Tis The Season To Clean Your Car Out

retrochick.JPGIvy says:

I ain’t gonna lie, kids. My car would easily win the Home-Ec 101 Seal Of Disapproval at any given time.  I have three kids and spend a lot of time on the go. Well, a poor excuse is better than none, as my grandma always said.

Twice a year, however, it’s all shiny and spotless. That’s how my car is right now, because I like to clean out and detail my car before it gets really cold.  Nobody wants to wash car windows in 32 degree weather, so I get it done before  it gets really cold, and then I clean it again when it starts getting warm again.

To keep the mess load down in my car, I keep a plastic grocery bag attached to the gearshift. That way the trash never really builds up terribly badly. I also keep a file folder in the car, so if I check the mail when I’m leaving the house, I can easily file the mail that needs attention. If I’m looking for the electric bill, I can usually find it in the car.

When I do the twice-yearly major cleanout, I bring a white trash bag for clothing, toys, and other items that need to go inside and a black trash bag for any trash that has escaped the plastic gearshift bag. Once it’s completely cleaned out, I vacuum the car thoroughly. Don’t forget to vacuum the dashboard, trunk, and gearshift. You’d be surprised at how much dust collects in these areas!

Then I wash and wax the outside of the vehicle. Washing the exterior before washing the interior windows helps you make sure you’re not leaving streaks on the inside windows. Then wash the interior windows and  you’re done! Spotless car.


  1. Margo on October 14, 2007 at 8:01 am

    I manage to keep all the gross stuff out – food and such – but the toys are piled high, and right now you could grow taters in the floor board.

  2. tink on October 8, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    I second the swiffer duster tip. I keep one in the pocket of my door and wipe when I’m stuck in traffic or at stop signs – it even gets the dust out of heater vents and between radio buttons.

    Pam, great idea about the kleenex box of grocery sacks. My kidlets are grown, but my hubby seems to have a mental block when it comes to dumping soda cans, water bottles..etc.

  3. Margo on October 8, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Great reminder, thank you. And I like the Swiffer tip from Amy because even if I get around to vacuuming out the car, I rarely “dust” it. Also, this is the season for our car to be spritzed with sap, so I wait until it’s over or it rains to wash the car.

  4. Bramble on October 8, 2007 at 11:31 am

    Der thanks for te reminder. My inlaws are coming in a couple weeks and I should probably clean my car out so everyone can ride places together. ::sigh:: (right now it kinda looks like homeless people are living in it…)

  5. Pam on October 8, 2007 at 7:59 am

    I read this “somewhere”….try keeping an empty Kleenex box (filled with plastic grocery bags) under the seat of your car….then if you are waiting on a train….stuck in traffic….or if the kids totally trash it you have an empty bag handy for a speedy clean up. Pam, South Bend

  6. Amy on October 7, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    Great tips! I need to work on this some more. I am trying to do the minor stuff each Saturday and each time I fill up the gas tank, I try to clean out the junk. Now I need to work on my garage and getting it organized so I can park my darn car inside for the winter 🙂 Always something!

  7. Amy on October 7, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    Those Swiffer dusters work GREAT for the dashboard. They get into all the nooks and crannies and get the dust, without chemicals that make everything slippery. The handle also provides enough “reach” that I can get the whole thing from the driver’s seat. I keep one in the glove box, and my car is much neater lately as a result. Not affiliated, etc.

    Amy @ http://prettybabies.blogspot.com

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