For many of us, our cars will be one of the biggest investments we make in our lives; if not financially, then in terms of the time we spend in them getting from A to B. It makes sense, then, to care for and maintain our cars to a high standard, to ensure that you are caring for it for many years to come.
It also improves your experience when driving and, perhaps most importantly, means you will never be embarrassed to give someone a lift! Here are some top tips for ensuring your car remains clean and fresh smelling all the time.
1. Keep on top of rubbish
We all have busy lives, with commuting, shopping, the school run, acting as a taxi service…our full schedules often mean we are eating or drinking on the go, and our cars can quickly become trash cans for Costa cups, Big Mac boxes, or empty crisp packets.
Make sure you are mindful of what you leave in your car and try to take it with you as you go. If you have children who are prone to leaving a mess, keep an empty carrier bag somewhere convenient, so you can easily take your rubbish with you when you are leaving the car.
This will also help to ensure that nasty smells and surprises don’t appear from something lurking under the seats!
2. Use things for what they are intended for
This may seem obvious but is often overlooked. Your car will come with a glovebox, cupholder, boot storage…and many other hidden nooks and crannies. Make these spaces work for you.
Use the glove box for crucial documents such as insurance, breakdown cover, ownership and registration, emergency contacts and your car handbook. Use the boot for de-icer, emergency blankets and supplies, oil, screenwash, and other essential maintenance elements for your car.
Keep maps in the back seat pockets, along with paper and books to keep children quiet on long trips, and make sure the space around your feet is clear of obstructions. These areas can be kept clutter free easily once you have established a system.
3. Make vacuuming a priority
We all put it off because it seems like a huge hassle; getting the vacuum out, making sure the car is parked close enough for it to reach, contorting yourself like an Olympic gymnast to reach all of the areas…yes, vacuuming the car is a pain.
However, if you keep on top of it, and make it a priority, this time-consuming job becomes much easier and will ensure your car remains clean and fresh smelling.
4. Reduce mess in advance
If you have pets, think ahead and cover your seats with specialised covers, or even old blankets, This will remove pet hair, and will stop doggy smells from getting into the upholstery.
Take towels if you are planning a muddy walk, to allow you to get most of the mess off before getting back in the car, and making your life easier.
If you are planning to smoke, or eat strong smelling fast food in your car, make sure you give the interior a chance to air thoroughly, to reduce the risk of the smell lingering and remaining in the fabric.
6. Keep your car mats clean
Dirt from shoes, derby from things which have been dropped, and exposure to the elements when you open doors…our car mats can really be put through the mill, and can often be neglected or forgotten.
Take them out and give them a good shake to get rid of dirt, then run over them with the vacuum cleaner nozzle for a thorough clean.
For fabric car mats, stain remover and a trip to the washing machine will bring them up as good as new!
7. Make good use of air-fresheners
There is a huge range of air fresheners available on the market now, ranging from that classic ‘new car’ smell to more personalised tastes such as lavender or vanilla.
They won’t mask the smell of a musty or dirty car but can add a pleasant aroma to a freshly vacuumed car.
8. Bring it in, take it out
Particularly useful if you have a family or lots of people using the car, the ‘Bring it in Take it Out’ policy ensures that everything which is brought into the car for a journey leaves the car when the journey is finished.
This includes coats, bags, shoes, and other personal belongings, and has two advantages; making sure that your car doesn’t get full of clutter, and also that nothing gets lost or forgotten, avoiding any panics later!
Although keeping your car clean may seem a monumental task, breaking it down into these smaller, manageable sections will make your life easier, keeping your environment clean, fresh and more enjoyable!