Your kid hauler is an under appreciated pack mule. Show it some love with a good scrub.
First, an exterior clean: Most kids love a car wash, be it the drive-through type or helping at home with a sponge of their own. Watch out for giving them control of the hose, though. A toddler with a spray hose can be a dangerous thing. Advice from the pros: don’t use dish soap; it’s for dishes, not your ride, as it can strip your car’s protective seal.
Next up, a garbage cleanout. Get two bags: one for items to keep, one for items to go. If you’re like the rest of us with kids, there’s always a layer of wrappers and refuse. Getting that obvious layer out is motivating because, hey, you can see the floor!
Vacuuming: counterintuitive to what most of us do, many professional car detailers save the vacuuming for last. Apparently they use a top-down method of attack, letting the grime settle on the bottom of the interior before vacuuming.
Level up car-cleaning
If you’re feeling really motivated beyond the basics, consider some items used by pro detailers:
A stiff brush used on fabrics helps bring up more of the grunge.
Small foam paint brushes for getting the dust out of the air vents.
Cleaning gel that can get into those small, awkward places like coin holders, nooks in the gear shift, etc.
Adam’s Deep Clean Erasers for automotive use are touted as the way to get rid of stubborn interior ick.
Clean the dash with a product made for your car’s interior. Tempting though it may be to use a diaper wipe, they are not made for your dash.
Goo Gone Automotive Spray Gel works on old adhesive and gum. For that old bumper sticker you no longer want, there are plenty of methods using heat, vinegar and other household products, but sometimes you need the big guns.
Microfiber cloths: Interior windows get greasy. Microfiber or other lint-free material is the way to go in getting them clean, along with a non-toxic window cleaner. Don’t use that spray on the computer display panel, though, as those are typically not made of glass. Check with your vehicle’s manual for guidance on how to properly clean the display.
Should you buy a car vacuum?
There’s no shortage of car vacuums on the market, many of them with USB charging so you charge-on-the-go. Busy family life means eating in the car, and messes are bound to happen. Whatever you choose, make sure it is properly stowed when driving so that it does not become airborne in the event of a crash.
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Meet Laura Augustine
Laura Augustine has worked as a finance assistant at Capitol Auto Group for 7 years. She is the proud mom of three kids (four, if you count her husband Chad): Ariel, age 23; Claudia, age 22; and Bryson, age 18. As a family, they love to go fishing and boating at Detroit Lake, and they also have four Saint Bernard Dogs: Grace, Ted, Jerry and Stuart.