When an individual first gets that new car and enjoys that new car smell, they make a silent vow to keep it that way. Then, life happens. Between road trips, car seats and trips to the local fast-food restaurant, the car doesn’t look quite as polished as it did on the first day. Thankfully, there are some practical ways you can work on keeping your car clean and spotless. In order to get started, consider the following habits.
1. Maintain Rules for Eating and Drinking
Determine what works best as it relates to eating and drinking in the car. If you’re someone who tends to eat on the go, this isn’t the healthiest habit to maintain in the long run. Studies show that it’s better for digestion when people sit still and eat in order to feel satiated. Reconfigure your lifestyle so that you won’t need to constantly rely on fast food in the car in order to sustain your nutritional well-being.
You can also decide that eating and drinking aren’t allowed in the car at all.
2. Clean Car Before You Exit
If you like to enjoy a snack or an iced coffee in the car, just make sure that you clean up the area before you exit. When you leave drive-thru receipts, used napkins and crumbs all over the front seat, that clutter piles up quickly. If you or your children enjoy a snack in the car, keep a small disposable bag nearby in order to quickly discard the trash. If you’ve consumed a candy bar that left a sticky residue on your fingers, be sure to use a wipe to clean the steering wheel. You can also use a steering wheel cover that’s easy to clean and maintain as well.
3. Do a Weekly Deep-Cleaning Session
Whether you choose to deep-clean the car on Saturday mornings or Sunday nights, choose a time where you can consistently tend to the car’s interior and exterior needs. Create a ritual that makes the process fun. You can put your favorite podcast in your ears and clean as you listen. If your favorite local car-washing spot is near a beloved ice cream shop, clean the car and go get ice cream afterward. Oftentimes, people associate cleaning with boredom. If you can create positive memories around the car-cleaning time, it gives you something to look forward to.
4. Make Cleaning Convenient
If you’re already stressed out with a long list of tasks to do, make cleaning convenient for yourself. If you know that hooking up the hose to wash the car is just too much to wrap your head around, just drive to the local gas station and pay for a car washing session. If the local gas station vacuum has been out of service for weeks, buy a hand-held vacuum that you can use for the car. When convenience is available, use it. Don’t think that you have to be superman (or superwoman) in order to feel accomplished. The goal is to make sure the car remains clean. It doesn’t matter if you do it yourself or have someone come to clean the car for you. Find ways to conveniently get it done.
5. Keep Cleaning Tools in the Trunk
If you purchase and use a hand-held vacuum, consider keeping it in the trunk if there’s ever a spill you need to quickly clean. Pack a small box that’s complete with cleaning supplies for the dashboard. Paper towels, dusting cloths and car cleaning sprays are a few tools to keep on hand. It’s even nice to keep a stash of scented car fresheners. Once you’ve deep-cleaned and vacuumed, you can install a new car freshener.
Even if it sounds daunting at first, take small steps toward maintaining a clean car. It’s a lot like building muscle. It’s a process that requires you to do the little things on a consistent basis. As you continue to flex that muscle of carrying items into the car once it’s time to get out, you’ll discover that you don’t collect clutter as easily. Once you’re able to commit, you’ll become empowered to keep going. As you keep going, you’ll uncover new ways to keep your car clean. Before long, maintaining an immaculately clean car will feel like the norm.