4 easy ways to keep your car interior clean
(Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Theresa N.)
If you spend a lot of time in your car – and no doubt you do as the U.S. Census Bureau estimates most Americans spend at least 25 minutes just getting to work each day – you may find it a challenge to keep your car’s interior clean and clutter-free. To tackle that mess and regain that new-car cleanliness again, consider these four easy ways to keep your car’s interior clean.
1. Get organized
Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of clutter that accumulates inside your car’s interior? Get an organizer. Available at many big-box retail outlets as well as auto parts retailers, you can find car organizers that fit behind the driver or passenger seats, on the floor or in a cargo hold. Fit anything you need on a regular basis, such as kids’ toys for commutes, cell phone chargers or media adapters, and tissues, and remove anything else from the car. Make sure to regularly remove any items that don’t fit in the organizer to help keep clutter to a minimum.
2. Keep a stash of trash bags on hand
No matter how much some people may try, it sometimes feels impossible keeping trash like unneeded receipts, take-out napkins and straw wrappers from building up in the car. Put a stash of trash bags in your glove box, center console or organizer to help keep trash and other debris from piling up. You can reuse plastic grocery or shopping bags, or buy small trash bags. Any time you exit the car near a trash can, pick up any and all trash, place it in the bag and toss it out.
3. Add an extra layer of protection
Although most cars these days come equipped with floor mats from the manufacturer, they don’t always offer adequate protection. A car with a interior carpet that’s stained, frayed or tattered will sell for significantly less than a well-maintained one, so preserve the value of your vehicle by installing heavy-duty floor mats. You can purchase customizable cut-to-fit floor mats from most auto parts retailers or order custom-fit floor mats tailored to your vehicle from online retailers. Opt for plastic or vinyl since they’re easier to keep clean.
4. Set the ground rules
Of all the easy steps listed above, the easiest way to prevent spills or stains is to never let them happen in the first place. Set rules for yourself and your passengers about what can and can take place in the car. Not eating in the car is one sure way to prevent drink spills and French fries making their way into dark crevasses.
If your car interior is already cluttered and dirty, consider getting an interior cleaning performed by an auto detailing shop to return it to like-new condition.