I’m sure I’m not the only one who sometimes feels like I’m living out of my car. Life is busy, and sometimes your car is full of evidence that you’ve been on the run non-stop. You look around one day, and realize that you can’t see your floor between all the hoodies, bottles of water, paperwork, and backpacks. Getting your car clean can be a big task, but keeping it clean doesn’t have to be if you incorporate a few simple actions into your routine.

Daily Tasks

Taking just a few seconds to keep your car cleaner every day will prevent things from building up, and save you a huge clean-up effort later on. For starters, you need to make some “house rules” for your car, stick to them, and ask passengers to do the same. You may want to consider these rules:

  • No eating in the car. It makes a mess, so just don’t do it.

  • No leaving items behind when you get out. Gather up loose items from the car every time you get out, and things won’t pile up.

  • Keep a trash bag in your car so you won’t be tempted to toss gum wrappers or receipts in the console. You don’t have to hang a grocery sack from the gear shift, just purchase a small trash container that is made to clip into your car.

  • Knock your feet against the door frame of your car before you get in each time to keep the carpets cleaner, especially in the winter time. This will reduce the amount of dirt and debris that makes it into your car.

Making these little chores a part of your daily routine doesn’t take any extra time, and goes a long way in keeping your car clean.

Deep Cleaning

Regularly washing the outside of your car not only makes it look cleaner, it preserves the paint job too. Running your car through the car wash every couple of weeks or so, or making a Saturday habit of washing it by hand is a quick job that will keep your car looking new. Even though it’s cold outside, your car needs to be washed even more often in the winter time, because salt from the road will damage it. If something is spilled on the inside of your car, clean it up immediately. Resist the urge to just wipe it up with a towel and get to it later, because stains set in very quickly in the car, especially on sunny days when it gets hot in there. Use an upholstery cleaner to thoroughly clean any spills to keep the inside of your car looking as nice as the outside.

Preventative Maintenance

Besides practicing good habits and keeping up with regular cleanings, there are a couple things you can do to help keep your car from getting dirty in the first place. One is to wax your car periodically. A good coat of wax keeps dirt from sticking to your car, and makes it easier to clean. Parking in the garage or under some other kind of cover helps keep it clean too, because your car will have less exposure to birds, pollen, etc. If you keep your car waxed, and park inside, you’ll notice that you can go a lot longer in between washings and still have a clean car.