People expend a great deal of time, energy and sometimes money washing, waxing and pampering their car’s exterior. They know caring for a vehicle’s paint and finish can help maintain its value. However, the often-neglected interior of your car is just as important. Since you probably spend more time inside your car, it makes sense to pay a little more attention to interior care. Try these tips for maintaining a clean, tidy car.
Pack It In, Pack It Out.
Responsible hikers live by the code “Pack It In, Pack It Out” to keep wilderness areas pristine. Instituting a similar rule for you and your passengers will help reduce clutter in your car.
Tumble-proof trash container.
Line a plastic, snap-lid cereal container with a plastic grocery bag and use it as a trash can. Closing the lid after depositing trash ensures that it will stay put if the container tumbles when you are turning or stopping abruptly. Be sure to empty it regularly to avoid unpleasant odors.
Zip and store.
Put leftover fast food condiment packets and extra napkins in separate zip-seal bags in your glove compartment to make them easy to find.
Impromptu cup cradle.
If all your cup holders are occupied, use a shoe (from an extra pair you may have in the car or from your foot in a pinch) to keep additional cups upright and prevent spills.
Stash a surface.
An old-school wooden clipboard makes a great work surface or on-the-go dining table. And when not in use, it can be tucked out of sight beside or under a seat.
Whack and vac.
Vacuum floor mats regularly to keep dirt from accumulating and ultimately damaging and flattening the carpet fibers. Whacking mats together vigorously before vacuuming will help loosen ground-in grime.
A better storage strategy.
Sliding the contents of your trunk from one side to another to accommodate bags of groceries, etc. is a strategy…of sorts. Why not invest in a trunk storage unit or even just a small rectangular laundry basket to keep items safely in place? In trunks with hard plastic liners, use non-skid rug backing material to keep the basket from sliding.
Quick clean kit.
In a cloth shopping bag, store some baby wipes (they are gentle but effective for cleaning cars as well as babies), a small quantity of glass cleaner, hand-sanitizer (it’s great for its intended purpose and also as an upholstery cleaner – always test a hidden patch to be sure it doesn’t spot), and some paper towel. It takes just minutes to assemble the items and you’ll be glad you did when you can act quickly to keep stains from setting.
A little advance preparation and some regular maintenance can keep your ride looking beautiful – inside and out.