If you have a young family, you will know how difficult it is to keep anything clean for longer than five minutes, particularly a car after a long road trip or day out. Sweetie wrappers, muddy boots, crumbs, empty cartons and don’t even get us started on sand – it might be a great day out, but the remnants from a beach day can hang around for weeks! The team at Double Dee Autos are definitely not ones to judge when it comes to untidiness(!) but to ease the anguish surrounding a messy car, here are a few tips for keeping your car clean, particularly with young children in tow.

Clear the clutter

Clear out all the rubbish (including under the seats). Organise items into those that will stay in the car, those that belong elsewhere (in the house or garage) and what you are going to throw away. Once you have decided what is staying in the car and what isn’t set a “what goes in must come out” rule: if you bring it out to your car, bring it back inside when your return from your journey. Get into the habit of bringing coats, shoes, toys back in rather than just sitting in the back of your car.

Keep a washing basket in the car

This may sound weird but they are great for those days when you end up with loads of extra stuff in your car and need to carry it all in, this includes those moments after a big food shop when your fear your fingers might break trying to carry in multiple bags by those fragile handles. It will also help you stay accountable to your new “what goes in must come out” rule!

Cup holders

Their shape creates some hard to reach places which makes cleaning them tricky. Dirt can get trapped easily in the crevices so try dipping a cotton bud into some suitable cleaning solution and scrub until all the grime comes loose. Once they are clean, invest in some silicone cupcake liners to pop inside. That way you can just pop them out and clean them easily on a regular basis.

Wipe over your surfaces often

Keep a pack of dashboard wipes in your glove box so you will always have access to a quick, 30-second clean of your dashboard, arm rests and steering wheels if needed. A regular wipe down can make a huge difference in how your car looks and smells.

Minimise food damage

In an ideal world, banning food and drink consumption in the car would be the perfect solution here, but we all know that is pretty much impossible with young children (especially toddlers!). If we had a penny for every time we’ve heard “I’ll never let my kids eat in the car again” after we’ve serviced a customer’s car and everything’s ship-shape again, we would be able to shut up shop tomorrow! Small children are messy. So, you need to get creative and think of some ways that will keep the mess to a minimum. We have witnessed some great ideas including divided food storage containers, lap trays with high sides (to trap the crumbs) and baskets to contain the containers once they are done with! We have even seen car organisers especially designed to hold food, that can be attached to the back of the front seats. There are so many solutions available on the market now, a crumb free car could soon be a possibility!

Cover up seats

Covering up your seats to protect them from spills is a great idea, especially on long journeys. You can cover your seats temporarily with a clothe sheet of invest in a more permanent car seat cover that can easily be removed and washed or wiped down. Some car seat covers are so easy to wash and wipe easily that they often don’t need removing to do this.

Suck it up

You can’t beat a hoover to keep things clean, hygienic, and looking great. It might not be the most convenient thing to do (especially if you do not have a handheld variety) but it is worth it. Make a point to hoover every month or as needed and it will drastically improve your car’s appearance. Nobody wants to travel amid biscuit crumbs, juice cartons and crisp crumbs.

Aside from being an unsightly, unhygienic nuisance, a messy, untidy car can be distracting and therefore, dangerous. Tidy car, tidy mind, so keep things clean and organised for all-round better car journeys.