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How To Keep Your Car Clean and Smelling Fresh

Simple tips that will help you keep your car clean and smelling fresh!

How To Keep Your Car Clean and Smelling Fresh. Simple tips that will help you keep your car clean and smelling fresh!
A clean car is my nemesis. No matter what I do, my kids manage to drop and spill things. I’m also guilty of making matters worse and my poor husband is left to deal with the aftermath.

However, over the years I’ve found that a few simple actions can make a huge difference.

Now I’m not going to pretend that I follow all of these rules every time, but when I do, my car stays clean and smells even better. 🙂

Keep a small bag handy

I like to keep a small bag (like a grocery bag) inside the car, so I can toss out the trash that makes its way into the car. This simple step will help you keep the trash at bay.

Get rid of trash after each trip

This goes hand in hand with the previous tip. If you make it a habit to take out the trash after each trip, it will never get out of hand.

At times there are six of us in the car together. So if I don’t dump things out right away, it can get bad quickly.

Keep wipes in the car to spot clean

Keep wipes handy to help you spot clean spills. I also like to use wipes on my dashboard when it gets dusty.

Although there are special wipes that are made for cars, I like to use baby wipes. It’s just as effective and cost a lot less.

Don’t allow kids to eat in the car

I know it’s not easy to say no when you’re on the go and have no choice. However, that’s not always the case. There have been plenty of occasions where I’ve picked up take-out on my way home.

Instead of waiting until we get home to eat, my kids dig right in and messes are made. It’s simple, the less the kids eat in your car, the less you’ll have to clean up.

Keep drinks inside a spill proof cup

When my toddler wants a drink, she wants it NOW! So instead of putting up a fight that I simply won’t win, I offer her a drink in a spill proof cup.

I also allow my older kids to drink in the car if I know the cup will retain its content.

Have a small basket to hold things

I like to have a basket handy to hold essentials. This is where I put the wipes, small bags, paper towels, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, extra diapers and anything else we might need.

This allows you to keep everything in one place and easily accessible.

Hang Fresh Links in the car

I love a fresh smelling car. Even if my car needs a little cleaning, a great scent will help me see past a little dirt. So I recently learned about a new and amazing product called Fresh Link.

It can be clipped on the rearview mirror, gearshift, headrest and grab bars. Its patented clip design gives you endless options – clip it anywhere! I am in love with these and love how my car smells each time I get in.


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  1. Lindsey V. says:

    I use the small bag idea! Also, when I go to Sonic I throw as much as I can grab into their tall trashcans at the end of the drive-thru line. For some reason, I feel the cleaning bug when I’m sitting there waiting for Cherry Lime-aide 🙂 I’m going to have to try the baby wipes idea!

  2. We used to be terrible about taking out trash whenever we would get home. But then the baby became a toddler, the trash multiplied, and we had no choice but to actually keep the car smelling fresh. Nowadays, I’m very strict about removing all trash (fast food bags are the worst!) at the end of every trip. It makes a world of difference!

  3. G'ma Neise says:

    When we get home from any where everyone has to take their own trash out and put it in the trash can in the house. We try and not eat in the van unless we are traveling somewhere far. I always have baby wipes in the van for quick clean ups. thanks for you great ideas. I would love to try PERK

  4. Kris says:

    I try to always leave my windows cracked and the moon roof up (not open, but popped up) to try and get as much air through as possible.

    It gets that musty old car smell though…. looking forward to trying PERKS~

  5. Havok says:

    It is amazing how messy a car can get from eating in it – especially because of all the nooks and crannies, it’s easy to not even see it until you look under the seat for a pen (since they never stay in the center console as they should!) and it’s a disaster of crumbs and miniature fry pieces. Or maybe that’s just our vehicle! xD
    I wish I was motivated enough to clear out the car after every time we’re in it, but it just doesn’t happen. For the longest time we would be lucky to even be able to park remotely near our apartment, though now we have a spot right in front of our kitchen window, so there’s no excuse to not be emptying the trash out!
    …should also probably keep wipes of some kind on hand. Whenever the dogs come with us they manage to muck up the windows with drool and such (we love them, but gosh are they messy!).