7 tips and tricks to get your car super clean

Dirty cars can be quite an embarrassment. Imagine this scenario - one of your office mates needs a ride home unexpectedly. You don't want to be impolite and say “no.” But unfortunately, your car looks as if someone actually lives in it - and that person is not especially tidy.

There are food wrappers everywhere, even a few lollipop sticks stuck to the fabric seats (God bless your children), other undefined spots and stains, a dusty/dirty dash, and a less than lovely odour that accompanies all of this.

Even worse, you know that after you give your co-worker a lift, the entire office will also know how you keep your car!

Mind the germs inside your car too! 

What’s even worse than the clutter and odour, is the bacteria, invisibly making a home of your vehicle too. Microbiologists at Aston University in Birmingham found that an average gear shift usually has over 365 germs per square centimetre. While most of these microorganisms will not cause major health issues, cars that regularly carry children and animals can host more harmful germs.

This reason alone should help you get motivated to keep your car clean. Below are seven tips and tricks that can help you to get your car tidy swiftly and effectively.

1. Organise a car rubbish bin

Environmentalists are railing against the use of plastic bags, so much so that their sales fell by 90% in the last 4 years. But many of us have a stash of them at home.

Start re-using them in your car. You can house one bag in the front seat and one in the back and have some kind of penalty in place for when your children do not use them. These are easily grabbed and emptied when full, keeping your car tidier.

2. Schedule a deep clean every 3 to 6 months

 Yes, there’s no way around it: car deep cleaning should happen at least twice a year.  Specifically, you should be steam cleaning your interior to remove persistent dirt and clean all the upholstery similar as to how you would inside your home, switching between steaming and vacuuming.

You can do this yourself, of course, if you have several hours to spend, or you can turn the task over to a professional car cleaning company. Either way, this bi-annual task is important if you want a clean car.

3. Dust your car regularly

But make it easy on yourself - you can buy those pricey car dust cloths (which do a great job), but baby wipes will perform the same task perfectly well too. Also if you use baby wipes, you will have antibacterial elements that will clean off that germy gear shift. 

Another great dust eliminator is a can of compressed air, which will clean those hard to reach spots. It comes with dangers, though, so don’t keep it permanently in your car.

4. Address those floor mats

You can eliminate dirt and odours by simply setting a regular time to shake out those mats. How about Sunday? It’s a less stressful day, and it only takes 10 minutes at the most.

5. Consider purchasing a car vacuum

Keep one in your boot. Or, if you can find one small enough, on the floor of the back seat. Get one that plugs into your device plugins, or a cigarette lighter plug, if you have one. When you have a vacuum available at any time, you are more likely to use it.

6. Deal with spots and stains before they get too old 

The sooner you manage to get rid of the spot, the less effort it will require. Here's a quick fix to help you. Mix a solution of vinegar, alcohol (the rubbing kind, of course), and baking soda. Put it in a very small spray bottle. Keep it in your glove box or centre console compartment with a small scrub brush. Brush out those spills and stains as they happen. As an alternative, you can buy a bottle of stain remover and pour some into a smaller spray bottle just for the car.

7. Get an odour eliminator

Cars can smell, especially if you eat food in them or have animals in the car regularly. Hang some cute fresheners from your mirror, or use some of those new clips that attach to your heating/cooling vents.

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