Your car was your baby. That is until you had an actual baby. Now that you're a parent keeping your car's interior clean isn't exactly easy. You set rules, try to keep the car clean, and do everything you can do to minimize the impact of having children in your vehicle. But try as you may, your toddler's sippy cups and your preschooler's jelly sandwiches always seem to make their way into the backseat.
What can you do to protect, or at least clean, your car when you have kids? Take a look at these tips for keeping your car mess-free.
Protect the Seats
Not only do you have to defend your car from the dirt, grime, and carious messes that your kids track in, but you also need to keep your upholstery safe from damage that car seats can cause. When it comes to your child's safety, car seats are non-negotiable. You have to use them.
There are plenty of car seat protector products that are commercially available. But take caution when using these. While they may claim to save your car's upholstery, they may also make the safety seat slip or lower the protective power of the seat itself. Always consult your car safety seat's manufacturer guidelines before installing any type of upholstery protector.
When using a specialized seat protector is out, what can you do to protect both your child and your car? The best defense you have is a properly installed car seat. When installed correctly the seat should leave nothing more than temporary dents in your car's upholstery. These should fade after removing the seat.
If you see tears, rips, discoloration, or other issues in your car's upholstery while using a safety seat, check the installation. Most likely it isn't set-up correctly.
Bring Cleaning Supplies
Having cleaning supplies on-hand doesn't mean you have to tote around a box of sprays, washes, and other cleaners. But you can pack a travel-sized container. Wet wipes, dry clothes, and plastic baggies are all must-haves when it comes to keeping your car clean.
Make sure to keep these items away from the kids. Beyond the mess factor (scattering wet wipes around the car won't help to keep it clean), some cleaning items can pose a safety risk. Stash your car cleaning container in the glove box. This provides easy access for you, but no access for the kids.
Along with wipe-up types of cleaning items, store a mini-vac in the car too. A battery-powered or rechargeable hand vacuum makes cleaning up cereal spills, dirt, and dust a breeze.
Random toys rolling around your car, candy stuffed into the seats, and other kid-created messes can clutter your vehicle's space. Instead of tossing the items, objects, and playthings that the kids bring into the car in the trunk or shoving them under seats, organize them.
Hang clear shoe organizers over the back of the front seats, stashing toys, crayons, or snacks in each compartment. You can also use small plasticware containers and multi-compartment bins to organize everything that your children need for their travels.
Hire a Detailer
Some messes are unavoidable. Your child drops a juice box on the seat, mud gets tracked in (and ground down) into the floor mats, and there's grime everywhere. Cleaning minor messes are something that you can do daily. But serious stains and long-term gunk require a professional's touch.
An auto detailer can take care of the messes that you can't. They have the experience and equipment to lift stains and get your car back into top shape. Even though the kids are likely to start the mess-making process almost immediately after the detailing is done, it's an easy way to give your car a spring (or winter, fall, and summer) cleaning.
Does your car need a deep cleaning? Grand Prix Car Wash San Pablo can help.