It might seem like dirt is especially attracted to your car. No matter how much you clean it, you always find more dust, dirt and grime.
We asked organizational and automotive industry experts to give us their best tips and tricks to keeping a clean car. Check out some of the best tips you can use today to make your car a little bit cleaner.
Reduce the Need to Clean
Once of the best ways to keep your car clean is to reduce the amount of cleaning needed. If you can limit the amount of dust or dirt that comes into your car, you’ll spend less time trying to remove it.
Lauren Fix, an automotive expert from The Car Coach NY, suggests changing your indoor air cabin filter regularly. This filter helps catch dust and dirt from the air conditioning and heating system. Fix recommends a change of filter every six months. If you live in a dusty area, such as the drier regions of California, it’s probably a good idea to change it even more often.
Fix also notes that bacteria can grow quickly in a car, thanks to its ideal environment of warm plastic and leather. As you touch the radio dials, steering wheel, and other interior parts of your car, you’re spreading bacteria. Wipe down the surfaces of your car with an antibacterial wipe or spray often to prevent bacteria growth.
Julie Finch-Scally, of The Duster Dollies in Australia, has one simple tip to help reduce the dirt in your car. She suggests keeping a pair of inexpensive slip-on shoes in your car. Change into the shoes before you enter the vehicle. You can store your outdoor shoes in the side pocket of your driver door. You can also put a grocery bag or other container in your car specifically to store your shoes when driving. Changing your shoes helps greatly reduce the amount of dirt, mud, grass and other grime from the bottom of your shoes from ever touching your car.
Using liners can also help you reduce the amount of dirt that actually reaches your car. Cup holders, for example, are notorious for gathering bits of food, dirt and sand. Cleaning and organizing expert Lily Cameron, of Fantastic Services, says to use silicone muffin cups in the cup holders to catch dirt. These are an inexpensive and reusable liner that’s easy to pull out and toss in the dishwasher when cleaning is needed.
Make Cleanup Easier
Even though you can reduce how often your car needs cleaning, it’s not possible to cut it out completely. Make car cleanup easier with some simple tips that can speed up the time it takes to clean out your car.
Most industry experts agree keeping a trash bag liner or grocery bags is a great place to start. You can easily store bags or liners in the glove box or center console. When you have trash like fast food wrappers, paper coffee cups or old receipts, you can simple pull out a bag and put the trash in it. Once your trash bag is full, take it out of the car and throw it away. If you’ve only collected paper trash, you could even reuse a bag a few times to reduce your waste.
In addition to keeping trash bags handy, Susan Santoro of Organized 31 recommends you take out any trash that was created that day when you get home. This small extra step takes only a few second longer than normal, but can greatly reduce the clutter in your car.
Experts also agree that the driver’s side tends to get more dirt than the rest of the car. As you get in and out, you’re tacking the dirt from outside into your vehicle. Floor mats are essential to keeping dirt clumps, rocks and anything else you might pick up outside at bay. You want to make sure you have a mat that fits your car correctly so the whole floorboard is covered. Aim to find floor mats that don’t have carpet. A rubber or plastic mat is much easier to clean than carpet mats. Remove your mats once a week and shake off debris outside of your car. If your mats get muddy or you spill something on them, it’s easy to spray them off with a hose to remove the grime.
Another car interior essential is to keep cleanup wipes in your car at all times. Whether you opt for baby wipes, car care wipes or dust wipes, pre-moistened wipes are convenient for wiping up spills or removing dust from your dashboard. When cleaning the dash, be sure to choose a wipe or automotive cleaner that doesn’t leave a shine, as this can cause reflections in your windshield and make it difficult to see, recommends John Burkhauser of Bolt On Technology.
Organize for a Faster Cleanup
The best way to make keeping your car clean easier is to invest the time to create organized spaces in your vehicle. Instead of leaving loose car registration papers, insurance cards and your owner’s manual in your glove box, buy paper organizers to keep everything neat. Consider a plastic document organizer or flexible binder with sleeves to make finding your important documents easy.
Set up a car care and personal needs kit in the trunk or backseat of your vehicle for easy access to necessities. Find a plastic organization tote and fill it with the things you need to have on hand. Include things like wet wipes, sun screen, a first aid kit, flashlight and grocery bags.
Keeping your car clean is a constant battle, but these tips should make it easier. Implement some of these simple tricks today to have a cleaner car right away.