Keeping a car clean could be like having a part-time job for some drivers. Thankfully, you don’t need special skills to clean your car’s interior, just time, patience, and some common cleaning products that can be found almost anywhere.
Research shows that Americans drive about 25 miles each day and spend an average of one hour behind the wheel each day. That’s plenty of time for trash to accumulate, dirty to enter into the vehicle from you and other passengers, and accidental spills to happen when you’re eating while driving. It’s true that some people have “car rules” — no eating in the car, remove all trash upon exiting the vehicle, and laying down a towel on the seat before soccer practice pick-up. But for most busy Americans, making time to clean or take protective car measures is a task.
If you are thinking about taking some time out of your busy schedule to save money and self-clean your car, we have some tips for you. While shampooing the car floor and vacuuming the car mats are a no-brainer when cleaning your vehicle, we are going to tell you about the areas that drivers (and even some detailers) forget to clean.
5 Forgettable Interior Car Areas
1. Cup Holders
We know why people forget to clean the cup holder area in their car. Usually, it’s because there’s a day-old Starbucks cup left in the space! Secondly, it’s also one of the most challenging areas to clean, with it being such a small area and requiring careful detailing. However, it’s super important to clean out your cup holders because spilled drinks like coffee and juice can lead to an awful car odor if left for an extended period. So grab those cleaning wipes and be sure to clean all the cup holders in your car. And remember, a sticky cup holder means a dirty cup!
2. Foot Pedals and Area Around Pedals
Shoes are made for walking! And after weeks, or even months, of getting in and out of our cars, in between car cleanings, there’s no telling what we’ve tracked into our vehicles. While some people remember to clean the foot pedals, many of us forget about the area surrounding the gas and brake pedals. What happens is trapped moisture, generated by wet shoes, forms a breeding ground for mold, mildew, germs, and bacteria. Neglecting to clean the area around the pedals can produce an unhealthy environment, especially for children and sickly adults.
3. Sun Visors
Sometimes the parts of our cars we use the most we forget about the fastest. How many times a day are you driving with the sunlight against your face? Drivers are constantly pulling down the sun visor to protect their eyes against the sunlight’s glare. Every time you touch your sun visor with your hands, oils from foods you’ve held, dirt from the gas pump, or debris from the car door handle could be leaving unwanted marks that can be difficult to clean if left on too long. Our interior car cleaning advice is to clean your sun visors with a cleaning wipe regularly to lessen the spread of gems in your car.
4. Glove Compartment
Items that should be in your glove compartment:
- Medical information
- Emergency contact numbers
- Pen and paper
- Proof of insurance
- Owner’s manual and maintenance schedule
Items that are really in your car, in addition to the items above:
- Ketchup packets from In and Out
- Napkins from Starbucks
- Extra straws from Jamba Juice
Your glove compartment is comparable to the junk drawer in your home. No need to feel embarrassed; you’re not the only driver with a condiment storage compartment in your car. However, failing to clean out the glove compartment can cause dust to accumulate from the objects left inside. Throw away old condiments and dusty napkins and wipe down your glove compartment so that harmful bacteria will not grow and live in your car.
5. AC Vents
It’s summertime, and it’s hot. For many of us who will not have the pleasure of cruising around town in a drop-top convertible, the car windows will be rolled up and the AC on high! However, after months of not using the AC, some drivers may smell a foul odor coming from the vents, which is an area that is often forgotten while cleaning. Who wants to get inside a hot car, expecting the AC to blow cool and clean air only to have a foul odor blow directly in your face? This is why surface cleaning the vents just won’t suffice! Taking thorough care of the AC vents is imperative to avoid foul car odor, germs, and bacteria, creating a pleasant driving experience for you and your passengers.
How to maintain the cleanliness level in your car
We know life can get super busy and our cars help us complete tasks faster, keeping us busy! The truth is, many people spend hours a day in their cars, running errands, commuting to work, and sometimes just sitting inside their vehicles for privacy. Our vehicles then become like our second home, so it’s essential to treat it as such.
- Keep wipes and napkins handy: as you are on the go, stopping for lunch or grabbing a snack of the kids, keep a few of the napkins in the glove compartment for unexpected spills on seats and in cup holders. Follow up with a cleaning wipe to thoroughly remove sticky substances when they first happen. Wipes are also handy for cleaning sticky and messy hands that can spread dirt to the seat belt, car seat, and door handles.
- Throw out car trash daily: Make it a habit if you can. Even if you decide to clean out your car every time you get gas, use that time to maintain the cleanliness of your vehicle.
- Purchase a small trash bin: small containers can be purchased from the dollar store. Or, keep grocery store bags handy in the bag seat to train passengers to container their trash and not stick it in the compartments on the sides of the door.
- Purchase a portable vacuum cleaner: If you really want to take it up a notch, a portable held-held Dirty Devil vacuum cleaner will definitely keep your car tidy. This will allow you to collect food crumbs and dirty right when they happen.
At Liberty Collision, we want to help you keep your car in top performance, both internally and externally. Use our interior car cleaning tips above to enjoy traveling in your beloved fresh-smelling germ-free vehicle.