How to keep your kids-mobile looking brand new
Things change when you have kids. Despite your best intentions, your home improvement projects, piles of laundry and personal fitness goals sometimes just have to take a back seat. But you know what doesn’t have to take the back seat? Your back seat.
Considering how much time you spend in your car driving the kids to daycare, soccer practice and school, it’s worth keeping your car tidy.
You may be thinking: “Wait, I don’t have the time or money to get the interior of my car detailed!” Not to worry. We have gathered our best DIY car hacks for keeping the interior of your minivan like new (or at least pre-kid).
DIY: Detailing Your Car’s Interior
Regardless of the material in your interior, start with a good vacuum of both seats and carpets. If you have plastic floor covers, take them out and hose them down. Use a lint roller on fabric seats and car details to get rid of clingy hair.
So you’re vacuuming and you notice a big glob of dried gum/crayon/candy/melted plastic stuck to the seat. Kids, right?
Before you panic, try the iron method: place a paper towel over the infected area and use a hot iron to remelt the mess. After heating, use the paper towel to blot (not rub!) the area to pick up the bulk of the mess. Follow up this method with a little bit of soap or cleaner and a toothbrush. Rub the area to remove the color, and continue to blot with a paper towel periodically. Allow to dry and repeat toothbrush cleaning as needed.
After vacuuming, it is time to deep clean the interior of your car. For a basic fabric interior (seats and floors), use a mixture of one part laundry detergent to two parts water and spray over the interior, rubbing it into the fabric with a clean cloth. For a vinyl interior, use a glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth to shine it up. If you have leather seats, invest in a professional leather cleaning kit designed for car interiors.
Bonus points if you have heated seats: leather responds well to heat while cleaning so warming the seats beforehand will help with your deep cleaning.
After cleaning the seats and carpets, use a toothbrush and your cleaning fluid to clean the seams and corners of your car. You’d be amazed how quickly this will make your car look brand new!
Use a glass or all-purpose cleaner to wipe down the plastic and metal details in your car’s interior, and wipe down the insides and outsides of your windows. Finish by giving your steering wheel a good once-over, using that toothbrush once again to get into all of the nooks and crannies.
To get rid of lingering smells of McDonald’s, shoes and gym bags, leave an opened bag of charcoal in your car overnight. It will absorb the smells, and you can reuse the charcoal to broil up some delicious burgers the next day!