is easier than you think. There are plenty of simple hacks that you can do that will make you proud of your interior.
To make it even easier for you, we’ve broken it down by the anatomy of the car.
1. For your windows…
Preventing windscreen smears
Wipe down your window wipers with a smidgen of rubbing alcohol (too much will dry them out). This way you can avoid those annoying streaks that appear on your windscreen.
Stopping oil residue from building
That oily film that builds up on the inside of your windscreen? It largely occurs when your dashboard heats up and emits gas (aka volatile organic compounds or VOCs) from within the plastic. Try to avoid leaving your car in direct sunlight and, if it is safe to do so, crack your windows a little to let the VOCs out.
2. For your seats…
Removing pet hair
Pick up pesky pet hair with a small squeegee and some water in a spray bottle. Simply spray onto the seats, scrape off and vacuum up.
Getting in between the seat seams
Crumbs and all manner of ick will build up in the seams between your seats and this makes your car look and feel messy. The best way to get this out is to use a detail brush. Then vacuum it up.
Getting out stains
Carpet cleaner and a toothbrush will help you remove stains from your seat upholstery. Spray a little onto the stain, scrub and blot it up with a towel once you’ve finished.
Warding off bad smells
Sprinkle baking soda over your seats to get rid of odours and kill bad bacteria without the need for harmful chemicals. Simply leave the baking soda on the fabric for a few minutes and hoover it up again.
3. For your dashboard, gear area and seat base…
Keeping your cup holders clean
Place silicone cake cups in your cupholders to stop crumbs and scum from building up inside them. To give the holders a clean, put a sock around a cup and rub it around the cupholder.
Preventing a build-up of dust
Keep a compact duster and surface wipes in your glove compartment to wipe away dust that builds up on your dashboard, doors and gear lever. The wipes can double-up as a cleaning tool in the event of a spillage.
Getting into the air vents
Air vents are one of the trickiest places to get to in your car. To manage this, wrap a tea towel or sock around the stem of a fork and push it between the vents.
Reaching that vexing part between the seats and seat base
The only place trickier than the vents is that bit next to the front seats, where all manner of unreachable dirt accumulates. For this, you will need to invest in a car vacuum. It’s smaller and can reach the places a regular vacuum can’t.
4. For your floors…
Having a makeshift bin
Use a cereal container as a bin. It’s robust and will keep any rubbish inside, no matter how many sharp corners you turn. It should also fit quite snugly in your door compartment.
Keeping your floor mats tidy
Use stain remover on your floor mats then stick them in the washing machine and let them air dry after. Good as new.
Keeping the dirt out
Knock your shoes clean every time you get in. No matter how much rubbish and clutter you remove from your floor, your car will continue to look a mess if the floor is dirty. Your shoes are always the culprit.
5. For organisation…
Creating a storage station
Hang a shoe organiser over the back of the passenger seat and use it to store books, toys and snacks. This is particularly great for long journeys with kids and dogs.
Storing your car papers
Keep a file folder in your glove compartment, for holding papers and information relating to your car.
Stop your boot becoming a tip
Keep an expandable organiser in your boot with multiple containers for food, clothing and whatever else you may store in there.
Preventing a build-up of rubbish
Every time you leave the car, take something with you. You’ll soon stop using your car for storage.
Use your visor to store flat items
Stick several rubber bands around your visor to store paper, CDs and other flat objects that might get in the way.
6. For that extra feng shui…
Keep your car smelling fresh
Keep a working air freshener in the car at all times. It will keep your car feeling fresh and clean all the time.
Stop condensation from accumulating
Keep silica gel packets and store them near your car windows to absorb excess moisture.
Keep your exterior looking sharp
Your sparkling interior will feel wasted if the outside of your car is grimy. Visit a car wash every other week or so to make your exterior stand out as much as your interior.
Autoprep is a car body repair specialist based in Exminster, Devon. They handle everything from paintless dents, bumper and alloy wheel repairs to scratches and scuffs. Autoprep offers showroom quality repairs at trade prices for everyone. For more information, head to http://www.autopreprepair.co.uk/services/