A clean and clutter-free car sounds like a pipe dream especially when you have children to drive around, but it’s not entirely impossible to achieve. After all, a family car is just like any other car except with more mess. You just have to be more diligent and fastidious about caring for your car.
That said, here are some tips to keep your family vehicle clean, odor-free, organized, and well-functioning.
Inspect the Car Regularly
Cars can break unexpectedly, and that’s the last thing you want to happen to you when you have the children inside.
That’s why you should make it a habit to inspect the car. I
n fact, you should check it every time you’re about to leave the house.
Seemingly minor car problems, like a flat tire, can put you and your family at risk of getting into a traffic accident.
You can easily discover these problems and remedy them if you check the car regularly.
A routine inspection will keep your family safe, as well as help, maintain the condition of your vehicle.
Keep a Cleaning Kit in Your Car
When you have children in the car (or anywhere, for that matter), you should expect to clean up some (or a lot of) mess.
Young children are still developing their fine motor skills so that they can be clumsy—dropping crumbs when they eat, spilling drinks, and getting mess all over themselves and their surroundings.
Knowing this, you should always prepare a cleaning kit in your car.
Your kit should include wet wipes or cloth, napkins, a lint roller, a hand sanitizer, a quick stain remover, and a deodorizing spray.
You should also keep a garbage bin or bag in your car, so you have somewhere to throw food wrappers, coffee cups, and all sorts of trash instead of leaving them scattered on the floor.
However, the best way to keep the family car clean and clutter-free is to prevent messes as much as possible.
Set car rules for everyone to follow when they’re in the car.
For example, there should be no eating and drinking in the car to avoid scattering crumbs and spilling drinks.
Everyone should make sure their shoes are clean before they step inside the car.
Of course, you also must include exceptions for special cases—eating is allowed on long trips, you can drink water when you’re thirsty, or it’s okay to have dirty shoes in the car when the weather is bad.
The rules have to be reasonable and flexible too.
Protect the Car from Mess
There are messes you can never go back from, so you either have to prevent them from happening or protect your vehicle from them.
Oil stains, watermarks, and chocolate marks can be tough to clean on your leather car seat and fabric floor mats.
Protect your interior from permanent damage.
For your car seats, use a waterproof and dirt-proof cover to protect them from stains.
Shield the car floor with WeatherTech nonslip floor mats to keep away permanent stains on your interior.
In the case of unpredictable situations, like sudden rain, be ready with umbrellas, towels, and spare clothes in the car.
Clean the Car Frequently
With more people using the car, it’s only natural that mess accumulates faster.
That’s why it’s essential to maintain a frequent cleaning routine.
You don’t have to bear the responsibility of cleaning the car by yourself.
Everyone should help and have their own assignments for keeping the car clean.
Taking out the trash, doing a round of quick vacuuming, and disinfecting surfaces should be part of your daily car-cleaning routine.
You can assign the former to your kids, and they can take turns taking out the trash on different days.
If they’re capable enough, you can also trust them with vacuuming and disinfecting the interior.
Do Basic Maintenance
Basic car maintenance is essential in keeping your car running and in good condition.
It includes checking the levels and quality of the car fluids, including the engine oil, coolant, and brake fluid.
These fluids are important in for the engine to work, so you must change them when they get too dirty and refill them when they reach below-appropriate levels.
Car tires should also be inspected regularly to make sure they have enough pressure and are aligned properly.
Driving with damaged tires can be catastrophic.
You should also check if your windshield wipers are working perfectly as they are vital for having full visibility when you’re driving, especially during bad weather.
Other things you should check during your maintenance routine are the car batteries, sparklers, signal lights, brake, and drive belts.
Caring for Your Family Car
Keeping your family car clean, clutter-free, and well-maintained becomes easier if you have a routine for it.
List the tasks you need to do, such as throwing out the trash, wiping the windows, vacuuming the interior, etc.
Divide the tasks among yourself and your family members so everyone is accountable for taking care of the family car.