It’s road trip season and anyone who has road tripped before knows just how trashed your car can get in a single great vacation. It’s almost impressive the amount of junk, spills, and general mess makes it way into your car as you drive around the state or country - even if it’s all adults! Then once you’re home, not only do you have the vacation blues and a mountain of laundry, but you also have a dirty, tired, and trashed car to deal with. There are actually a few tips and tricks we’ve learned to keeping your car clean and fresh on a road trip, so we hope these help!
Tips to Keep Your Car Clean on a Road Trip
- Start Clean. It may seem counter intuitive to clean it when you know it’s just about to get dirty, but actually it motivates you and your passengers to keep it cleaner longer. Take it through a quick wash and vacuum, dump any trash, and wipe it all down before you hit the road.
- Set Rules. If your car is brand new or you really hate cleaning up certain things, just set clear rules early. No milkshakes, no open lids. Maybe no food at all! It’s all up to you.
- Liners. If you’re particularly touchy about cleaning your car’s mats you can get paper or plastic liners from a local auto store - just like the kind the mechanics put in your car while they move and work on it. You can also buy fabric seat liners which work especially well under kids or car seats - throw them right in the washer when you get home.
- Garbage Station. Always keep a garbage bag at the ready. This will keep your passengers from dropping wrappers or empty water bottles on the floor to be torn up or shoved under seats. Mount a hook to the center console or designate one passenger to keep the garbage bag at their feet.
- Cleaning Supplies. Keep antibacterial wipes, paper towels, and maybe even a small stain removing spray in the glove box or under a seat. Make sure everyone knows you have them so if there is a spill, heaven forbid, they can clean it immediately with your cleaning supplies. This will prevent your fabric or leather seats from staining or food from hardening on your siding.
- Clean Every Stop. At every single bathroom break or gas up, do a once over the entire car. Ditch trash, manage spills, and shake off the mats if dusty shoes are causing grime. Wipe down the windshield with the complimentary wipers & soapy water at gas stations to keep bug guts from molding permanently to your windshield.
- Air Freshener. This isn’t technically a cleaning tip, but it certainly helps your car smell a little more fresh and feel cleaner. Buy a multi-pack and switch it out when everyone is getting sick of the car.
- Clean Quickly Upon Return. Even though the last thing you want to do is clean your car when you get home, cleaning it quickly will prevent stains from setting in or more dirt from accumulating. Trust us.
Good luck on your summer road trips! We hope you find adventure and friendship in your car as you explore the horizon.