Driving with kids can be stressful on its own. Driving in a car that feels like a rubbish bomb exploded in it is worse, but kids often seem to have that effect in confined spaces.
Keeping your car tidy between all the school runs, other chauffeur duties, family visits and fun trips can seem like an impossible task. But a clean car, much like a clean home, tends to reduce stress levels overall for everyone involved.
A huge choice of great car accessories alongside our pro tips will make keeping your car clean a breeze… even when it’s full of kids.
Prevention is better than a cure
Stop your car taking the brunt of the mess with protective coverings like car mats and seat covers that you can whip out and wash as and when you need to. If your kids are prone to wildly swinging the door open without checking for immovable objects like walls and lampposts, it might also be worth investing in protective mouldings to help look after your car doors.
Keep everyone entertained
Bored kids are messy kids. Entertained kids can also be messy kids… but you might lower the chances. Audiobooks or a tablet are a great idea to keep kids quiet and calm on longer journeys. As an added bonus, if you already use tablets in the car – a tablet holder stops those “stop touching it, it’s mine” contests in the backseat.
There’s loads of neat organiser gadgets including backseat hanging organisers, car boot organisers, travel tables with side pockets and more. For longer journeys where toys are coming with consider only allowing one ‘special’ box of car toys to minimise the amount of mess.
It should go without saying that letting your toddler loose with a yogurt in the backseat is a terrible idea bound to end with yogurt eternally in your car. Snack smart with a detachable car seat snack/drink holder and by picking car-friendly snacks with minimal fuss and crumbs.
Depending on how prone to travel sickness your child is, it may also be wise to invest in travel sick bags to go in your backseat organisers for those inevitable emergencies.
Keep on top of it
On longer journeys, or if your kids are always snacking on the go, it’s well worth having a carrier bag in the car for rubbish to help you keep on top of the endless wrappers. Then you can just empty your car bin bag regularly instead of crawling around the footwell trying to find all the stray bits strewn about.
You can also help stop crumbs and other bits building up in your cup holders by lining them with cupcake holders. If you regularly commute, you may even want to take some inspiration from Pinterest with this DIY cereal box car bin.
Tips Mrs Hinch would be proud of
Keep on top of stubborn dirt and stains with professional tips to make it easy. A couple of our favourites include using a magic eraser to get sticky handprints off the vinyl in your car, using a portable iron and paper to remove crayons from upholstery and throwing your floor mats in the washing machine with stain remover.
If you’ve got a pet to contend with as well as your kids instead of endlessly vacuuming fill a spray-headed bottle with water and coat the offending area, then once the hair has loosened wipe with a squeegee window cleaner.
You may also want to pet-proof your car with durable, quality car mats and a waterproof, scratchproof car-seat cover. This way, you won’t need to worry about lasting damage on your car seat and interior. For long car rides, some owners also apply cling wrap on car windows because dogs do love to slobber all over them, but their humans don’t love them any less for that.
There’s always walking
The easiest way to make sure your car stays clean is to use it less. If you can walk your school run or the shops, do it. It’s better for your kids and you’ll be doing your bit for the environment too.
Have you got any more tips on how to keep your car clean?
Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you enjoyed this post.