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10 Tips for Keeping Your Car Clean

By TheCarzingTeam October 19, 2022 | Car News

Car News

The condition of a car can increase or decrease the value. Owning a car requires regular maintenance and cleaning. Not only will this keep the vehicle more comfortable (and sanitary) for daily driving, but routine cleanings and maintenance also can help owners spot issues and fix small issues before they become more costly or dangerous.

It’s easy to lose track of a car’s maintenance schedule or even put off a trip to a car wash. Get in the habit of regular maintenance, and use these 10 tips for keeping your car clean to help preserve the condition of the vehicle and its resale value, too.

  • Set maintenance reminders on a phone
  • Include a portable trash can in the car
  • Keep cleaning wipes in the trunk or in the glove compartment
  • Handle spills immediately
  • Don’t ignore warning lights
  • Invest in a small portable vacuum
  • Wipe down the steering wheel frequently
  • Don’t forget to clean out the trunk

It’s Too Easy to Neglect Vehicles

The majority of an individual’s time might be spent in their home. Most individuals can’t ignore messes in their living space, especially if that dirt, grime and nastiness impacts the cleanliness of the home or personal comfort.

Yet, many hours are spent in vehicles, too. Those who face long commutes could spend an hour or more driving in their car each day. The space within the vehicle needs to be clean, too. Dirty filters, dust, grime and even stains can impact not just the physical appearance of the car but perhaps the health and comfort of the driver, too.

When buying a car, upkeep is part of the cost of ownership. Keeping a car clean isn’t difficult, but it does need to be a formed habit. These tips can help new or even veteran car owners develop habits that lead to a cleaner car:

10 Tips for Keeping Your Car Clean

Set Maintenance Reminders on a Phone

Every standard vehicle needs routine oil changes and tire rotations. In addition, other services might be needed as the vehicle hits certain mileage milestones.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to forget when the car is due for an oil change or when tires need to be rotated. Waiting too long to change the oil, though, could lead to a low oil level that could then damage or even destroy the engine.

Keep up with those routine maintenance appointments by setting reminders in a phone or other device. After an oil change, schedule a reminder to check the mileage after two months. This can help ensure that drivers schedule those needed appointments and don’t neglect the vehicle.

When mileage milestones are quickly approaching, set another reminder to schedule a service appointment.

Include a Portable Trash Can in the Car

The side panels of the door might have a nice nook or cranny for storing small umbrellas or other accessories, but many drivers use this nook as a trashcan. The car can quickly turn into a messy disaster with trash piling in doors or other areas.

Don’t use the door nooks as a personal trash bin. Instead, drivers should include a trashcan in the front seat and backseat for any trash during the drive. These small bins can be installed behind seats or in other less conspicuous places.

Using a trash can is a much better solution than placing wrappers, napkins and fast food bags all over the car or on the interior side of the doors. Just don’t forget to take out the trash.

Stash Cleaning Wipes in the Glove Compartment or Trunk

One way to get into the habit of cleaning the car consistently is to keep cleaning supplies in the car. Car owners don’t have to include full bottles of cleaner and a roll of paper towels, though. Instead, just keep packages of car cleaning wipes in the glove compartment (or the trunk).

These wipes are specially designed to clean the interior of vehicles, and car owners can buy them at auto stores or just in the auto section of major retailers. These wipes are an easy way to consistently clean off the surfaces and maintain the shine of those interior surfaces.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Car Clean

Handle Spills Immediately

Some car owners don’t allow anyone to eat or drink in the vehicle, but others are much more relaxed. Eating and drinking while driving is a distraction that drivers should avoid for safety reasons, but passengers might freely enjoy some snacks during trips.

Spills happen, but car owners shouldn’t let these spills sit without a proper car. Some beverages can stain leather and upholstery, leaving the interior looking less than stellar. If there are spills, clean them up as soon as possible. At home, use a stain remover that is safe for the interior; those who have leather will need to use a special cleaner.

Tackling stains in a timely manner can help preserve the beauty of the interior and ensure that seats and carpet aren’t permanently impacted.

Don’t Ignore Warning Lights

Every vehicle has its own warning system; issues with the car are typically brought to the driver’s attention via small warning lights that illuminate when something goes awry. Typical warning lights on the dashboard include low oil, change oil soon, check engine, low tire pressure, etc.

When a light suddenly illuminates on the dashboard, car owners need to consult their car’s manual to find out what the light means. Some lights—like the ‘check engine’ light—are fairly universal.

Once a light illuminates and stays illuminated, car owners need to schedule a trip to the mechanic as soon as possible. These lights are designed to warn drivers; get the car diagnosed to ensure safety on the road. Don’t ignore those lights!

10 Tips for Keeping Your Car Clean

Invest in a Small Portable Vacuum

Another way that car owners can simplify the everyday maintenance of their vehicle is by investing in a small portable vacuum. These little vacuums can operate via a rechargeable battery and can be used to keep the interior clean and free of crumbs and dirt.

Car owners might aim to vacuum the car about once per week. However, car owners with kids who tend to leave messes in the backseat might opt for more frequent backseat sweeps.

Wash the car about Twice per Month

Some car owners are fastidious about car washes. They might wash their car every day. Each driver has different levels of tolerance related to the cleanliness of the exterior of their car.

However, experts recommend washing the car about twice a month. This is enough to keep the exterior shiny and clean; in addition, car owners also can opt to vacuum and clean out the interior of their car during these scheduled washes.

Professionally Detail the Car Twice a Year

Detailing a car is much more extensive than just a standard car wash. Detailing involves extensive cleaning like stain removal. Professional detailers also will condition leather, lubricate any squeaky hinges, and remove any unpleasant odors, too.

The site recommends that car owners have their car detailed twice per year. This service can help best maintain the beauty of the vehicle, but it is an investment. Family Handyman notes that the service can cost around $160.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Car Clean

Wipe Down the Steering Wheel Frequently

The steering wheel is touched every time the car is driven. This surface likely holds more bacteria, grime and dirt that drivers realize.

While a car wash might only be needed twice per month, wipe down that steering wheel frequently. Again, drivers can keep wipes in their glove compartment. Car owners also can keep a stash of disinfecting wipes in the glove compartment, too. However, if steering wheels are wrapped in leather, special wipes might be necessary.

Don’t Forget to Clean the Trunk

The trunk is only seen when car owners are unloading groceries or equipment or when they are grabbing the spare tire. However, the trunk can be a nest of grime, dirt and other messes.

Again, many car owners stash their groceries in the trunk, so this is a space that needs to be cleaned. When vacuuming the car, don’t neglect the trunk. Car owners might shampoo the space as part of routine car washes to ensure that the trunk remains fresh and odor-free.

Cleaning the Car Can Preserve the Condition and Resale Value

The resale value of a vehicle depends on age, make/model, mileage and condition. While car owners cannot control most of these factors, they can take control of the car’s condition. Proper maintenance and cleaning can help the car look great, but it also enables the vehicle to present well to dealerships when the owner needs it for a trade-in.

A car that isn’t cared for properly or is mechanically neglected also might not have the longevity of a vehicle that is properly maintained. Routine service appointments can help owners find problems early and fix them before they seriously impact the vehicle (or the driver’s safety).

Routine cleaning and detailing can create a more relaxing and comfortable space for drivers, too. Maintaining the car doesn’t need to be time-consuming for the owner, and a regular schedule can make daily care a routine habit.

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