Home : 9 Tips and Tricks – Leonie Barkakati – Medium

We have all been that person who has to apologize for having a messy car. When you clean every six months, you find some scary things! Does this sound like you? Have you ever found something in your car that makes you scratch your head and wonder how it got there?

“Whose is this stuff? I’ve never seen it before in my life!” Credits: Leonie Barkakati

Have no fear! With a few simple steps, your car can go back to looking brand new (or perhaps only 3 years old instead of 12). Try a few of these tips for a cleaner car within a week.

Invest In A Vacuum Cleaner

A hand-held vacuum cleaner would be best for interior car spaces. They are great for cleaning out those hard-to-reach corners. If you do not have a handheld, most vacuum cleaners also have different accessories that are useful for small spaces. Vacuuming as little as once a month is a great way to get excess dirt, grass, or crumbs off the floor of your car, especially in summer.

Use Pet Blankets

We all love a good walk in the park or on the beach with our pets. Using a pet blanket helps keep a lot of hairs from sticking to the back seat of your car, or if you have leather seats, from clumping in unsightly piles. You can order a pet blanket from Amazon starting at 17.99.

Do Not Eat In Your Car

This habit is one of the worst offenders of awful-car-smell. Crumbs and food particles attract ants, other insects, and in very warm climates, small animals that find their way into vehicles, cannot get back out, and die. When we are in a rush, it is tempting to pack up the coffee or toast and consume it on the way to work, or eat some of the takeout we ordered while we are still driving back home. Try to refrain from doing this and instead give yourself enough time to eat. It is better both for your health and for your car if you are not eating while you drive.

Replace Your AC Filters

Does your AC or defroster not seem as effective as usual? It might be time to replace your AC filters. If it has been a long time since you last did this, there could be a lot of dust, pollen, or leaves in your filter that have accumulated over time. This clogs up the holes in the filter and does not allow as much air to circulate in the cabin. This is easy to fix and only takes about 15 minutes. Car dealers will charge about 60 dollars to change your filters, but if you do it yourself it costs around 20 dollars.

Unpack As Soon As You Get Home

When we get home from a road trip, we are usually exhausted and want to do nothing. If you can muster just a little energy to take your bags and all the road-trip garbage out of the car, you will have a much cleaner car. This spares you from having that always-full-trunk look that so many people have, where the stuff from their last trip just sits in the trunk forever until they need the space for something else. And getting rid of any greasy fast-food wrappers from the road is a good idea to avoid pests.

Use Glass-Friendly Wipes

Do you have a lot of streaks on the inside of your windows? A lot of times, if you just use a cleaning product and a paper towel, it will leave streaks or lint. Use cleaning products that are specifically designed for glass. These are usually softer, microfiber cloths and cleaners that dry quickly.

Do Not Use Your Car As Storage

Sometimes it is hard to avoid leaving a few things in the car, especially if you need certain supplies for work. However, try finding a space either in your office or your house for your work supplies. If you are collecting things to donate, like books or clothes, keep them in your garage until you have time to donate them. Keeping items in cars, especially if they are loosely packed, frequently results in things getting stuck under seats or falling out of doors. If your items are visible from outside, you might also attract a car burglar or two.

Use Baking soda

Baking soda is a magical substance. Lots of people know of its many household cleaning properties. It turns out, it works on cars, too! Leaving an open box of baking soda in your car overnight can help absorb any odors that linger. Just make sure you remember to take it out the next morning, or you might have to deal with spilled baking soda all over your interior. This can be more effective than just masking the smell with air fresheners.

Avoid Leaving Anything Wet In Your Car

Whether it is a water bottle or a damp towel or umbrella, it is just a better idea to not leave water in an enclosed space. If they are left in heat, plastic water bottles will melt and you will have plastic particles floating in your water. Things like towels or umbrellas can very quickly become homes for mildew or bacteria, and this will make your car smell. Make sure to remove damp items from your car and dry them in well-ventilated places.


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