Are you sick of a dirty and disorganized car? Whether you have kids or not, it’s difficult to maintain car cleanliness. Instead of treating your vehicle as one big storage dump, use these cleaning and organization hacks to keep things fresh and tidy all year long.
HOW TO KEEP THE CAR CLEAN & ORGANIZED
10 Cleaning & Organization Hacks
Use toothpaste to clean headlights and remove scuffs.
Foggy headlights are a safety hazard. According to AAA, restoring your headlights can increase the overall amount of light projected by 30% and reduce glare-producing light scatter by 60%.
Just as toothpaste cleans your teeth, it can also be used to polish your headlights and remove marks from CDs, DVDs, phones, tablets.
Simply wipe your headlights down with soap and water and allow to dry before going over your headlight lenses with a small amount of toothpaste on a clean rag. Rub in circular motions until clean.
The mild abrasive in toothpaste helps restore clarity and remove scratches, however, it is only a temporary fix. In 2-6 months, that hazy look will come back again.
For a longer-lasting solution, buy an inexpensive do-it-yourself headlight refinishing kit at your auto parts store. You can also pay a professional around $30-$150 to do it for you.
Not only does toothpaste help restore clarity to your headlights, but it can also be used to remove minor scratches and scuffs from your car. Make sure the surface is clean before you apply any toothpaste. Since toothpaste acts as a mild form of sandpaper, you don’t want to buff dirt and debris into the paint.
Once the surface is clean and dry, rub some toothpaste onto the scuff with a damp cloth. Use circular motions until the mark is gone.
Toothpaste has also been known to clean vinyl or leather interiors. After you vacuum the area and remove crumbs and dirt, dab some non-gel toothpaste onto the stain and wipe clean with a damp cloth.
Clean and deodorize carpets with soda, vinegar, and baking soda
Every vehicle owner knows that carpets and interiors can get really dirty, especially if you have children. If you want to get rid of stains and smells, you can restore some of that new car smell by using water, vinegar, and baking soda.
- First, start out by deodorizing your car. Simply fill two bowls with white vinegar and place one on the dashboard and the other on the back seat. Leave overnight and remove in the morning. Open up doors and windows until the vinegar smell has gone away.
- After the vinegar smell has dispersed, mix 1 cup of water with ¼ cup of baking soda. Use a toothbrush to wipe away all of your stains, such as ketchup and coffee. Let the mixture penetrate the stains for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, take a clean, dry cloth and blot the area dry.
- Finish up your cleaning job with a spray bottle mixture of ¼ cup of vinegar, 1 cup of warm water, and a couple drops of dish detergent. Use a soft-bristled brush to wipe your upholstery clean. After 15 minutes or so, use a clean, dry cloth to absorb extra moisture.
Now, you have a clean interior!
Keep cleaning products in your car
In order to keep your seats and interior clean while on the go, carry some cleaning products in the car:
- Baby wipes are great for quickly cleaning up small spills and stains. Since they don’t contain any harmful chemicals, they are a safe and effective way to keep your vehicle clean.
- Microfiber cloths are great for cleaning around the house, garage, and the car. These ultra-absorbent cloths are strong, durable, and reusable. They are better at pulling away dust and dirt than paper towels and old rags, which is why they are perfect for automotive cleaning. Carry some microfiber cloths in the car and use them to wash the inside and outside of your car.
- Seltzer water/club soda is a great stain remover. Keep a can or two in your car for a cheap and quick cleaning job. Use your microfiber cloths to get rid of stains as they occur.
- Vinegar can be combined with soda water to effectively clean upholstery and carpets.
- Coffee filters can be used to wipe up dirt and dust from your car. They are also used to create a streak-free shine on windows. Simply add a little club soda or your favorite cleaning solution and run it along your interior for a cheap and easy cleaning job.
- Foam craft brushes are perfect for getting in between small spaces in your vehicle. For instance, if you wanted to clean the dirt that has collected in your A/C vents or get inside your door-side container, dollar-store foam brushes are the way to go.
- Cupcake liners can be used to keep your drink holders clean. Just replace them once they get dirty.
When you are done with your cleaning job, you can also use cornstarch to soak up any remaining moisture. Just vacuum it up afterwards and enjoy your new, clean car.
Use seltzer water and alcohol to prevent windshield wiper streaks
Clean your windshield wipers and prevent streaking by periodically wiping them clean with a cloth dipped in seltzer water and alcohol.
Use a plastic cereal container as a small garbage can
Where do you toss your garbage when you are in the car? Do you use those small slots in the door?
Rather than making a mess of your vehicle and clean-up a pain, pick up a plastic cereal container for a couple of bucks. It will serve as your mess-free garbage can for the rest of your driving days.
You can easily insert a plastic bag for easy clean-up, and it also has a lid to contain any smells. This is a great way to keep trash where it belongs—in a trash bag.
Use an empty tissue box to store your plastic bags
Instead of throwing away your old tissue boxes, reuse them for your car. Put a bunch of plastic bags in a tissue box for easy access. If anybody needs an extra bag for shopping, barfing, or cleaning up, it will always be there.
Place a laundry basket in your trunk for easy organization
When you are driving, do you hear stuff rolling around and making noise in your trunk? If you had a laundry basket in there, you would be able to contain all of your items so they aren’t flying around the trunk.
Laundry baskets can be picked up for just a couple of dollars at your local discount store.
Drape a shoe organizer on the backs of seats to keep everything neat
You’ve probably already heard of this little car organizing hack, but have you actually done it? It’s surprisingly effective at keeping everything in your car organized and easily accessible.
The “hack” has gotten so popular that you can now buy back-seat organizers that have been specifically designed for the car. Store everything from maps and medicines to toys and coloring supplies.
Also, if you have loose colored pencils or crayons lying around, you can store them neatly in an empty DVD case.
Use a shower caddy to organize all of your vehicle’s fluids
Where do you currently store your motor oil, coolant, and windshield wiper fluid? If they are just knocking around in your trunk, now’s the time to make a simple change that will greatly improve your life on the road.
Simply purchase a cheap shower caddy and use it to organize all of the necessary fluids for your car.
Learn more about car fluids and how to maintain your vehicle here.
Consider a wheel cover
While some people argue against wheel covers, they can help keep your steering wheel in good shape. Sun and dirty hands can quickly make a steering wheel look old and raggedy. In addition to keeping your steering wheel clean, wheel covers also increase safety by improving grip and reducing driver fatigue.
Additionally, a cloth cover won’t ever get as hot or cold as your regular steering wheel, enabling you to get on the road in comfort sooner than usual.
We’d love to hear your cleaning and organization hacks for the car. Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.
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