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Keep your car clean and organised with these clever hacks

Whether you've got a long road trip coming up or are a regular commuter, these savvy tips will help keep your home on wheels clean and tidy.

Updated

organized car glove box

It’s easy to love a clean car - not so easy to love cleaning it. Awkward nooks and crannies, a wide variety of fabrics and finishes not to mention all kinds of weather hitting the outside: cleaning your car isn’t exactly something you rush to do on a Saturday morning.

But it all starts with preventative measures – the more prepared and organised you are the less clean up there’ll be to begin with.

We’ve rounded up some of our favourite hacks for keeping your car clean and organised, which are sure to leave your revved up and ready to go (see what we did there?).

How to keep your car clean

As your Home Ec teacher no doubt told you, cleaning as you go is always a good idea, and when it comes to your car it’s the easiest way to make sure you don’t end up elbow deep in old takeaway containers and fuel receipts.

Start by storing a roll of bin bags in the passenger seat pocket to easily pop rubbish into (particularly handy on long car journeys, when there’s usually lots of in-car snacking) and get into the habit of taking the rubbish with you at the end of the trip. You’ll be surprised at just how much builds up.

Another brilliant tip for keeping your car clean is to stash a packet of dedicated dashboard wipes in the glove compartment. These are great for the dash, of course, but also for any other vinyl surfaces that get a bit grimy.

Alternatively, you could keep a microfibre cloth and a small bottle of DIY cleaning spray (just make sure it’s well diluted, as solutions that are too soapy can leave surfaces slippery). The cloth will absorb dust and dirt while the spray will quickly lift any little smudges or stains.

Car organiser ideas that work

A key element of keeping your car clean and organised is having plenty of storage. There are lots of dedicated car seat organisers available to buy online (some even come with trays for snacks or slots for smart tablets), but you might be able to make big improvements just using stuff you already own. Here are some of our favourite ideas:

  • Hanging a shoe organiser off the back passenger seat is an easy way to make your own DIY car organiser and instantly creates 3-6 handy cubbies for storing essentials like water bottles, wipes and snacks.
  • Do you have a centre console? It’s usually where things like parking tickets, coins, sunglasses and other bits and bobs end up. Ingeniously, if you have a tray of ice lolly moulds this can be just the right size to slot into your console and coral the mess. Alternatively, pop in an empty chewing gum container to act as a home for all that loose change – you’ll never be stuck fumbling blindly for coins again.
  • One of our favourite car tidying ideas is to keep a few empty zipped pouches in your glove compartment to easily organise those odds and ends that inevitably end up there – think things like disposable cutlery, sauce sachets, hair bobbins and even receipts. Bonus points if you add labels.
  • If you have a spare plastic filing folder hanging around, this is the perfect place to store all those essential car documents and you’ll be able to easily find what you’re looking for.
  • If your car tends to ferry a lot of little (or not so little) people around, consider creating a dedicated car kit of essentials – a small first aid kit, alongside a brolly, SPF, wipes, deodorant, hand sanitiser etc. Keep it in a clear plastic tub either in the back under a passenger seat for easy access or in the boot.
  • Regularly end up with lots of crud and dirt stuck in the seams? Keep an old, clean toothbrush close to hand to quickly dig the crud out before it sets in.

Now that the inside is all sorted, you might be ready to get the outside looking just as spick and span. In that case, you won’t want to miss our guide to car polishing and waxing.

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Originally published